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People would 'rather learn coding than a foreign language'

02/09/2016 Emma

There are calls for coding to be taught from an earlier age in UK schools, as the results of a new survey reveal many adults would have preferred to learn computer programming rather than a foreign language when they were younger.

This is according to the results of a recent poll carried out by YouGov, which led to the discovery that 48 per cent of adults believe learning computer coding to be more beneficial than knowing a foreign language in today's society.

In contrast, just over one-third (38 per cent) of respondents said they thought being able to speak, read and write French, German or Spanish would lead to more opportunities than understanding computer programming language. The remaining 14 per cent of voters couldn't decide which skill is best to learn, highlighting that both have benefits.

However, in today's increasingly digital world, many want to see more focus given to coding in schools in order to equip young people with the skills they will need for the future.

The survey results also showed that male students may be more likely to benefit from computer programming lessons, as 56 per cent of men said they would prefer to learn coding than a foreign language, in comparison to 41 per cent of women.

In fact, female respondents were more likely to wish to learn a modern foreign language, which suggests that schools should provide all students with the option to take either of these routes to cater for individual preferences.

What's more, the YouGov research showed that even at the age of 59 (the age of the oldest respondents), people still regretted never having learnt computer coding skills while at school. Overall, every age group questioned reported a preference for learning programming language over a foreign language, with a margin of at least 13 percentage points recorded among each demographic.

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