Thinking of learning a new set of skills to enhance your chances of success?
Consider learning how to code, a skill that allows you to create basic to complex programs that help companies to run their business more efficiently. We’ll give you five good reasons why having a set of coding skills can help your career no matter what field you’re in.
But first, set aside the misconception that programming is only for geniuses or that you need to go back to school to learn it. Or that it’s too late for you. Anybody can learn how to code pretty much like anybody can learn how to write effectively at any stage in their career even without a journalism or communications degree.
Moreover, you can learn how to code online at the comfort of your room. TED.com lists some of the online places where even people without a basic background in programming can kick start their coding knowledge.
So here are five reasons why the ability to code can put your career in high gear.
Let’s start with the most obvious. The US Labor Statistics predicts a 22% job demand for programming in the next ten years. That’s double the rate for all occupations, which is at 11% only. You’ll have a sweet time choosing which jobs to pick—in case you decide to shop around—while your colleagues have to deal with the increasingly limited work benefits in the job market.
In short, you’re more employable with a coding knowledge than otherwise.
Coding skills are now a critical component in almost any business operations, from accounting to communications, to project management and sales and marketing.
While the IT department will be busy with the company’s major technical infrastructure like online security, intranets, and system integration, your coding skills can help in minor fixes like creating a database for office supplies, upgrading the corporate or product website’s front-end, or creating a task schedule alert.
With the internet now a competitive marketplace for companies, if you’re in sales, for instance, and you know how to code, you have more chances to lead a team than your colleague whose online knowledge only amounts to tinkering with Facebook privacy settings. You can create mailers, sales pages, microsites and e-commerce sites, while keeping a sales perspective.
You can either stick it out to your current profession and be competitive, or shift to a full-time IT career if you have a set of coding skills.
Having some coding skills can also insulate your position from job cuts. Let’s say one day your company decides to ship your department offshore, you’re least likely to be at the chopping block considering that the company needs your skills for the transition. Offshore operations require a great deal of monitoring and database and document syncing. With both the perspective of your position and coding skills, you’re in a more powerful position to remain valuable to the company.
If you decide to focus on programming, you’ll find more chances of working at home or anywhere. Telecommuting is more common among programmers than any other profession. You just need a computer, an internet connection, and your coding skills to deliver results. If you’re raising a family, working at home gives you a lot of flexibility.
Lastly, it’s easier to start a company with a set of coding skills. That’s because you can readily execute ideas and fine tune them. Even if you’re selling non-technical products or services like offering cartooning services for example, having a set of coding skills means you can easily sell to the world by creating sales channels online.
Learning to code goes beyond the technical aspect. It means you can think more creatively, develop a systematic reasoning, and work collaboratively with technical people in critical areas of the business. Skills that are not only employable, but competitive are the ones that can take your career all the way to the upper echelons of the company.
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