Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Coding - the 21st century skill

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Coding enhances creativity, teaches people to cooperate, to work together across physical and geographical boundaries and to communicate in a universal language. Technology is part of our life, and coding brings it closer to you!
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Each and every interaction between humans and computers is governed by code. Whether you create a web app, follow GPS directions when driving or wish to revolutionise social interactions. Programming is everywhere and fundamental to the understanding of a hyper-connected world. Coding is the literacy of today and it helps practice 21st century skills such as problem solving, team work and analytical thinking.

Basic coding skills is also needed for many jobs. Did you know that more than 90% of professional occupations nowadays require digital competences, including programming? There is also a talent shortage as the education system is slow to react to new demands. In Europe we will have up to 825,000 ICT job vacancies by 2020.

In order to empower people of all groups in our society, and ensure the global competitiveness of Europe, we need to raise interest in programming and enhance the digital competence of Europe. Therefore we're supporting coding through various initiatives:

  • EU Code Week, which aims at improving the visibility of coding on a European scale, motivating people to start learning to code, and connecting individuals, groups, organizations, and companies who are willing to help more people experience the joy and relevance of coding. This year EU Code Week takes place from 10 to 18 October (check out EU Code Week 2014);
  • Making ICT careers more attractive is one of the objectives of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, a European multi-stakeholder partnership that aims at facilitating cooperation among business, education providers, public and private actors to address the mismatch in digital skills in the European labour. Among the different priorities of the Grand Coalition, our aim is to offer more aligned degrees and curricula in education, that include coding as one of the most important skills;
  • We also actively promote the European Coding Initiative, an industry-led initiative with European Schoolnet acting as secretariat, which aims at bringing coding skills to teachers, kids and adults.
    Since its launch in October 2014, the Initiative's partners:
    • have sent a joint open letter to Ministers for Education raising their awareness about the importance of bringing coding skills to all European kids, including by training teachers on how to teach these skills;
    • set up a new all you need is {C<3DE} website with coding resources for kids, teachers and adults;
    • and published the EUN report "Computing our future - Computer programming and coding, Priorities, school curricula and initiatives across Europe";
  • We actively promote coding through the Communication on Opening Up Education (action 4) where it calls on Member States to encourage access to programming for young learners.
Last updated on 19/03/2015