I'll agree with your second point (about managing resources), but not the first, unless I'm misunderstanding you. In general, unless you're doing an operating system or something ludicrously performance sensitive, knowing assembly coding is overkill. Knowing how to read it might be useful down the road, but it's not important for a first step. It leads to attempting to optimize your code off the bat for the processor...and remember, the best way to write code is to write some thing simple that works first, and then worry about optimizing.
Unless you're indicating that he should have some basic grasp of what assembly is, I'd say learning assembly (much less acquiring a "strong grounding" in it) is not necessary; if you need it for a job, they'll expect you to acquire it on the job.