Computer programmers have been in high demand for decades. Their job consists of writing and testing code that allows computer applications and software to properly function. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median income for a computer programmer in 2015 was almost $80,000 per year.
Most companies hire programmers who have a bachelor's or associate's degree. Now, Apple is paving the way to make it easier for the next generation of coders.
Apple is releasing a free coding education app targeting middle-school students. The Swift Playgrounds app is designed to introduce basic computer programming concepts. Students are asked to use word commands to navigate avatars through an animated 3-D world.
The app uses the professional programming language Swift. Apple says when someone uses Swift Playgrounds to learn to code, they are learning the same language that professional developers use. That makes the next step of learning to write a real app easier.
Tech companies have recently been calling for public schools to teach coding. They believe teaching coding would help provide students with marketable job skills. Apple CEO says every student should have the opportunity to code.
Apple's coding app is free, but there is a catch. You have to have an iPad to use the app. Apple said the app was designed to be used on an iPad so the user has a high-quality experience.
Although the Swift Playgrounds app was designed with students in mind, it can be used by everyone. Adults wanting to become a computer programmer can use the app to learn as well.