Why Learn Coding? Benefits, Job Opportunities, and How to Start
As individual businesses and entire industries become more and more dependent on technology, developing in-demand IT skills is a key part of staying relevant in today’s job market. According to LinkedIn’s annual report, coding skills are involved in over half of the 10 most in-demand hard skills for 2023, which is one of the many reasons why you should learn coding.
Developing coding skills is an obvious step if you want to pursue a career in tech, but there are many other reasons you need to learn to code, even for those outside of the tech industry. In this article, we will cover the top benefits of learning to code, the types of job opportunities you can get with coding skills, and where to start learning how to code.
The Top 6 Reasons You Need to Learn to Code
Learning How to Code Can Help You Land High-Paying Tech Jobs
Most career opportunities in the tech industry require you to have at least some programming skills. Further, you will definitely need to learn to code if you want to work as a software developer, web developer, network system administrator, or computer systems engineer.
With that, the reward of getting a job in tech is one of the top benefits of learning to code. Jobs like software developer come with a job outlook three times higher than the average and high-paying salaries. In fact, if you learn Python and Java, you could work as a software developer and earn an average of $120,990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Coding Skills Will Enhance Your Resume
Regardless of what industry you want to work in, coding is one of the most valuable skills to put on your resume. Aside from the ability to write lines of code, it demonstrates to hiring managers that you possess logic skills and dedication, as learning to code takes real time and effort. As such, having programming knowledge can help you stand out from other applicants.
Coding Skills Give You More Career Flexibility
Even after learning just one programming language, you can open up plenty of job opportunities for yourself. As nearly all companies today rely on technology in one way or another, whether it is for hosting their website or offering services online, employees that understand the fundamentals of programming are highly valuable. So, broadening your job prospects is one of the top reasons why you should learn to code.
Learning to Code Helps You Understand Technology Better
If you want to keep up with the advancements in the tech sector, you need to learn to code. This is because understanding the basic concepts of coding will help you understand technology better overall. Once you know how to code, you will be able to pinpoint new applications for the technology and have a better grasp of its limitations.
Learning to Code Increases Your Problem-Solving Skills
Just as learning to code increases your logical thinking abilities, it also enhances your problem-solving skills. Coding helps you learn how to tackle complex ideas from a different perspective while troubleshooting and testing out creative solutions. As such one of the reasons why you should learn coding is to get better at problem solving.
Developing this skill is important because in 2022 problem solving was the most desirable skill for IT managers when hiring employees, per Statista data. Further, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report in 2020, strong problem-solving skills are one of the top skills that executives want employees to have in the future.
Learning to Code Is Easier Than Ever
If you have been asking yourself, “Should I learn coding?” for years, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Today, there are countless educational resources available that have made learning how to code easier than it has ever been.
From interactive coding apps to online courses to comprehensive bootcamp programs, there are many ways to learn to code. Plus, since a variety of these resources are available for free, there are few excuses not to learn how to code.
How to Start Learning to Code
Now that you have a clear idea of all the benefits of learning to code, you need to know where to start. Thankfully, when it comes to where to start learning how to code you have a wide range of options depending on your time, budget, and career goals. Below we will cover how you can learn to code for free, the best coding bootcamps for beginners, and other resources for developing this must-have skill.
Learn How to Code for Free
If you are interested in learning how to code for free, online courses are your best bet. While there are some free in-person coding bootcamps for select groups, there are many online free coding bootcamps and courses that are open to everyone. Check out some of the best free coding courses below.
- Responsive Web Design Certificate via freeCodeCamp. As a nonprofit organization, freeCodeCamp is one of the best places to learn how to code. The organization offers over 9,000 tutorials including this one on HTML and CSS. It features hands-on tutorials in which students learn how to build apps and web pages.
- Python for Everybody via Coursera. This is a beginner-level coding course that takes around eight months to complete if you study three hours per week. It is offered in conjunction with the University of Michigan and covers the fundamentals of Python programming and data analysis, from collection to visualization.
- Data Analyst in Python via Dataquest. This program helps students develop professional data analyst skills in just six months. It is self-paced and consists of 24 courses and 19 different projects that cover Python programming, SQL queries, data visualization, and more.
Learn to Code With Coding Bootcamps
If you need to learn to code because you are serious about pursuing a career in tech, then you should consider joining a coding bootcamp. These intensive, fast-paced programs are the quickest way to go from beginner to landing a technical role at one of Silicon Valley’s top companies.
Plus, there are many benefits of learning to code through a bootcamp program. In addition to offering coding classes that teach in-demand tech skills, these programs give students access to a supportive online community, industry networking opportunities, and a variety of career services. The best coding bootcamps will even match you with a career coach that can help you step into your professional life as a programmer.
- Fullstack Academy. Fullstack Academy offers programs in coding, data analytics, cyber security, and project management. Graduates from Fullstack have been hired at over 840 different companies and earn a median salary of $85,200. The school helps students launch a career in programming by teaching essential coding skills, offering one-on-one career coaching, and assisting them with interview prep.
