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Why Learning to Code Could Be the Best Thing You Do for Your Career

You can unlock the door to any opportunity — as long as you know the code.

“Every company is a tech company.”

Sure, this is a bit of hyperbole, but it isn’t far from the truth. Technology continues to disrupt industries, from delivery services to dog food. This also means demand for skilled tech workers is increasing: Today, there are around 700,000 unfilled information technology jobs in the United States alone. This certainly bodes well for those looking to get a foot in the tech door.

It isn’t just aspiring technologists who benefit from fundamental coding literacy, though. Coding skills also look great on your résumé when applying for nontech jobs. They demonstrate that you are detail-oriented, able to solve tough problems, and willing to go outside your comfort zone (not to mention better positioned to make tech-related decisions). The fact that jobs requiring coding skills pay a tidy $22,000 more per year doesn’t hurt, either.

Coding isn’t going anywhere. After all, it’s the foundation of the knowledge economy. Today, the unrelenting pace of change — from machine learning to automation to cloud computing — means that tech will only continue to drive business decisions.

This isn’t just a prediction, either. At LaunchCode, we’re regularly approached by all kinds of business leaders who want to train their nontechnical staff to code. In fact, a U.S. Air Force commander recently reached out and explained that he wanted to train his staff in Python and data literacy. These leaders already see the value of coding literacy and the impact it can have.

How Coding Chops Could Benefit Your Career

“The new form of literacy is coding,” asserts security expert Marc Goodman. “In a world where every physical object is becoming hardware or software — whether it be planes, elevators, cars, or laptops — if you can control that underlying code, then you can control the world.” In other words, you can unlock the door to any opportunity — as long as you know the code.

Let’s sum up how coding skills can give you a leg up, even without a computer science degree.

1. Improved cognitive skills: Learning a programming language can actually rewire your brain, increasing cognitive ability in areas like problem-solving, planning, and pattern recognition. Also, more and more nonprogrammers know some basic coding, and this trend will only accelerate; these skills are necessary well beyond the technical sphere. If you want to stay competitive in a tech-fueled economy, you need to speak the language.

2. Career insurance: The tech talent gap has spurred companies to hire programmers without traditional four-year degrees. Should your career path or industry take a hit and you find yourself at a dead end, you’ll be able to transition to a stable, lucrative coding career.

3. Higher earning potential: Money certainly isn’t everything, but you’ll earn much more with coding skills. Case in point: Once our students are placed into an apprenticeship, they more than double their previous salaries — and that’s on average. According to Course Report, coding boot camp graduates enjoy a median salary increase of nearly 50%, with their average starting salaries surpassing $64,000.

If one thing is certain in our shifting world, it’s this: If you want to set yourself up for a stable financial future, nothing will get you there with more certainty than a solid foundation in coding.

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