Think back to March 2020, when COVID-19 became our problem, threatening our lives, livelihoods, and society. Our masked faces breathed in air laced with misinformation and panic. Every day, we saw the numbers rising till they finally fell, and we had solutions to this global pandemic. What was the source of all this information?
Governments and organizations worldwide came together to create data dashboards providing live updates about Covid-19-related statistics to ease the sense of helplessness all of us faced. These dashboards were coded into existence to be analyzed in real-time to help institutions respond to this global emergency.
This is just one example of the way coding has come to affect everything that happens around us.
Frank Smith, a Canadian psycholinguist, believed language to be a social gift rather than a genetic gift. In his words, “learning a language is becoming a member of the club—the community of speakers of that language.” In today’s increasingly digital world, programming languages have become a social gift, unifying people across nations because of their ability to instruct computers into doing things we could not have imagined two decades ago.
The act of writing instructions in these programming languages is called coding. Coding commands computers to perform required tasks. Just like any other language, programming languages have their vocabulary with a set of grammatical rules, which, when followed correctly, will lead to actionable instructions.
Everything from the device you are reading this on to the satellites in space bringing you images of the universe involves coding. It has opened fascinating avenues for humans to explore and expand into. But as we saw earlier, coding is also used to solve pervading issues that plague our society.
Coding has been pervading industries for decades, from developing software that helps doctors treat patients to regulating traffic signals. It takes away the human effort from things that can be automated, leaving the other, more creative, and imaginative things for them to solve and work towards.
With the increasing relevance in every sector of society, knowing how to code has become one of the most lucrative skills in the market. According to the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), India is poised to be a trillion-dollar digital economy and could support 60 to 65 million digitally enabled jobs by 2025-26.
As per NASSCOM, for India to maintain the growth momentum in the IT sector, the Indian IT Industry will have 95 lakh jobs by 2026. Of these, 55 lakhs will be digitally skilled across vital digital technologies such as cloud computing, AI, big data analytics, IoT, etc.
Having recognized this potential, many industries have taken active steps in making coding accessible to learn and gain proficiency. Some of the actions taken by the industry include increased fresher hiring and expanding operations to tier-II/III cities. MeitY and NASCOMM have jointly initiated a program titled “Future Skills PRIME” to create a re-skilling/up-skilling ecosystem in futuristic technologies. Under this program, 8.2 lakh candidates have registered on the program portal so far, out of which 1.36 lakh have already completed their courses.
Ministry of Education has introduced the New Education Policy (NEP) which initiates classes on coding for students from grade six onwards. Such exposure to coding and technology at a young age will help the youth pave the path to a future with innovation and creativity at the center of their professional development.
These are some of the countless initiatives in helping the youth procure the required skills and training to envision entering the digital employment sector. In order to improve access to coding skills, we need sustainable and well-planned ed-tech interventions, thereby leveraging the youth to create a better future for everyone.
Part of Sambodhi’s initiative to support those aspiring to enter the field of data analytics is its ed-tech subsidiary, Education Nest. With courses to learn relevant and popular data analytics tools such as Tableau, Education Nest accelerates professionals’ careers and prepares them for this highly dynamic and exponentially expanding industry. Now more than ever, organizations need to accelerate such initiatives to help the youth become the torchbearers for an innovative world.
Aishwarya Bhatia, Sambodhi