In today’s digital world, computer programming has become one of the most valuable and transferrable skills you can have.
But despite its seeming complexity, coding isn’t a skill just for high-level hackers and software engineers. All it takes to get started is a little time, dedication, and access to the internet.
If you’ve ever wondered about the benefits of learning to code, look no further. Here are nine of ways coding can give you an advantage in your career and personal life.
1. High Career Demand
If you’re thinking about switching careers, learning to code can open up a world of opportunities. And coding is no longer limited to programming and software development—it’s become an integral part of many industries.
Depending on what programming language(s) you learn, you may be able to work in the fields of web design, digital marketing, data analysis, business, engineering, or scientific research. In 2015, there were almost 7 million openings for jobs requiring coding skills in the United States. As software becomes more ubiquitous in industry, that number continues to grow.
2. Increase Your Earning Potential
Money isn’t everything, but it’s nice to possess skills that can consistently earn you a living wage. Software and web developers and programmers in the United States earn an average of $74,000-$111,000 per year. This is significantly higher than the national average of $50,620 across all professions.
3. Increase Your Career Flexibility
If you like the idea of self-employment, working from home, or expanding your job description, learning to code may be your ticket to career flexibility.
The tech industry as a whole is well known for its progressive work environments and employee perks. Many coding jobs can even be done entirely from your laptop or home computer, increasing your options for remote or flex work.
If you’re not trying to switch jobs, it’s still worth your while to expand your skillset with coding. The more varied skills you have, the more versatile and indispensable you’ll be to your employer. And even if you don’t end up programming anything yourself, you’ll have a much easier time interacting with your co-workers that do.
4. Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
The entire goal of coding is to create computer programs that solve problems for us. It only makes sense, then, that programming builds strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
When you learn a new programming language, you also have to learn how to implement the logic behind it. Then, you work step by step to accomplish your goal while continually checking for and fixing errors.
This stepwise approach to problem-solving is useful when approaching any sort of detailed project. When it comes to careers, the skills needed for coding—problem-solving, critical thinking, and detail orientation—are the ones many employers look for the most.
5. Automate Your Monotonous Tasks
What’s the main reason we use computers in the workplace? To increase efficiency. If you think about it, most of your job could likely be done without a computer—it would just take much, much longer to do.
Unfortunately, monotonous computing tasks still remain part of our daily lives. We spend time naming and re-naming folders, organizing emails one by one, and filling out repetitive online forms.
With some basic programming knowledge, you can whip out a few lines of code that automate all of those tasks (and many others). Python is one of the best languages for beginners to learn for task-automation purposes. If you learn to code python, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the most efficient employee in the office.
6. Build Your Own Website
In the digital era, having a website of your own opens up a wealth of business and networking opportunities. But building your site off a generic, pre-made template severely limits your options for customization.
Building your own website is especially important if you’ve decided to use your new coding skills for self-employment or freelancing.
7. Bring Your Creative Project Ideas to Life
Have you ever wanted to design your own video game, build an animated LED display, or send a rocket to the moon? All of these things are built on a foundation of computer code.
Whether your creative ideas are artistic, functional, or both, coding can help bring them to life. And if you’re looking for inspiration, check out one of the many project forums online for step by step instructions on building anything from robots to interactive art installations.
8. Build New Social Connections
Despite the stereotype of the anti-social computer geek, coding brings people together. Whether you’re making friends on an online forum or collaborating on projects with family members, coding acts as a great social bridge.
Many communities offer computer science or programming classes for people to learn new things and share ideas. Check into events at your local library or community college to find a group, or start one of your own!
9. Learning to Code Is Accessible to Everyone
One of the largest benefits of learning how to code is that you can develop an extremely valuable skillset without getting a formal degree. Anyone can learn to code on their own, even if they’re short on money and time.
The internet is full of tutorials, courses, and videos that explain every programming language imaginable. And if you have any questions along the way, take advantage of the question and answer forums on project websites. The coding community is generally welcoming and ready to help new beginners develop their skills.
Take Advantage of the Opportunities Coding Provides
Coding is so much more than typing letters on a screen. It’s a valuable skill that opens up job opportunities, a way to increase your everyday efficiency, and a great creative outlet.
Whether you’re just learning to code for fun or hoping to make a career out of it, you’ll be sure to see a positive impact in many areas of your life.
For more educational posts like these, make sure to check out our blog!