New research shows students in Thailand recognize value of coding for future careers, and enjoy relatively strong support and opportunities from parents and schools
Bangkok, 21 March 2015 — Microsoft today released the results from a new Asia Pacific study which revealed that the majority of students in Thailand recognize the value of coding in their education and the potential it creates for their future careers. Additionally, the study also found that students enjoy relatively strong support from their schools and parents in their interest for coding, signaling an increasing awareness of the skill as an important part of their future.
Conducted in February 2015 in line with the Microsoft YouthSpark #WeSpeakCode campaign, the survey polled 1,850 students under 24 years old from across 8 countries in Asia Pacific, including Thailand, on their sentiments towards coding or software programming. They were also asked about the learning opportunities for coding that are currently available to them. The student respondents came from a variety of academic backgrounds, including arts & humanities, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), business, and other general fields of study.
According to the survey, 89 percent of students polled want to know more about coding, and 94 percent wish that coding could be offered as a core subject in their schools. This suggests that coding has the potential to be a highly engaging subject that can capture the attention and imagination of students, leading to positive learning outcomes.
The study also underscores the broad understanding amongst students in Thailand about the impact of technology on businesses and the society – 88 percent of students say that coding is important to their future careers, and three out of four (75 percent) agree that coding will be relevant to all careers in the future, regardless of areas of specialization.
“The results from the Microsoft survey clearly show that the vast majority of students in Thailand no longer question the value of coding. These youth fully recognize its importance in helping them acquire fundamental 21st century skills and prepare them for success in the future,” said Haresh Khoobchandani, Managing Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited. “As our world continues its evolution into one that is mobile-first and cloud-first, it is important for educators in the region to stop asking whether or not to offer coding as a subject – but how it can be integrated into the curriculum as soon as possible.”
Other noteworthy results from the study include:
- On the benefits of coding, 49 percent said coding helps them better understand the digital world that we live in today, and 44 percent said coding can make it easier to find a job in the future;
- Although commonly regarded as a male-dominated field, the survey nevertheless shows that a very high proportion of both boys (91 percent) and girls (86 percent) in Thailand think of coding as important to their future careers;
- Reinforcing the finding that students in Thailand are fully aware of the growing importance of an education in technology, as much as 86 percent of students who specialize in the arts and humanities – an area that is conventionally far removed from science and technology – wants to learn more about coding.
Along with the widespread enthusiasm and interest in coding, the survey also revealed that students in Thailand enjoy relatively strong support from their parents and schools for coding: 70 percent said they have an opportunity to learn coding in school, whether as a core subject or an extracurricular activity, and 65 percent of students say their parents think coding is important to their future.
For the schools and parents on the other side of the fence, there is an urgent need to quickly reflect on how they can better support the younger generation in taking their first coding steps, especially when 84 percent of students said they would be willing to take up coding classes outside of regular school hours. In fact, 51 percent of students in Thailand have already looked beyond the classroom and picked up coding on their own through online tutorials.
To help educators sustain and further this positive trend, the Microsoft YouthSpark#WeSpeakCode campaign is back for its second year in Asia Pacific. Kicking off today, this year’s movement promises to be more exciting than ever, with local events in more than thirteen countries throughout the region. Aimed at inspiring youth in Asia Pacific to try their hand at coding and become creators, the campaign will connect aspiring student coders of all skill levels with the tools, resources, and experiences they need to turn their innovative ideas into reality – whether they only have an hour, a whole semester, or an entire year’s worth of time to invest.
The campaign, celebrated in Thailand since March 11, held a large-scale gathering of both professional and aspiring coders in Thailand on March 21 in the nation, where nearly 200 Thai youth and representatives spanning industries and professions took part in a symbolic effort to highlight the importance of coding as a highly beneficial tool for today’s youth. In addition to Microsoft and its partners, other distinguished guests that graced the event also included Assoc. Prof. Dr. Piniti Ratananukul, Secretary General of Office of the Education Council; and Mr. Alongkorn Laowngam, Assistant Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand.
The campaign continues as we encourage Thais to discover the excitement, fun and ease of learning to code. One of the highlights of this year’s #WeSpeakCode campaign is the #WeSpeakCode Thailand video featuring notable industry figures, entrepreneurs and celebrities such as renowned Thai actor, Lt. Colonel Wanchana Sawasdee; Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency; Moo Natavudh, CEO of Ookbee; and Juthasree Kuvinichkul, Director of GrabTaxi Thailand. Watch this video and be inspired to code today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwxazWl_nQI&feature=youtu.be
To drive greater engagement and participation across Thailand, this year’s #WeSpeakCode campaign also challenges participants to submit creative, funny or interesting photos of their coding activities with friends or families via Instagram or Facebook. Participants of the #WeSpeakCode Social Media Contest (http://www.wespeakcode.net/contestdetails-th.aspx) stand a chance to win attractive prizes which include a Nokia Lumia 830 and Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse among others. The #WeSpeakCode Social Media Contest is now open to all Thais and ends March 31, 2015. Results will be announced on April 15, 2015 via the contest site (http://www.wespeakcode.net/contestdetails-th.aspx) and/or the Microsoft Asia Pacific Citizenship Blog (http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_citizenship_asia_pacific/).
Khoobchandani added, “It is heartening to see so many students in Thailand understand the importance of coding and taking action to ready themselves for the future. At Microsoft, we believe that code is a language that anyone can learn and computational thinking is an essential foundational skill that should be taught in all schools – regardless of age, gender, or your current field of study. Writing code and creating a program of your own is not complicated or difficult, and more importantly, it’s fun! More than 82 million people of all ages around the world already tried coding last year through the global Hour of Code event. Through the Microsoft YouthSpark #WeSpeakCode campaign, we’re bringing the movement here to Asia Pacific and Thailand, empowering youth here to innovate, create, and unlock the best opportunities for their future.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About Microsoft Thailand
Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Working with communities and the Thai government, Microsoft and its partners are committed to working closely with organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.
About Microsoft YouthSpark #WeSpeakCode
In partnership with Code.org, Microsoft Asia Pacific’s #WeSpeakCode campaign aims to promote coding as a language for everyone in the region. The movement connects aspiring student coders of all skill levels with the tools, resources, and experiences they need to turn their innovative ideas into reality. Visit www.wespeakcode.net to find out more.
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For further information, (press) please contact:
Pornravee Suramool or Cheryl Yab
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Thailand
Tel: 0-2627-3501 ext. 110, 206 or 081-735-9213, 098-272-4077
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
 The countries involved in this study are: Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.