Learning a new language can be a difficult task. And when that language is computer coding, it can be even more intimidating for beginners.
But here's a secret: coding isn't just for geniuses. As a matter of fact, almost anyone can learn how to code.
This skill is far more accessible than you might believe at first blush, and it benefits learners more than simply serving as a nice add-on for your resume. And here's why even non-programmers and those outside the tech industry should consider learning this essential skill.
Coding Sets You Up for Success in Tech
If you have an inclination to work in the ever-growing technology sector, learning to code is a fundamental step to help you get a toehold in the industry.
The tech scene is one of the hot industries to work in currently, and it's growing exponentially. According to an Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) report released earlier this year, Canada's economy will create around 218,000 tech jobs alone between now and 2020. But the same research shows that there isn't enough tech talent to fill all those new jobs.
So, while there are plenty of jobs out there for qualified candidates, the demand for tech workers far outstrips the supply. However, that puts job seekers in a unique position to set themselves up for success. To help more Canadian workers gain the foundational skills necessary to work in tech, the ICTC recommended that the government work with the educational system to implement computer science courses for students as young as five, and to give small businesses across the country tax credits to encourage them to hire the IT people they need to upgrade and maintain technologies.
Putting their recommendations aside, it's obvious that the tech sector offers a wealth of viable opportunities for ambitious professionals. And coding schools like BrainStation enable students to gain the skills they need in just a few weeks to be competitive candidates for those coveted designer, programmer, and developer positions.
Coding Isn't Just for Programmers (or Techies)
In the immortal words of famed Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, "Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, should learn a computer language, because it teaches you how to think."
While programmers and developers obviously need a solid background in coding, this skill doesn't exclusively benefit this group.
Being well versed even in basic coding languages (i.e. HTML5 and CSS3) can benefit folks who work in a plethora of industries, including marketing, advertising, product management, and design.
For example, a span of industries and roles use a variety of software to automate processes. Knowing a few lines of code can make working with making pieces of software far easier for the user, and this skill is practically a fundamental component of basic digital literacy these days.
Designers and marketers can also use coding to quickly create essential tools used in their day-to-day job functions, including web sites, landing pages, leadpages, and much more.
Possessing basic coding knowledge empowers you to make informed asks when working with programmers and web designers. You have a deeper understanding of what's possible, and are able to work more closely to create a product that better fulfills your vision.
Coding Knowledge Isn't Overpriced
One of the advantages of learning this skill is that it doesn't cost anything close to the sticker price of a university education, but the return on investment is just as significant for your career prospects.
Advanced degrees like an MBA or a Masters degree can dramatically increase a candidate's earning potential, depending on the school and career path. However, that boost in income comes at a huge cost and significant time commitment. The average total tuition for Canadian MBAs is now more than $22,000, and annual postgraduate tuition is upwards of $6,000. And MBAs generally require 18 months to two years of full-time study to graduate, which is a significant period to study without the aid of a full-time income.
In comparison, coding and tech-focused bootcamps are far less expensive while still helping graduates become competitive job candidates. For example, BrainStation's full-time, 10-week course in Web Development costs $10,000 -- less than half the cost of an MBA. And according to salary reporting website PayScale, the median annual income for a Software Engineer/Programmer is $60,651. Not a bad starting point, particularly since students only need to take a 10-week sabbatical from full-time work to learn the necessary programming skills.
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