How being fluent in a computer language can boost your employability
Do you know how to code? If not, you might want to learn sooner rather than later. Here’s why.
Employers want candidates with computer skills
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the time we spend using technology at work will increase by 50 percent by 2030. Automation, big data, analytics, robotics, and AI are all changing how we perform work. That’s why employers are looking for candidates who have some technological skills — such as coding and other programming skills — in addition to their core professional skills.
So why is this?
First, many employers want people who can utilize computers even if there’s no existing application for a task. This may be the case with data collection and analysis, for example. Both are much more easily and quickly accomplished when you automate the process.
At the same time, it’s often easier to use or customize an application if you have knowledge of computer languages. This is especially important when you understand that each organization has its own specific processes that don’t always correlate with a standard version of an application.
Finally, it’s easier to communicate your needs to engineers and other software designers if you have an understanding of programming. Since many companies have their own systems or applications custom built, this can be a critical advantage.
How do you benefit?
Of course, before you invest time and money in acquiring computer skills, it’s important to understand how you can benefit. According to Ashley Hockney in her article “5 Underrated Benefits of Learning to Code (Even if You’re Not an Engineer),” candidates who have completed technical coursework are 50 percent more likely to get matched when applying for non-technical positions. What’s more: In the report “Beyond Point and Click,” Burning Glass reports that jobs that require coding skills pay on average $22,000 more than other jobs. In short, knowing how to code gives you better job prospects and will enable you to earn more.
What skills are in demand?
Lydia Dishman’s article “Why Coding Is Still the Most Important Job Skill of the Future” for FastCompany lists the most in-demand programming languages:
There are various ways you can learn to code. You can take a class or teach yourself from a book. One of the best ways to do it is via an online course. Fortunately, there are many free courses where you can learn the basics and move on to more advanced coding — while getting feedback from your peers. Think of Codeademy, Coursera, edX, and Codewars.
Learning how to code might take some time and effort, but it can have a big payoff for your career — and your income!
McKinsey Global Institute — Skill Shift: Automation and the Future of the Workforce
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