Coding strengthens problem-solving skills, creates job opportunities

Sonia Zaacks, Executive Features Editor

While other students were learning how to use their first cell phones at the age of 13, senior Zoë Klapman was already building her first website. Her interest in computer science started in middle school, and since then, she has enrolled in multiple classes and attended coding events to foster this passion.

“[My dad] showed me computer science in middle school just [for] fun, and I ended up really liking coding,” Klapman said. 

According to Klapman, proficiency in computer science can lead to job opportunities and help with problem-solving skills that can be applied to other subject areas. Due to heightened usage of technology within classrooms and workplaces, knowing computer science may be useful for some students. 

“I think it is desirable to have someone who knows how to code just in case [the skill is needed in the future],” said Klapman. “I think [computer science] really helps your logical thinking. It’s learned more through experience.” 

Having computer science skills can extend beyond computer programming and can help people outside of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum, known as STEM, by offering new ways of complex thinking, according to Dr. Tom Gregory, clinical assistant professor of information systems at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington in a phone interview. For example, the knowledge of the programming language SQL, which is designed for database management, could open up many job opportunities. 

“Computer programming is a very structured way of thinking about a problem,” said Gregory. “The more ways you learn to solve problems, the more solutions you can come up with. Even among computer scientists [and] computer programmers, one of the maxims is [to] learn to solve the problem in another programming language because different programming languages have different strengths.”

Dr. Tugce Baser, assistant professor of engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said in a phone interview that the number of students interested in computer science is increasing due to its pertinence to other subject areas. 

“[I think] computer science is in every single STEM major at the moment,” said Baser. “It definitely applies to the social sciences and business too.”

According to Gregory, the understanding of computer processes can be helpful in business, where processing and following data is important.

“Information systems is the middle ground between computer science and business,” said Gregory. “Computer science is the programming and manipulating, and information systems [helps us] make our processes better, make our people happier [and helps] make us more money.”

Klapman said the advantages of knowing computer science are becoming more well known among students because of its applications. 

“I think mostly, [computer science] boosts your confidence, and that helps you in other things,” said Klapman. “You might feel more confident in that one skill set. I think it’s just a skill that [people] should learn to know and understand.”