Young Danes love IT, but more playing than programming - The Post

Young Danes love IT, but more playing than programming

Denmark fares badly in international survey assessing skills in programming, coding and mobile phone app design

More productive screen time needed for Danish kids (photo: iStock)
May 28th, 2016 3:00 pm| by Lucie Rychla

Denmark needs to educate more young people in IT skills such as programming, coding and mobile phone app design, suggests Dansk Ehrverv (Danish Chamber of Commerce) and IT-Branchen, an association of about 300 IT companies.

A new international study has revealed that young Danes are far less interested in learning advanced computer skills compared to their counterparts from other countries such as Germany, the UK, China and India.

Few are interested
According to the survey that is based on answers from 408 Danes aged between 16-25, only 34 percent are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ interested in learning to code or build mobile phone apps.

In Brazil, India and China some 70 percent of the age bracket would like to have these skills.

Denmark also ranks at the bottom in a European comparison as 48-58 percent of young people in France, Germany and UK would be interested in developing their coding skills and 48 – 60 percent would like to know how to design their own mobile phone app.

Lack of skilled experts
Mette Lundberg, the head of the communications and policy department at IT Branchen, warns that Denmark has a “massive shortage” of experts experienced in digital technology.

Both Dansk Erhverv and IT Branchen therefore propose to introduce compulsory IT and programming courses at public schools.

While young Danes don’t seem thrilled to learn coding and programming, they are definitely keen on playing computer games.

E-sports growing fast
E-sports – competitive video gaming – is a rapidly increasing trend at Danish schools and sports clubs.

“Every day we get many requests from schools and sports clubs that want to include e-sports into their programs,” Niels Thornberg, the deputy chairman of the umbrella organisation Esport Danmark, told DR.

According to its proponents, e-sports helps young people develop social skills and teaches them teamwork.

Esport Danmark is currently working on being included in the Danish Sports Federation, and Thornberg hopes e-sports will be part of the Olympic program in 2020.