Coding program jump starts kids interested in exploring tech careers

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A 16-year-old is now $3 million wealthier after winning a Fortnite competition. While many adults want our kids away from screens, time is proving it can be a moneymaker.

Some Omaha kids are getting in on the gaming craze and turning it into a potential way for them to profit as well.

They are all between 8 and 10 years old, and they're spending part of their summer learning computer coding skills — skills that could lead to a career thanks to a Metropolitan Community College program at Do Space.

“We all know that's kind of the future and so we want to give them the necessary tools to hone those skills,” Nathan Hankenson with MCC said.

Kids like Matthew, an 8-year-old who has been playing games like Minecraft and Fortnite for half his life.

While he doesn't want to be a gamer when he grows up, he knows these skills are shaping his future. Matthew hopes to end up working alongside his father at his software building company.

“It’s the number-one building software company, and it's software, so I'm going to be needing this,” Matthew said.

The gaming industry has already proven to be lucrative for young kids. Just this past weekend a 16-year-old took home that $3 million purse in the Fortnite sporting event.

While these kids aren't in a competition like that, learning about the technical side of gaming can impact their future.

“Through the game of Minecraft, they're actually learning how to code in basic and basic functioning and programing skills," Hankenson said. "But the really cool part about this class is they're also working on their collaboration skills, teamwork skills, some of those soft skills that they also need if they ever want to become an engineer or computer programmer, anything like that.”

And these kids already seem like pros at all of that. They'll tell you all about it.

“You can make, like, any sort of item that you can use," 10-year-old Evan Carlson said. "So, you can make something that can break bedrock, which is an indestructible thing in Minecraft.”

The kids already have a firm grasp of skills that could end up being their careers.

“You can become anything," Evan said.

The Do Space mod class goes on all week, along with another class for all age groups to go and get better at technology.