Why kids should learn computer science

I dedicate this post to all high school kids out there who like to know more about the science of computing.

Computer Science has transformed the way we live by influencing all major domains. What was science fiction yesterday, is science fact today, thanks to computer science. The boons of computing are all around us, from automatic translation of documents to driverless cars,  to smart phones that understand our speech and life patterns. Facebook or WhatsApp or Twitter has become an integral part of our social lives.  Travelling and exploring new places took a new dimension with Google maps in everyones pockets. Even health sector is deeply influenced by the new health apps. Education is yet another field. You can take courses offered by professors from world class universities like Stanford, MIT or Cambridge, sitting at your home. Think about movies. Do you remember how amazed you were to see Harry Potter with the magic wand, or Kung Fu panda showing his cool Kung Fu moves? How about seeing a drone flying in the sky, bringing you the Pizza that you ordered at your doorstep?

We live in a new digital era and we all benefit from computer science in one way or the other. There is a huge variety of areas that one could specialise once you study computer science. You could be a designer, playing around with layouts, colours, and user interactions. You could be a security engineer, where you find out how to attack a system and come up with strong defense techniques. You could be a game developer who makes all those cool games that you play  within your tablet.  You could be a software engineer who is interested in making algorithms for running robots, connecting large networks, faster data management etc.  Maybe you could be the one who finally builds the world’s first intelligent machine close to the human brain or even superior! These are just a few options out of hundreds of other cool things that you could do with computer science!

When I was fourteen, I had deep interests in arts as well as science. I used to love music, paintings, logic, and programming. When the time came for applying to college, I was confused what to study. I believe I made the right choice by choosing  computer science. Learning computer science enables you to have an outlook at the world without boundaries between arts and science.  The attitude of a maker and an artist is what is needed in the field of computer science. We can not  easily predict the jobs that will be needed in the next decade. So we need to think of what kind of a mindset would prepare us for an exponentially changing world. In the future,  most of the jobs that require repetition will disappear as traditional jobs are getting redefined.

As we see, the world is changing at a rapid speed with the influence of technology and the huge amount of information flow. We need designers, artists, architects, civil servants, teachers who all have a grasp of computing principles and data analysis. Knowing computer science is not just a career option; it is a need, and an added advantage to your skill set, in any field you chose to go in future. It expands your thinking, and it helps you to become a problem solver who is dynamic enough to adapt to the changing world and who is ready to learn new skills and collaborate with each other.

Note: Some thoughts are inspired from a discussion with my friend @karmakomik.

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