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is taking courses for computer science at a young age worth it?

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Tony’s Answer

Unlike a lot of the answers here, I wouldn't say it matters quite as much. If by "young" you mean pre-college, I would advise enjoying that time. If that happens to include time learning some computer-y things, cool. But, I wouldn't skip other activities because it might lead to a better job sometime in the future. The future is unknowable, but being a healthy human with a diverse set of interests and experiences will never not be valuable. Communication and executive functioning are arguably more important, and applicable in any career. And, have fun, because you might be surprised by how difficult that can be at different phases in life.
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Zahid’s Answer

Yes, learning at a young age is good. Programming classes are being taught at an elementary level as part of the curriculum. Learning at a younger age will help build that programmer mind and certain way of thinking and approaching a problem. Harvard teachings programming for beginners online and it's free! There is no age limit in joining the class, i've seen students young as 12 year old taking that course. Starting early in learning all this puts you leaps and bounds ahead of those who only took CS in college.

CS50 is an on-campus and online introductory course on computer science taught at Harvard University and Yale University. In 2016, CS50 became available to high school students as an AP course. The course material is available online for free on EdX with a range of certificates available for a fee. If you are in HS school then you could even get college credits for it. If not, it's still a good place to start. Check it out at:

https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-harvardx-cs50x
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Tim’s Answer

Absolutely! Computer Science is something that can truly benefit you for years to come even if you don't ultimately spend 20-30 years working as a Software Engineer or Computer Scientist. It's not uncommon to graduate with a Computer Science degree, start a career as an Engineer, but end up finding satisfaction as a Project Manager, Product Manager, UX Designer, UX Researcher, or another career in tech.

If you enjoy Computer Science, continue with it and see if a technical career is what you're passionate about. If it isn't, you can always pivot to a tech-adjacent role and even something completely different and perhaps apply your technical education to side projects or volunteer work.

I encourage you to utilize the library, LinkedIn, and tech company websites to research the various positions that exist within the tech industry. And remember, some companies are NOT tech industry companies, but they still hire technical professionals.

I hope this helps and I wish you great success whatever you decide to do!
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Buket’s Answer

If you are interested in a career in computer science, data analytics, business analytics, health informatics it would be great to take coding classes earlier. My son started to take coding classes in middle school. He enrolled for the Summer coding classes of the Universities. You can search for Summer classes for High schoolers or Middle schoolers in the websites of the big universities around you, they have really great scholarship opportunities for the students. He also got online coding classes from Udemy and similar online resources, you can find online courses of very well known universities like Harvard, these are generally free courses. AP Computer Science classes would be a great opportunity as well. But the best way to learn programming is to work on a project and write code by yourself.
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Atul’s Answer

The reality check is that in the 21st Century, almost everything we do requires the involvement of computer or computer-based services.
My son started taking Java and Python courses in high school, he got a degree in Computer Engineering undergraduate from the State School and his starting salary started with six figures (he had to pass the employer's mandate quiz before he was granted the interview).
Take AP courses (Physics, Chemistry, Maths, etc.) if it is available in the high school beyond Computer Programming courses. This will develop your analytical skills to solve problems very quickly.
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Andrea’s Answer

Critical thinking and creativity are necessary skills for success in every career. Coding helps develop those skills, however, it is equally important to be curious and learn through both reading and hands on experiences. I would make sure that you don't narrow your focus too early and that you become a life long learner with a variety of interests. I also agree with taking AP courses in related disciplines.
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John’s Answer

The ability to gain critical thinking and analytics skills at a young age is one of the key determinants of long-term success. Computer science is a discipline that helps develop those abilities. The younger one learns to code and program (and think logically), the better a student will succeed long-term.
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Brendan’s Answer

Hi there Alexis I believe that starting young in any profession is always beneficial. However, most professions don't really let you study them at a young age. Computer Science is definitely not one of those and is one of the areas of study that has a wealth of free and paid for resources that can be leveraged no matter your age online. I believe that leveraging those resources early will give you a huge leg up when it comes time to start building your career.
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Tole’s Answer

