Digital technologies have been a disruptor in so many industries. And as our lives become more interconnected with technology, there will be a constant demand for professionals with a background in coding.
The importance of coding skills is recognized even among students. Research commissioned by global software company KX shows that 58% of US students aged 16 to 23 believe that coding is a valuable skill for career prospects. As such, they already know how to code or intend to learn it. However, coding isn’t exclusive to young people or those only just starting in their careers. Because of the skill’s importance in today’s society, there are many resources for people of any age or professional background to transition into these careers.
Here are some things you need to know if you’re considering a career change into coding.
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Is it a good idea to get into coding?
Coding is a highly lucrative skill considering how many industries already use existing digital technologies and are looking for more innovative applications. Because of this, there will always be space for professionals who know how to code. For instance, the BLS projects that the employment of software developers will grow by 25% between 2021 to 2031. Meanwhile, the employment of data scientists will increase by 36% within the same time frame. Both these rates are growing much faster than the average for all jobs.
A coding career also opens you up to lifelong learning and improvement. With the world constantly moving forward, there will always be space for you to progress in your skills and creativity.
What are your career options for coding?
Another great thing about coding is that it’s involved in multiple jobs that keep businesses in every industry running. Professionals who code may take up many tasks, including developing software, enhancing cybersecurity, and maintaining critical digital infrastructures. This allows you to choose from a versatile range of positions. However, today’s most in-demand coding careers may see you becoming either a developer or an analyst.
Developers work with clients to make software and websites. They’re in charge of the creation, maintenance, and smooth operation of the programs that they code. As a website developer, you can be in charge of either front-end, back-end, or full-stack development. Front-end is concerned with the part of the website users will see, back-end covers the scripts that make the site run in the background — and full-stack covers both. Meanwhile, software development will see you design computer programs that fit your client’s niche, whether they be video games or mobile apps.
Analyst jobs are critical for assessing and addressing threats and developing responses. Two careers you can pursue here involve being an information security or computer systems analyst. Information security analysts are responsible for protecting organizations against security breaches through data encryption and security system testing. Meanwhile, computer systems analysts use business information technology to ensure all an organization’s computer systems work as intended. Whether you’re an information security analyst or a computer systems analyst, you need to have updated techniques for upgrading the systems that you’re working with.
In addition, you can look into other jobs like computer systems engineering, cloud solutions architecture, game development, and countless others.
How do you get started with your career change?
There are abundant resources available to help you learn to code, ranging from boot camps to tech meetups to mentorship. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of these opportunities, which is why considering a different job or career path requires being strategic about the learning process. Here are a few steps you can take to build your own strategy:
Determine what you need to learn
Determine how you want to learn
From here, you can explore the available resources for the skills you want to learn. Generally, you can choose between learning on your own, joining coding boot camps, or earning a degree in computer science. If you want to teach yourself, you can start by watching video lessons or reading books and trying out simple programming projects here on TLe Apps, like building a BMI calculator app. You can also look into nearby colleges or universities to see how viable their computer science programs are for you. Although a bachelor’s degree can provide you with comprehensive training, it may require some balancing between your current job and your finances. Fortunately, there are also many opportunities for coding boot camps, which are widely available online. These short-term programs allow you to forego the four-year commitment to a bachelor’s degree while allowing you to specialize in specific areas. So if you want to learn cloud computing or web development, you can focus solely on that.
Build your portfolio
Finally, you can track your progress by taking more advanced coding projects over time. Once you feel competent in a certain programming language, you can even freelance and take on projects from various clients at your own pace. This way, you can build an extensive portfolio that can help you nab your dream job in the coding career of your choice.
Career changes can be daunting, but they can be rewarding when done right. These tips can help you open up lifelong opportunities for improvement and creativity in a coding career.