Name: Sukhdeep Kaur

Profession: Coding Instructor

Age: 51

What do you do for a living?

I am a coding instructor at Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) and teach new and emerging technologies to high school students. I love this job because I am able to positively impact my students and foster an environment where students become confident with developing engineering and leadership skills.

What type of training do you need to do your job?

A coding job involves many different technical skills, so having industry experience helps immensely. West-MEC partners with local companies to provide students hands-on internships so they are hirable right out of high school. This proves to be beneficial to both the organizations looking to hire and our students entering the workforce. Additionally, having training in teaching and education is a must for my role as an instructor. You need to break complex subjects into simpler topics so it’s easier for students to learn!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is working one on one with students to help them get one step closer to their goal. This job allows me to impact students on a personal level, and I find that quite meaningful.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Before entering the teaching field, I had always thought about becoming an engineer. In fact, I worked as a software engineer for over 18 years and have always enjoyed corporate culture. This work experiences helps me advise my West-MEC students and provide guidance for their future careers.

What advice would you give to a kid who wants to have a similar career?

My advice to kids would to be to never give up or take shortcuts, even if the subject gets tough. Becoming a good engineer and coding instructor is not easy, and often requires constant learning even on the job. That said, it is a very creative and rewarding job once your programming foundation is built.

One fun fact NOT about your job?

One fun fact about me is that I have been parasailing! Although I am not a big fan of heights, I do like to challenge myself and try new activities.