College Tuition’s Got Nothing on Me

October 21, 2021

Not long ago we heard this story through a local library running Prenda code clubs. It’s a fun one, so get ready! (note, locations and names have been generalized for privacy sake)

A library in the midwest started a Prenda code club a couple years ago. There was one boy in particular who really took to it and became a regular attender. His name was Sam. Sam hadn’t been exposed to computer programming before, but took to it like a fish in water. Pretty soon, he was coding video games and websites.

His senior year of high school started, and with college on the horizon, he decided to look for a part time job. Here’s where the story gets interesting.

Most high school seniors think about jobs at coffee shops or fast food restaurants. Nothing wrong with that – my first job was at Sonic Drive In – roller skates and all.

Computer programming, however, is in extremely high demand. Code.org reports that there are over 600,000 open computer programming jobs available today. With a market that large, you can understand when I say that you don’t necessarily need a college degree to find work in this field. There’s nothing wrong with college degrees, but there’s such high demand that if you can demonstrate that you know how to code, you are going to get work.

That’s exactly what happened here. Sam was able to demonstrate that he knew how to code and was offered a job – five hours a week, coding for a local business.

Five hours may not sound like much, but the median national salary for an entry level computer programmer is just north of $80,000 a year (source). That sure beats the $5.50/hr I was making slinging hamburgers in high school.

Sam’s mom told him he had to save a certain percentage of his money to put towards college tuition. So he worked throughout his senior year, and by the time he graduated high school, Sam has saved up enough money to cover his entire first year of college. Amazing, right?

These kinds of stories are happening all around the world as kids learn how to code through local libraries. If you’re not hearing these stories come out of your library, it’s probably time to start engaging the coding in libraries movement. Get in touch to see how we can help.

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