Computer coding more in demand than languages: Survey of UK adults

March 28, 2014 at 1:13 am 2 comments

It’s almost a race to the bottom — which do people care less about, learning programming or learning a modern language?

The teaching of computer coding should be prioritised over modern languages, according to a survey of British adults.

Twice as many thought teaching computer coding in school should be a priority than the number who saw Mandarin Chinese as more important. Coding was the top choice for 52%, against 38% who favoured French lessons, 32% Spanish, 25% German and 24% Mandarin.

The poll was published by, a campaign to introduce children and parents to coding. It has created Hour of Code, a series of free tutorials designed to show students the basics of programming in an hour.

via Computer coding more in demand than languages, survey shows | Education | The Guardian.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alfred Thompson  |  March 28, 2014 at 8:33 am

    The school schedule is a zero sum game. There are only so many class periods in the school day. Generally if you add one class it means that another has to be removed. Or you have to make the day longer. Typically people place non-core options (based on a specific definition of core which is often written into law) againsts each other. That is the reason some are arguing for CS to count as a science or math which are part of the core. Then we can play one math or science off against another. Hard to see an easy win-win.

  • 2. geekymom  |  March 30, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Indeed. I was talking to an industry person a while back who was running an afterschool program at his kids’ school and wanted to know how to get CS into the curriculum. When I talked about the zero-sum game issue, he had no idea. And some of those requirements are dictated by the state. Even at our private school, we’re required to offer 4 years of English even though many of our students would prefer to use that block of time to take another math or science or (gasp) CS. My classes currently pull from Art and Drama electives, which doesn’t make my colleagues in those fields happy.

    Even when courses are not dictated by the state, colleges often dictate them. Many colleges still do not accept CS as a science or math, which deters many of my students from taking a CS course.


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