Tag Archives: jobs

Coding for the Future

“All of today’s kids will need – along with reading, writing, and arithmetic – a basic understanding of computation and the role that it plays across a wide range of disciplines.”

Jan Cuny, Program Officer of the National Science Foundation

There are a lot of things worth learning in the world we live in: how to walk, read, type, write, or drive a car. These last couple years there has been a big push to add a new skill to the “worth learning” list: coding. You may be asking yourself, why would I want to learn how to code? Isn’t that only for computer science nerds? Not anymore.

Code.org is a company on a mission: the concept that anybody can learn how to code. If you’re unfamiliar with what coding is, in basic terms, it’s the language (lines of ‘code’) that makes programs on computers work. Code.org says that everyone should be given the opportunity to learn how to code – because it the future. And coding is making it’s way to becoming cool – take a look at this video starring Mark Zuckerburg and Bill Gates that Code.org has been sharing recently.

Code.org hosts a variety of learning levels – pre-school through college – and gives you the opportunity to find a place near you where you can learn to code with an instructor. Coding seems like like it can be difficult to learn, but Code.org makes it simple. They provide a plethora of online links, apps, and easy-to-use tutorials on their website.

Another great resource to use is CodeCademy.com. This website also provides exercises to learn programs like Python or JavaScript or the basic web fundamentals like html and how to build a website. Last year New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg even joined CodeCademy.com, vowing to learn coding by the end of the year.

In an article on What’s Trending, the co-founder of CodeCademy.com, Zach Sims, simply explains the relevance of coding: “Coding’s important to everyone – it’s the literacy of the 21st century.”

Credit: Mashable.com

So coding is important – but how important is it to students? In the currently dismal U.S. job market, there are about 1.4 million computer jobs but only about 400,000 computer science students. This leaves a great need for professionals with coding and computer skills.

A CNN article titled “Learn to code, get a job” explains that “so few Americans know how to program that firms like Google and Facebook are actually buying whole companies just for their code-literate employees.” America has a shortage of computer coders, not just in people that know how to use in-depth programs, but also people that know html or other basic software.

According to the article, the U.S. currently imports students from China and India through temporary visas to put into computer progamming positions because in those two countries, coding is taught in schools. To solve this problem, both Code.org and CodeCademy.com believe that coding should be part of regular curriculums in the U.S. – from pre-school through high school and even as general requirements in college.

Do you think coding is important today?

After researching this topic, we’ve given it a second thought. Learning to code today is made easy by these online, free programs, so we really don’t have an excuse not to learn this valuable skill.
“One hundred years ago, people were faced with the choice of learning to read or remaining illiterate laborers who would be left behind as have-nots in a rapidly modernizing world.  In the coming century, being able to command a world that will be thoroughly computerized will set apart those who can live successfully in the future from those who will be utterly left behind.“
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Social Media Appropriateness Inside and Outside of the Classroom

As we discussed in our post two week ago, social media used for classroom purposes can be incredibly convenient. Using Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube can be extremely helpful to get in touch with professors and classmates, especially since we’re on them 24/7!

Credit: edudemic.com

And, as college students, most of us are aware of the importance of our social media profiles. Whether we are trying to build our own brand, acquire an internship or career, or even impress the guy or girl sitting behind you in class, we need to be aware of what our social media profiles say about us.

The members of our group (and we’re sure most of our readers) have been told the importance of the appropriateness of our social media profiles by countless professors. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ can all be used as great tools to improve our online image, but most often, end up hurting our academic and professional credibility.

So what can we do to clean up our profiles?

Staffing Resource, a group to help focused on preparing young professionals to enter the job market, has some fantastic tips to help our fellow college students improve their presence on social networking sites –

  1. Pictures – It’s time to delete (or hide) all of those embarrassing pictures. Absolutely no party pics people… they weren’t cool
    then, and they definitely aren’t cool now. Employers are looking for responsible adults, not party girls/boys. These sloppy pictures could cost you an interview, or worse – your job! In addition, incriminating photos can seriously (and negatively) affect your academic life – Times recently reported that inappropriate and racist photographs posted after a Duke University fraternity party resulted in suspensions.

    social-media-profiles

    Credit: mediabistro.com

  2. Content – What does your bio say about you? Do you have some idiotic Jersey Shore quotes? Get rid of them! Fill your bio with things you are proud of-  accomplishments, awards, education, hobbies, anything that makes you stand out in a good way! We can all love Snooki and Jwoww, but let’s keep it off of our LinkedIn profiles.
  3. Friends – Prospective employers may look at your connections. If some of those friends happen to seem displeasing to an employer, you might too. Simply unfollow/unfriend them.
  4. Update – With so many different social media sites, it can get a little overwhelming to keep up with them all. But, it is important to update your profiles frequently. Sent a witty tweet, or share a link on Facebook to make your page more appealing and less outdated.
  5. Username – If you have a username with the number 69 in it, it’s time to let it go. Email addresses are especially prone to these obsolete parodies. Stick to your first name and last name, or some similar concoction, and you’ll be fine. E-mail addresses provided by schools are nearly always both appropriate and professional.
  6. (Frequently) Google yourself – If there’s something you don’t like, delete it from your own page, or if you don’t have access, contact the website and ask them to take it down for you. It’s as simple as that.

Now that we’ve told you what NOT to do, what you SHOULD do is simple –

  1. Be your (professional) self
  2. Be unique
  3. Appear credible

As college juniors and seniors, we have so much to lose from an incriminating tweet/post/picture/etc. These rules apply to inside and outside of the classroom. Not only can prospective employers look you up, but so can professors, fellow students, even the dean of your college. So, as fellow education bloggers, we need to recognize the importance of employment after graduation and the importance of social media for the entirety of its existence.

Social media is a beautiful thing, if used correctly.

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