Saturday, March 31, 2012

Learn to Code in College Without Breaking the Bank

It's no secret that the online and offline worlds are one and the same these days. More than 1.2 billion people worldwide over the age of 15 regularly access the Internet, and nearly one in every five minutes spent online is dedicated to social networking sites, according to a December 2011 report by comScore.

The growth in a digital-dependent society is reflected in the job market, where the U. S. Department of Labor predicts employment opportunities for computer programmers and software engineers to increase more than 20 percent through 2018.

While computer programming may not appeal to all, there are benefits to learning the basics, notes Dmitry Grekov, a technology consultant based in Chicago.

"Even in most blue-collar jobs, you are going to be interacting with computers in some shape or form," Grekov says. "Knowing basic programming can make you more efficient [and] more valuable to your employer."

In addition to looking great on a résumé, coding introduces students to a new style of thinking, says Charles Isbell, associate dean for academic affairs at Georgia Tech's College of Computing.

"It goes beyond coding—it's computational thinking," Isbell says. "For the same reason everyone should take some history and political science—it's the style of thinking that's important. The way of thinking about addressing problems [in computer programming] is an important skill to have." Read more........

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