Hi: Taking a computer science class is always worth it. Because computers play such a large role in people's understanding how they work can make you feel more comfortable with technology and find ways to best utilized it. You may like computer programming which is a good profession and this will be the first step. Because you know about computers you will be a more valuable employee and be able to fix problems or issues.
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Gerald’s Answer

Of course, it's worth it. The earlier you start the better. No one is ever too young to start learning.
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Aaron’s Answer

I would say the younger the better. The way we learn is by tacking knowledge onto what's already in our minds. The sooner we expose ourselves to something, the easier larger concepts become to understand down the road.
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Tiffanie’s Answer

Absolutely! My husband is an Engineer and is already teaching our kids - ages 7 and 4 about computer science. We use SCRATCH online and other OSMO programs to teach our kids how to code and how to improve and build things. In elementary programs kids take STEM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). I cannot think of a situation that you would not benefit from growing your skillset. If you can use a computer you'll learn something from a computer science course.
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Akansha’s Answer

yes, learning to code is good for mental health and building logical skills
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Marissa’s Answer

Absolutely! Beginning to take these courses at a young age will help you form a foundation in which you can build upon.
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Craig’s Answer

Yes definitely
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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Alexis,

What is "young age" defined as? I'd be curious to learn what you consider "young".

Though, I would say, yes, teaching kids (even before the age of 5) computer science is a great thing. The reason being is that it's kind of like learning a second language, and it really helps to start as young as the child is able. Teaching kids can help in that when you come across a problem, solving problems via programming because engrained in you, and I believe that it can help someone become a programmer even later in life.

So yeah, regardless of how young you are, I recommend that you go take a class or two in computer programming and see if you like it. There are even board games that can teach you some of the fundamentals like Robot Turtles (http://www.robotturtles.com).

Good luck!

--
Dexter
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Vrajesh’s Answer

Any second language you learn can be useful for the lifetime and helps cognitive development. Computer coding is no different - and who knows, you will find future founder of "Google" or "Facebook" or "Netflix" coding early...
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Ben’s Answer

Yes, absolutely.
I wish I had done that.

My entire career has been in technology and some of the concepts are very abstract and unintuitive. Getting that kind of analytical mindset and comfortability early on is a huge advantage.
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David’s Answer

Definitely, yes. It starts you down the path of learning a skill that will always be in demand. It also helps to train your brain to solve problems. I majored in computer science in undergrad and it really helped me learn to take a problem and break it down to solveable pieces. I am an older worker and wish such coursed would have been available to me much earlier. They are now and I highly recommend you pursue learning coding.
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Vasanthan’s Answer

Yes taking Computer courses at a young age helps improve logical thinking. Kids with computer skills helps them succeed in academics.
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Piyush’s Answer

Absolutely, a person interested in computers should start at young age as it gives them ample if time to practice and learn before caring about the so called competition of the world. It also improves one's logical thinking, shaping your brain from a young age helps you to become a problem solver. You get more time to explore most of the platforms and fields in computer science which also gives you more time to think about which language you want to master.
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Jai’s Answer

Highly recommend it as you would be doing them later in future if not now. Better do know to develop your interest, enhance your market profile and career prospects. It also significantly improve your chances to get a tech scholarship or picked up by a tech giant under their apprentice/graduate program or for a job. So that you know many tech companies recognizes this as well e.g. Cisco, AWS & few others allow candidates ages 13-17 are permitted to take certification exams with the consent of their parent or legal guardian.
Leave you with some inspirational reading;
1. https://blog.ine.com/meet-the-youngest-ccie-candidate-ever
2. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/meet-the-10-year-old-amazon-cloud-expert/153863/#:~:text=Reset%20Done-,Karthick%20Arun%20is%20the%20youngest%20person%20in%20the%20world%20to,to%20become%20a%20cloud%20practitioner.

Best of luck for the career ahead!
Jai
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