As students head back to school, one thing’s for sure — this year is definitely going to be different. But that doesn’t have to slow you down.

We spoke with students from around the world to find out how they’re feeling heading into the new school year. While there are certainly a lot of unknowns, there’s also an overwhelming sense of positivity. Hunter, a rising junior at Columbia University, said, “I’m a little trepidatious, because I’m unsure about taking an entire semester from afar. But I’m optimistic and I’m excited.”

Hunter is looking forward to spending his extra free time learning to code — and he’s not alone. Betty, a student at the University of Melbourne in Australia, shared that while the pandemic “disrupted a lot of our regular learning through University, it also created an opportunity to learn new skills.”

We’re optimistic about this school year too — and we’re excited to announce a brand new discounted membership for college students — and a whole collection of resources for the new school year. Find out more in our Student Center.

6 ways students are benefiting from learning to code

Curious about how learning to code can help with your studies? Check out some of the ways students around the world are pairing Codecademy with their school’s curriculum and sign up to start exploring for yourself before the school year begins.

Getting a head start

A lot of students we’ve spoken to have shared that they’re using Codecademy to prepare for upcoming college courses.

One example is Tyler, a student in Nevada who’s going back to school to pursue a degree in Computer Science this fall. “I have no experience coding whatsoever,” he told us. “I decided to sign up for Codecademy in order to get my foot in the door before I go headfirst into the water with the classes in college.” He’s making his way through the Computer Science Career Path in order to make things a little easier once he starts his college classes.

Lucious, a rising junior at the University of Texas studying Business and Information Systems, shared a similar experience. “Over the summer I started taking the Python course in preparation for one of my courses this upcoming semester. I feel very prepared to go in and excel in all of my course work.”

Making the most of extracurriculars

Lucious isn’t only using Codecademy to prepare for upcoming courses. The coding skills he’s learned through the Web Development Career Path are helping him with an extracurricular passion for entrepreneurship as well.

Lucious and some classmates have created their own startup — Learning to code has enabled Lucious to more effectively work with engineers, and he tells us, “it has helped me tremendously when it comes to making product decisions.”

Supporting a research project

Betty is in her second year at the University of Melbourne and planning to major in Biotechnology. She says, “Coding has been beneficial in my work as a research scientist. In biology, even though most of my day to day revolves around lab work and doing experiments, data analysis is really crucial. There’s so much data that’s coming out of biology experiments now and knowing your way around R and Python has become really crucial to becoming a good biologist and scientist.”

Spencer, a Geoscience graduate student, is learning to code for similar reasons. “In my undergraduate program, I would be in the lab and get super jealous of lab mates who had such beautiful graphs.” Spencer figured out that those lab mates were using R, so she began learning on Codecademy in order to turn her own giant data sets into beautiful graphs.

Building skills for the future

Coding has become a valuable skill for all sorts of professions — not just for those in the computer science field. And students are taking the time to learn new languages to strengthen their resumes. Abby, a recent graduate who spent time coding during quarantine, told us, “I’ve noticed that a ton of job descriptions require SQL or Python, so I thought I should learn it at some point.” Abby is hoping to pursue a PhD in Chemistry.

Hunter also views learning to code as an important step on his path to a future in Astrophysics. “My entire first two years of college I’ve been told, ‘You’re gonna need to learn how to code eventually — everybody does. That’s where the field is going, that’s where the world is going.’” Quarantine allowed him to put in the time to start learning.

Exploring a new major or direction

Through learning on Codecademy, Hunter has discovered that he really loves coding. As a result, he’s realized that he may even wind up following a new path when he goes on to grad school!

If you’re curious about careers in data science, computer science, or web development, learning on Codecademy is an easy way to explore and decide if a new direction is right for you.

Staying positive

Last but certainly not least, many of the students we spoke to shared that they’re enjoying learning to code right now because it’s helping them maintain a positive attitude during this uncertain time. Betty told us that, during lockdown, “I really enjoyed the fact that I was having fun learning new skills, but it was also distracting.” Coding gave Betty the opportunity to disconnect and focus on something enjoyable.

Hunter describes the feeling he gets when he solves a coding challenge.  “Everything is under my control.” He can run the code and, if it doesn’t work, make changes. “And then it finally gets to the point where it works and it’s the most amazing feeling ever!”

How are you feeling about the upcoming school year? Are you planning to take this time to learn a new language or get started on your coding journey? Share a comment below and let us know!

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