Google CEO: Tech Education Should Focus On More Than Just Coding
Workers of the future will no longer be able to rely solely on their coding skills to retain their jobs in the future, says Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Tech industry professionals will require constant and ongoing training in basic digital skills to compete in the ever-evolving jobs market.
Coding may be a fundamental component of any tech education, but coding alone is not going to cut for the next generation of workers, according to Mr. Pichai.
In an opinion piece published on NBC News THINK, Mr. Pichai argues that traditional education as we know it would have to be revamped to answer the needs of the rapidly evolving tech world.
“We need to focus on making lightweight, continuous education widely available,” Pichai writes in his column.
Careers in tech are growing at twice the pace of other occupations, with professionals in science, engineering, technology or math the most sought after on the jobs market.
According to a report conducted by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, STEM jobs increased by 10.5% in the six years between 2009 and 2015, whereas non-STEM jobs increased by 5.2%.
The report found that demand for computer-related jobs was the highest during the period in question, with these jobs forecasted to grow by 12.5% over the next decade.
In his column, Mr. Pichai notes that workers today are expected to possess skills that barely existed a few years ago, such as the need to utilize online programs for accounting and scheduling, among other things.
He also points out that these skills are much easier to master than coding, especially with the help of Google’s $1 billion investment in a wide array of initiatives aimed at upskilling workers to help them secure high-paying tech jobs and grow their businesses.
“Through these pieces of training, people learn about using technology to research, to plan events, analyze data and more,” reads Pichai’s opinion piece.
“They don’t require a formal degree or certificate.“
He says there’s a lot of room to improve and adjust training to fit the requirements of other tech jobs that are vital to the digital economy ecosystem but require no knowledge of coding.
Pichai offered IT support as one example that fits this bill, where people who maintain the hardware and software that keep tech services running are not required to possess any coding skills.
“We should make sure that the next generation of jobs is good jobs, in every sense,” Pichai says.
“Rather than thinking of education as the opening act, we need to make sure it’s a constant, natural and simple act across life – with lightweight, flexible courses, skills and programs available to everyone.“
This is just further proof that we must keep up with the ever-evolving world of technology as we are slowly but surely entering a new and highly exciting era of innovation and development in every possible aspect of our existence. We must try to keep pace with the future, as it has, most definitely, arrived.