According to research, if people are to develop abstract reasoning capabilities (Formal Operations and Post-Formal) they need the proper exposure at age 7 to 12 - generally speaking. Adults that were not exposed properly at the right time do not progress past Concrete Operations well, or at all. Thus, it is difficult or impossible for them to become programmers later on, or to go in to other fields requiring abstract reasoning capability.
If we accept that this is true, then we must provide the correct training at age 7 to 12 and beyond, if we want to have people who are capable of performing in these sorts of ways, because later on is too late for them to acquire those capabilities. We can't wait for them to reach the age of majority and then say, "I want to become a programmer", because if they didn't have the right sort of background preparation, they cannot. We have deprived them of the ability to make that choice for themselves.
But, if we push the students in to this sort of schooling before they can decide for themselves, then they also are not acting with free will in that case either.
The first case prevents them from choosing something, the second allows them to choose it, but only because we made other choices for them. Studying one thing tends to mean not studying other things, as there are only 24 hours in a day. Successful Gymnasts and Musicians usually start as soon as they can walk, or reach the instrument. Successful programmers will need some exposure to thought processes that they need, early on.
How can we balance the objectives of allowing people choice, enabling them to choose by preparing them properly, providing the economy with prepared workers and supporting values like freedom of choice? It seems to me that some decisions are forced, and the timing of education is one of them. We get to choose, but we don't get to choose the choices we are presented with. So we have to make wise choices on behalf of (lots of) others, often without being able to obtain their consent, perhaps because they are too young to give it.