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Why every tech pro should learn to code

Sarah K. White | July 27, 2016
You might think the need for coding skills applies only to programmers, but that is far from the case. This popular STEM skill has found its way into nearly every industry and is quickly becoming a skill.

Coding is one of the hottest skills on the tech market. According to a recent survey from Burning Glass, programming jobs are growing 12 percent faster than the average. According to the survey in 2015 there were seven million job openings that required coding skills.

To discover trends around occupations, skills, credentials and salaries, Burning Glass evaluated its database of 26 million unique job postings collected in the U.S. in 2015. The study found that in the "career track" category -- defined as jobs that pay at least $15 per hour -- the positions that required coding skills paid, on average, $22,000 more per year than those that didn't. But interestingly, coding wasn't confined to programming jobs; it emerged as a necessary skill in data analysis, arts and design, engineering, information technology and science. That's why it might be time to learn how to code -- and if you have kids, it's time to get them on the bandwagon too.

Coding is for more than just tech workers

Everyone wants to remain valuable in their respective industry -- and coding skills will always be viewed as a value-add on your resume -- whether you're in IT or not, according to Davis. In the past, it might have seemed odd for a project manager or marketing manager to list coding as a skill, but now it could actually give you an advantage in the job market.

Davis uses the example of one recruiter at Kavaliro who wrote a simple web plug-in to save everyone in the company around two hours of mundane work each day. He also gives the hypothetical example of an accountant who can write a macro that helps your entire department be more productive. These are examples of simple programs that wouldn't require a degree in computer science, but they will certainly make you stand out among your peers.

"You never know when coding knowledge will come in handy, but it's guaranteed to help you get ahead in some way," says Davis.

Dave Karow, director of product marketing at BlazeMeter, a company focused on offering performance engineering platforms for DevOps, agrees. He says that you might have an employee who is great at creating macros in Excel -- something that could benefit plenty of departments outside of IT. Or even an employee who can write a simple web-app to solve a small problem for the department, without having to go through IT and possibly wait months for a solution. "The point is that the future belongs to those who can create just what is needed -- and quickly -- rather than waiting months or years for some outside entity to deliver a packaged solution for them," says Karow.

 

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