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By Julia Glum
April 23, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks with former TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs at the TIME 100 Summit on April 23, 2019 in New York City. The day-long TIME 100 Summit showcases the annual TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks with former TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs at the TIME 100 Summit on April 23, 2019 in New York City. The day-long TIME 100 Summit showcases the annual TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
Spencer Platt—Getty Images

Looking to pad your résumé? Apple CEO Tim Cook knows exactly which skill you should master next.

Speaking at the TIME 100 Summit on Tuesday in New York City, Cook said he thinks coding is “the most important second language you can learn” because of its global appeal.

And the younger you are, the better.

“I think every kid in the world should learn to code,” Cook told former TIME editor Nancy Gibbs on stage at the event. “Whether your passion is in science or the arts, it’s a way to express yourself.”

Cook, in a wide-ranging interview with that touched on everything from his interactions with Donald Trump to having too many iPhone notifications, added that he believes software is touching every aspect of people’s lives. That makes it even more pivotal for children to learn.

“I’m not saying everyone needs to become a programmer — I’m saying like the basics of mathematics and history, it’s a core skill that kids need to have,” he said, plugging Apple’s “Everyone Can Create” and “Everyone Can Code” curriculum guides.

The benefits of learning to code go way beyond impressing Cook when you do, eventually, sit down for that interview in Cupertino. In 2017, about a third of users on the platform Codecademy said that they earned more money because they learned coding. The median pay for software developers was nearly $106,000 last year, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics.

Before you run to sign up for the latest bootcamp immediately, know that not everyone agrees with Cook’s opinion. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, for example, said recently that employers should be prioritizing soft skills in areas like communication and leadership instead of technical ones. Cook himself said Tuesday that creativity skills were “equally important” for young people.

So the next time you hit the books — or the, uh, screen — you might want to focus on coding and creativity. Tim Apple‘s orders.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

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Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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