In the 21st century, if you want to learn a skill that opens doors to multiple careers, coding is the way to go. The career prospects for a coder is ever expanding, from the obvious coding jobs to entrepreneurship.
Learning how to code is probably one of the most valuable skills you can have. You not only teach yourself the language of the 21st century, but also open doors to various career paths. However, these need not be only programming jobs; you will also find that learning to code brings new opportunities in non-tech jobs too. Just in the US alone, Burning Glass, a job market analytics firm, found that there were as many as 7 million job openings in 2015 in occupations that required coding skills.
Here is a list of the main career paths you can venture into after becoming a programmer. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list as the number of new jobs created by coding increases every year.
The coding jobs
This is the easiest career path that you can imagine after learning to code, and there is a plethora of them in the job market. One quick search in SEEK for coding jobs returns over 15,000 current vacancies in Australia… and these are just for the jobs that require developers and/or programmers. This is not even a representative number of the total market for coding jobs. Furthermore, the diversity in ‘coding jobs’ allows you to choose any niche you want. A handful of these titles include: game developer, web developer, robotics programmer, machine learning researcher, and so on. If you are looking to tackle cool problems and build things in the 21st century, then coding is the way to go.
The business jobs
A lot of the business jobs today are not only about the soft skills. The integration of technology into every aspect of business has made it crucial for people in these jobs to be adept at coding. Therefore, if you already possess the soft skills needed for a given position, your coding background will give you a competitive edge over other more ‘traditional’ applicants. Even employees who currently work in a position like a project manager will find that learning how to code enables them to better communicate the needs of the organisation to those working in technical roles. Other roles where coding is an advantage include: customer support, growth hacker, product manager, content marketer, technical recruiter, and so on.
The data jobs
We’re living in the era of data. Being able to draw insights from data allows businesses and organisations to do their work efficiently and effectively. For instance, a business might be able to understand its customers and deliver better service, or a research facility might be able to spot anomalies in blood samples. There is high demand for people who can manipulate data; but, to do this, you first need to be able to code. Learning statistical programming languages like R, Stata, SPSS, and/or Python can lead you to a career in data. Some roles you might then be able to go for include: data analyst, actuary, data scientist, economist, biostatistician, biomedical engineer, and so on.
The design jobs
The tech industry has disrupted even the most creative jobs. It is no longer the case that designers spend time sketching their ideas onto a white sheet of paper. The norm today is to use digital tools to create virtual products. If you are a creative person and have a coding background, a whole new world of design jobs open for you. These include jobs like: graphic designer, web designer, game designer, UX/UI designer, digital product designer, and so on.
One of the most exciting fields to venture into as a coder is entrepreneurship. If you look at the categories of startups in the world, you will see that an overwhelming number of them are tech driven. In the startup world, coding and entrepreneurship have almost become synonymous. Knowing how to code can help you launch your product and drive down your costs, while making you a more logical, creative problem solving entrepreneur.
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