Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk: Today’s business role models are those who have created technology products that define and shape the behavior of millions — the iPhone, Facebook, Tesla, PayPal. And none of them could have got where they were without coding. Take Elon Musk — he wrote his first computer game aged 12 and successfully sold it for $500.
Coding is Now a Core Skill
Elon probably doesn’t code that much anymore, he has employees to do that for him — but the principles and skills he learnt are essential for managing his employees, coming up with new business ideas, and running his company.
And that’s why coding is so essential. Even if you’re not coding yourself on a day-to-day basis, you’ll probably be either supervising programmers or working alongside them in some capacity.
Half of all programming openings aren’t in the ‘technology’ industry. Instead, they are in finance, science, engineering, healthcare, and more (source: Burning Glass).
Coding is no longer a specialist skill; it’s a core skill.
Let’s look at an example — the fashion industry. Wearable technology today means bracelets and smartwatches, but in a few years’ time there will be smart clothing that can do everything your phone does today and more. Workout clothes that track your performance, shirts that can call a taxi at the end of your night out, underwear that monitors your health: the possibilities are almost endless.
Faced with that future, which fashion student is more hireable: Student A with just a fashion degree, or Student B, who has a fashion degree too, but has also taught themselves to code?
I know which one I’d hire. Student B will be able to understand and communicate with the specialists creating the tech easily and will require significantly less training.
Future Trends Are Tech-Focused
It’s been said that children today will have as many as seven different jobs, and five of those haven’t even been invented yet. That might be true, but by looking at new, disruptive technologies starting to come into play today, we can see that there will be a high demand for coding skills:
Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), Wearable Technology, Virtual Reality; almost all future trends will require coding skills.
Meanwhile, traditional jobs — manufacturing, transportation, even financial trading — are at risk from artificial intelligence. Even law, a traditionally ‘safe’ job with good prospects, is at risk of contracting, as artificial intelligence learns to do much of the legwork that makes up a lawyer’s day-to-date job.
Now even more worried about your future career prospects? Don’t be. You’ve got time to learn to code if you want to and there are tools that allow you to teach yourself, for free. Whatever your chosen industry, learning to code could be one of the best career choices you make.