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High Schooler’s Guide to Coding Classes

These days, high school students are becoming more comfortable interacting with ever-changing technologies. Some of them might even be interested in learning more about how their favorite apps and games work. If that sounds like a teenager you know, now might be the time to get them started in coding. Enrolling in coding classes as a high school student is a great way to meet new people and get a head start on entering a competitive job market. Not only is it an incredibly marketable skill, but it can also become an exciting and creative hobby! 

Read on to learn more about coding classes for high school students.

Benefits of Learning Coding in High School

There are several advantages to learning to code at a young age. To begin, learning a skill as complex as coding helps to keep your brain healthy. Regularly engaging in the complicated problem-solving that coding requires exercises your brain and helps build new pathways for innovative thinking.

Coding as a high school student also provides numerous opportunities to meet other students with similar interests. An online coding community is a great place to meet other aspiring coders and get as much practice as possible. These groups participate in coding challenges and members often help each other brainstorm solutions to more complex problems. Some of the most popular coding groups include AlgoExpert, LeetCode, and codewars. If you’d prefer working with other students in person, consider joining (or even starting) a Hack Club at your school or local community center. 

Learning to code as a high schooler can help prepare students for college, and even earn some college credits along the way. It is becoming increasingly common for high schools to offer computer programming classes including the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Course. The College Board accredited exam that correlates with this course tests students specifically in coding with Java. Students who are successful on the exam will earn college computer science credits to the university they attend. Participating in the USA Coding Olympiad is another option to impress college recruiters, especially since more and more schools are no longer requiring applicants to take the SAT or other similar exams. 

Potential Opportunities and Careers with Coding

Learning to code at any age can lead to professional advancement, but coding in high school can have additional benefits. Some students may be able to find internships with their coding skills. This enables students to begin networking and build relationships with mentors that could last their entire careers. The courses and extracurricular activities mentioned above offer some excellent opportunities to impress hiring managers. Participating in these activities demonstrates a dedication to developing coding skills and determination to work through a challenge.

There are also several scholarships available to high school students who want to pursue a career in computer science or another related field. These scholarships are often available for students who have demonstrated a need for financial assistance, but also have stellar grades and extracurriculars on their resume to show their passion for coding. 

Some computer science scholarships are offered through Generation Google, Lockheed Martin, and the National Society of High School Scholars. Minority students are eligible for additional STEM scholarships as well. Black students could look into opportunities through the United Negro College Fund or Blacks@Microsoft. Since women are often underrepresented in the tech industry, there are many scholarships strictly for female students as well. A couple of examples are the Learner Education Women in Mathematics Scholarship and the VIP Women in Technology Scholarship

With businesses depending more on digital services to attract new customers and keep their data secure, job opportunities for those with coding skills are rising at a rapid rate. Which professional doors open up with your coding partly depends on your other skills and interests, but most of them come with very comfortable salaries of at least $60,000 per year. 

Back End Developers focus on the server-side of building websites. This is the part of a website that users don’t interact with but helps the website function properly. Back End Developers generally use Python, Java, or Ruby to program these sites but each organization has specific preferences for which language they use. They also typically help to maintain and debug the website when needed. Aside from coding, they need to have solid communication and critical thinking skills. A typical annual salary for a Back End Developer is roughly $115,000 per year. 

Mobile Developers spend their time creating apps specifically for mobile phones; many of these developers will specialize in either iOS or Android platforms. They often work within a larger team to collaborate on the overall look and feel of the final product. These positions are exciting because they can work in a variety of industries. Many modern retailers and healthcare companies have created apps to more conveniently engage with their customers. Mobile Developers in the US earn an average annual salary of $120,000. 

Learn Coding with NextGen Bootcamp 

If there’s a high schooler in your life who might enjoy learning to code, there may be some local colleges or libraries that offer programs like this. You can also check out NextGen Bootcamp’s coding classes for high school students. Students can conveniently attend these programs remotely via the school’s live online coding classes. If you’re in the area, you can also choose to take an in-person coding class at its Manhattan campus. Classes at NextGen are kept small so students receive adequate attention. Expert instructors provide students with support on college applications.

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