Coding is everywhere, from the fitness tracker on your wrist to the navigational system on an airplane.

And that means coding is a huge opportunity for teens. If they study it now, they’ll be able to pursue careers in almost any industry.

But getting them to that point is the tricky part, with many parents wondering why teens should code, what coding languages teens should learn, or how to encourage their teens to code. Use this comprehensive guide to help you start your teen on their coding journey.

  1. Benefits of Coding for Teens
  2. Coding Languages Teens Should Learn
  3. Coding Kits for Teens
  4. Coding Gifts for Teens
  5. Coding Books for Teens
  6. Coding Clubs for Teens
  7. Coding Competitions for Teens
  8. Coding for Teens With CodeWizardsHQ

Benefits of Coding for Teens

Coding for teens results in more than a basic knowledge of coding languages or the ability to build sound Minecraft structures. Learning to code produces real benefits for teenagers, such as better performance in school, an advantage on college applications, enhanced critical thinking and problem solving, and career opportunities. 

Coding classes, clubs, and camps available to teenagers provides curriculum and support to learn to code. Students can use their coding knowledge and study skills in other computer science classes and academic pursuits. It’s especially an advantage when applying for college or an internship. Even employers highly value these skills. 

A short list of today’s coding careers includes aeronautics, art and design, data analysis, engineering, information technology (IT), mobile development, product design and development, project management, the sciences, software development, user experience (UX), and web development. That list will only grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts “computer and information technology occupations” will grow by 13% from 2016 to 2026, producing nearly 560,000 new jobs. And as for better wages, MarketWatch reports many of the jobs that require some knowledge of computer coding pay $57,000 or more per year.

Recommended: Summer Minecraft Camp for Kids

Your child can learn to code from home.
Try our live, online coding classes for kids risk-free.

Coding Languages Teens Should Learn

Many coding languages exist, which makes it hard to choose ones to study. CodeWizrdsHQ recommends teens learn the programming languages commonly used today, such as the following nine. Teens may want to emphasize in one language over another, but they should familiarize themselves with all of them. By learning different coding languages, they will be able to select the right language to the problem they’re solving.

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C#

C# be used to create almost anything, from mobile apps and server applications to video games, making it a general-purpose language. However, it largely belongs to the realm of Microsoft, .NET frameworks, and the Unity Game engine. If your teen expresses interest in any of those things, direct their attention toward the C# language. Learning it should be somewhat easy since it more-or-less reads like English.

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HTML

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, probably is the simplest language to learn. It controls how elements appear on a website, affecting colors, fonts, hyperlinks, and graphics. While simple and easy to learn, it’s powerful. Teens should learn this language, especially if web development piques their interest.

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CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It outlines how HTML elements appear on a web page, which lessens the amount of coding required to run a website. The language saves developers a lot of time and effort, so teens should learn it. It’ll save them hours of work and frustration.

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JavaScript

Most browsers use JavaScript, making this language a must-learn. It also augments web development languages like HTML and CSS, usually adding dynamic elements to web pages. The language can serve as an introduction to front-end and back-end development, too, which further expands teens’ understanding of coding and its job opportunities.o teens should learn it. It’ll save them hours of work and frustration.

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Python

Python can be thought of as a multi-purpose language. It receives use in web development, software development, and machine learning. The third application may explain its recent burst of popularity. Machine learning is a growing industry due to continued investments in artificial intelligence (AI) technology and applications.

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C++

C++ appeared in the 1980s. It remains a relevant language because of its power—it backs applications like Microsoft Windows, Adobe, Amazon, and Google Chrome. C++ can be harder to learn than Python and JavaScript, but teens should still learn it. The language supports many enterprise systems, and it can be useful for video game and embedded firmware development.

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PHP

PHP, a server-side scripting language, sees frequent use in web development, underpinning many ecommerce sites, content management systems, WordPress sites, and social media sites. Its strength lies in its flexibility, meaning there are no hard or fast rules about how to use it. It complements HTML, giving websites additional functionality, and interacts well with databases, especially MySQL ones.

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Java

Teens interested in Android applications will need to learn Java. Java is the backbone of all Android applications. It sometimes is employed as a server-side language, similar to PHP. Java awards other benefits, too, such as being able to run on any hardware and operating system thanks to the Java Virtual Machine.

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Swift

Swift is the language of the Apple ecosystem. It’s also a fairly easy language to learn, building upon Ruby and Python. It benefits from some unique advantages, such as checking for errors during development and managing app memory usage in real time.

Your child can learn to code from home.
Try our live, online coding classes for kids risk-free.

Coding Kits for Teens

Many of the coding kits listed here offer a dual opportunity: building robots and teaching teens to code. Some of the kits entail actual coding while others emphasize coding fundamentals and critical thinking skills.

Bitsbox

Bitsbox

Bitsbox is a subscription box that teaches teens computer science principles like coordinates, functions, operators, and parameters. Each monthly box features a new CS concept along with a hands-on project devoted to it. The subscription is affordable, ranging from about $16 a month to $40.

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CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit

An Amazon’s Choice product, the CanaKit is designed for the do-it-yourselfer. The kit comes with a quick-start guide, but teenagers are on their own after that. For best results, the CanaKit should be paired with one of the Raspberry Pi books mentioned later in this guide.

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NaCoDrone Pro Kitme

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