How 0s and 1s Can Change Your Career

Jenny Holt explains why coding is something every student should be learning

Steve Jobs once said, “Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you to think”. Whether your eventual career goals are to make money, change the world, or impact the lives of other people, you should know how to code fluently. Regardless of your career, here are four reasons why students just like you should learn how to code. 

1.      Makes you More Competitive in the Job Market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment specifically for computer programmers will decline 8% over the next decade. However, this is not because the need for programming is diminishing, but because the need for a specialized computer programmer is diminishing. The duties and roles that a computer programmer performs are now being combined into other non-programming job roles. A study by job market analysis firm, Burning Glass, showed that in 2015 about half of the job openings requiring coding skills were outside of the technology realm. This includes finance, manufacturing, and health care jobs. Therefore, to get an edge on the competition, regardless of whether you want to work for a tech firm, you will need to learn to code.

2.      Coding will Make You the Big Bucks

Coding has become a skill that increases a candidate’s chances of commanding a higher salary. On average, jobs that include coding as a core skill, pay up to $22,000 more per year, and almost half of all jobs that pay more than $58,000 a year require some level of coding. Knowing how to code will help you boost your starting salary, and will make your education feel worth it.

3.      Developing A Holistic Approach to Thinking

Research has shown that learning how to code strengthens whole brain thinking. Coding helps to marry “art with science” and unlike many other skills, creates connections in both the left hemisphere, which houses logical and analytical thinking, and the right hemisphere, which houses creativity and artistic thinking. It promotes creativity and develops logical, technical, analytical, and problem-solving skills that ultimately help students grow and learn throughout their career. As a coder, students develop a new mindset and a new way of seeing the world. Even if you do not pursue a career in computer science or engineering, this mindset will help you think and critically solve problems in any field.

4.      Turn Your Dreams into Reality

“Coding is the closest thing we have to a superpower”, said the creator of Dropbox. If your dream after graduation is to start your own business, or non-profit organization, coding will help you develop programs that will turn your idea into reality. Learning how to code is like learning a new language – the language of 0s and 1s. You can take online or in-person classes. There are even free online coding resources.

According to Business Insider, the following programming languages are the most beneficial for students to learn in order to jumpstart their career:

·         Java, PHP, Perl, C Objective-C, JavaScript, Visual Basic, Ruby, Python, CSS and R.