Skilling gap: Will the inclusion of coding courses at the school level help?

In the digital age, the mobility of workers can be replaced with remote working as people can get the opportunity to work for companies and enterprises around the world of their choice.

coding courses
Coding is critical because every business process and activity is automated in the current scenario, and the digitalisation pace is rather fast. (Photo source: Pixabay)

By Ankush Singla, 

India is home to one of the largest pools of young talent in the entire world. Around 62.50% of the Indian population is between 15 and 59 years, making the country one of the youngest (in terms of population age). In the digital age, the mobility of workers can be replaced with remote working as people can get the opportunity to work for companies and enterprises around the world of their choice.

However, despite the favourable statistics, there is a significant skilling gap associated with the Indian workforce. For instance, a recent survey suggests that around 46.20% of the young Indian population is employable per international standards. Even though the number has improved drastically in the past few years, there is still a critical gap in terms of the skills of the workforce in crucial industries.

With increased literacy levels and enhanced reach of schools to provide basic education, one of the simple solutions to this issue could be the inclusion of coding courses at the school level. There are a lot of misconceptions about coding (such as it is relevant only to computer programmers), and the decision-makers should consider the benefits of coding as a learning and skill development discipline.

Here are the various skills that students can be developed if coding courses are part of the school curriculum:

Entrepreneurship and Problem-Solving Skills

Entrepreneurship in the current environment is generally related to start-up ideas and businesses only. However, the concept is too wide to be associated with a single sphere or business ideas. Entrepreneurship is a basic skill that helps an individual have a problem-solving and broad approach whilst dealing with the recurring or novel issues faced at work, at home or neighbourhood. For instance, if an individual can resolve minor computer-related issues in a small office (even though he does not have an IT background), such a person has entrepreneur skills.

Coding helps ensure that students can resolve many problems by coming up with quick solutions. Rather than waiting for someone else to fix the issues (or bugs), the learners will know the importance of problem-solving and take more initiative in their careers.

Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skills are vital in today’s highly complex and competitive business environment. It is when technological advancements are gradually taking over the technical skills students learn from schools and colleges. Critical thinking skills help the students to stand out from the crowd. Inverting the time and energy to look at a problem and understand it at a different level is a key to learning from coding. When coding is part of the school curriculum, it is easier for the students to see the inter-connectivity between commands- different balance symbols, commands, and processes in place. Hence, they understand the process and the procedures that are often overlooked.

Coding is not just for engineers

Coding is critical because every business process and activity is automated in the current scenario, and the digitalisation pace is rather fast. The trend will continue in the future as new-age technologies such as IoT, AI, and Machine Learning will transform conventional business processes. Hence, just like a good driver should know some basic mechanics and troubleshooting of a car, having coding skills will be critical as manual jobs shall be replaced by automated programs.

Summing up

Even though the skilling gap is reducing consistently, the overall pace is not enough to ensure that the Indian youth will be a hot property in the future. However, this critical issue has a simple solution. The inclusion of coding as a compulsory subject is something which the New Education Policy has recommended for students. This step will ensure that students will learn some critical skills and will be ready for the challenges that the future has in store for them. 

(The author is Co-Founder, Coding Ninjas. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)

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