Why learning computer coding is so important, according to advocates
Canada is expecting a shortage of workers to fill thousands of tech jobs in the near future
Reading, writing and arithmetic might not be enough to compete in Canada's future job market, say technology experts.
By 2020 there will be 200,000 communications and information technology jobs that need filling in Canada — and there won't be enough people to fill them, according to a report from the Information and Communications Technology Council.
According to Kirsten Sutton, Managing Director of SAP Labs Canada — a technology development centre — the opportunities to dive into the tech center have never been greater.
Figures released by the B.C. government indicate the province's tech companies employ more people than the mining, oil and gas and forestry sectors combined and offer an average wage of $1,580 per week.
But Sutton says the increased job opportunities aren't just limited to tech companies.
"Banking... mining... retail — every business has a digital component to it... and we don't even know what those digital needs will be in the future," she said.
Revamping public education
"We don't even know what the jobs of the future are going to be yet," said Sariffodeen. "It's really important that everyone has the ability to participate in building this world around us."
The B.C. government has acknowledged the evolving technological landscape by phasing mandatory classes into the province's school curriculum.
Sarriffodeen said coding can be effectively introduced as early as kindergarten — even without the use of a computer.
"Coding right now is a way to learn a different skill set, and a different way of thinking," she said. "The languages come up in later years — but in early years, its about a way of framing problems... it's more pattern recognition and logic — and that's what we're teaching kids."
By 2018, coding classes will be mandatory learning in all B.C. schools.
Ladies Learning Code is currently running courses to equip teachers with the skills to teach the complex subject.
With files from CBC's BC Almanac
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Coding classes could help you compete in Canada's future job market