Update (Jan 2015) It is increasingly important that people be able to communicate with computers. Currently we do this through Excel, the console, the command line, GitHub, Python, Ruby, etc. The possession of these skills is an increasingly big differentiator among job candidates. I stay fresh on these skills through sites like Treehouse and CodeSchool.
Original (2011) I wrote a post recently about the importance of learning software development at an early age.
Then I sat in on a talk by McKinsey at Stanford. They project the Talent Gap in the field of “Big Data” to be enormous (almost 2 million more jobs than available workers).
Skill needed | Size of talent gap by 2018
Big data savvy | 1,500,000 jobs unfilled
– Business managers, Financial analysts, Engineers
Supporting technology | 300,000 jobs unfilled
– Computer programmers, Computer software engineers, Computer system analysts
Deep analytical | 150,000 jobs unfilled
– Actuaries, Mathematicians, Statisticians
This is a good time to develop skills in these areas.