- General Assembly. General Assembly has a large catalog of courses that cover everything from UX design to data science. It also features a handful of part-time courses on specific programming languages, like Python and React. With a variety of courses, workshops, and events, General Assembly is a great place to learn how to code.
- Flatiron School. With bootcamps on software engineering, data science, cyber security, and product design, Flatiron School is a great option if you need to learn to code. Students also get access to six months of personal career coaching and the school reports that 90 percent of graduates successfully landed tech careers.
- Coding Dojo. At Coding Dojo, you can join a bootcamp for software development, data science, or cyber security. The school offers both full-time and part-time options and provides lifelong career services support to students. Taking cues from market research, such as the TIOBE Index, Coding Dojo regularly updates its curriculum to match industry trends.
- Thinkful. This bootcamp provider offers programs in a range of tech disciplines, from UX/UI design to digital marketing. Thinkful offers students six months of career support, which helps the school achieve its impressive employment rate of 91 percent for the full-time software engineering program. Through its comprehensive curriculum, Think helps complete beginners develop professional tech skills.
Other Ways to Learn Coding
Aside from online courses and bootcamp programs, there are still many other ways that you can learn how to code. If you want to learn about mobile development, you can take advantage of interactive opportunities like Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app. If you like to learn by reading and doing exercises, you can also check out coding websites, such as W3Schools and The Odin Project.
Additionally, you can also learn to code by attending a college or university and getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. While the college route is longer and more expensive than other options, it will provide you with well-rounded knowledge in both the theoretical and technical aspects of computer programming.
The Top Tech Coding Jobs
The opportunity to work in a rapidly growing, high-paying industry is one of the benefits of learning how to code. In fact, for most jobs in tech, you will need to learn to code before you are eligible. However, once you learn how to code, you open up tons of great job opportunities. Below are three of the top tech jobs you can get with coding skills.
- Computer Systems Managers | Average Salary: $159,010. This management role helps companies determine their computer needs and oversees the organization’s network security. They work with developers, analysts, and security professionals to ensure the hardware and software in a company are secure, efficient, and up-to-date.
- Software Developer | Average Salary: $120,990. Software developers use coding to create a wide range of programs and tools. They are involved in the design, creation, testing, and implementation of software and are often well-versed in multiple programming languages.
- Penetration Tester | Average Salary: $97,668. In this cyber security role, professionals use coding skills to initiate attacks on a company’s network to try and find vulnerabilities. They will then make recommendations and implement new strategies to reduce cyber risk.
Other Jobs That Use Coding
Coding skills are also useful outside of the tech sector. You should learn coding to position yourself as a better candidate for a variety of non-tech roles. Learning how to code helps you bring your ideas to life and gives you more control over the tools and software you work with.
Below are three positions in which coding skills are useful. If you are interested in any of these jobs, it is yet another reason why you should learn coding.
- Product Manager | Average Salary: $128,216. Product managers identify customer needs and ensure a product or service matches both the consumer’s needs and the business’s interests. With knowledge of coding, project managers can leverage data to gain more insights. Having coding skills is also especially useful for technical project managers, as it allows them to better communicate with the development team.
- Business Analyst | Average Salary: $82,107. A business analyst uses data to make informed decisions about what resources a business needs, how to optimize current processes, and the direction a company should go in. Coding skills help these professionals analyze data and configure programs to collect the information they need.
- Graphic Designer | Average Salary: $50,710. Graphic designers often use software programs to create logos, images, product designs, and more. Having coding experience gives graphic designers more flexibility as they can personalize their work beyond the built-in features of the software.
Why Learning to Code Is Worth It
Learning to code enhances your logic and problem-solving skills and opens up new career doors, regardless of what industry you want to work in. One of the main reasons why you should learn coding is to access better, higher-paying roles. Plus, with free and accessible programs like online courses, learning to code is worth it.
Further, since many bootcamp programs offer income share agreements, you can develop job-ready coding skills without any large upfront payments. You can widen your career options, build technical skills, and learn one of the most in-demand disciplines in today’s job market without having to take out loans for your education. As such, whether you want to create a website for your small business or work at Facebook, learning to code is a worthwhile endeavor.
Why Learn Coding FAQ
Since coding is a highly technical topic, it can be hard to learn how to code. However, if you have a knack for math and science or a general interest in programming, it will be easier for you. There are also many different coding programs specifically designed to introduce beginners to coding, which makes the subject easier to understand.
You can learn to code from scratch by taking online courses or attending a coding bootcamp program. While a bootcamp will take you from a beginner to job-ready professional, online courses are a great way to learn the fundamentals of programming before committing to a specific discipline or language.
Many coding bootcamps teach students to code and place them in a tech job in less than a year. However, without the support and resources of a coding bootcamp, it may take several years to master coding skills and successfully land a tech role in such a competitive industry.
If you want to start learning but don’t know where to begin, the best place to learn to code is online. You can take advantage of online coding bootcamps and courses to learn the fundamentals. Then, you can move on to intermediate and advanced courses to refine your coding skills and further specialize in a specific discipline, like development or cyber security.