So, you want to know why you should learn to code? Let me ask you this – do you want to open yourself up to more job opportunities? Earn a lot of money and work fewer hours? Be able to work from absolutely anywhere in the world? Be the master of your own schedule and choose when you work? Feel rewarded by your job and feel empowered by your career? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then read on to discover my top five reasons you should learn to code!
When I stumbled upon code, I had no idea the opportunities it would open up for me. It started out as a hobby, something I enjoyed, and rapidly turned into so much more. I’ve gone from the days of tinkering with static HTML and CSS files, to now being a fully fledged WordPress Web Developer, in a relatively short space of time. Learning code has allowed me to achieve the things I’d only dreamed of before. If you learn to code, the number of doors this could open for you is endless.
Here’s the rundown of my top five reasons why you should learn to code:
- Learn to code and you’ll increase your job opportunities
- You’ll be able to earn more, but work less
- You can work from anywhere when you learn to code
- Learning to code is super rewarding
- When you learn to code, you’ll have more freedom
1. Learn to code and you’ll increase your job opportunities
Adding coding to your resume will increase the job opportunities available to you. Having code skills and tech skills is now, more than ever, desirable in the eyes of an employer. The SkillCrush slogan sums it up perfectly – “Digital skills are job skills”. Preach! Technology is moving forward at its fastest pace ever. Having a technical skill such as being able to code also shows an employer that you have the ability and dedication to learn, you pay attention to detail, you’re a logical thinker and you possess good communication skills.
When you learn to code, aside from being a web developer, here are other jobs you could land once you learn to code:
Marketing Coordinator – On the whole, marketing coordinators put marketing plans into action, track their progress then improve marketing plans based on the results. Like most other industries, the marketing industry has gone digital. Learning to code, and knowing the basics of HTML and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), will make you an awesome marketer. Marketing has moved into the online space, so much so that you can even build an entire career out of digital marketing.
Technical Writer – Technical writers produce written material in the form of documentation, user guides and even blog content for the tech industry. Learn to code and you’ll be awesome at this job because, simply put, you will know what you’re talking about. Even if you’re not a specialist in every single tech field, you’ll have a good grasp of the tech terminology, making you better suited for the job than the average joe.
User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Designer – UX designers have the user at the center of their focus. It’s all about making products user friendly. UI designers focus on the interface and appearance, the looks. Knowing how to code will enable you to do both these jobs as you’ll be able to communicate with the developers and designers. Learn code and it will give you an understanding of the limitations faced by the engineers and developer and you’ll have an understanding of design principles and the tools used to create mockups.
Project Manager – Project managers are needed in a lot of fields. Their role is to manage budgets, timelines, deliverables and most importantly, the different professions collaborating on a project. Knowing code will make you good at project managing as you’ll have an understanding of the different professions you’ll be coordinating such as developers, engineers and designers. Learn code and it will give you an understanding of the vital role each profession is playing, and you’ll be able to communicate well with each of them.
2. You’ll be able to earn more, but work less
I speak from experience when I say that learning to code will enable you to earn more money but work fewer hours. Well, the earning more part is true, but I’m a self confessed workaholic. Learning to code has allowed me to earn more money than I ever earned before. Even more than when I was part of a cyber security team. Like I mentioned at the start, digital skills are job skills, and well paying job skills for that matter. When you learn to code, regardless of whether you choose the freelance or employed route, you could end up making a lot of money. I chose the freelance route, so I’m able to set my own prices. I worked my way up from $20 an hour when I first learned code, to over $100 an hour today. If you choose the employment route, knowing how to code is highly valuable to pretty much every company in this tech age, and companies will pay a lot of money for people will valuable skills.
I work a hell of a lot… probably more than most people in full time employment. But that’s because I love what I do. Let’s say you learn to code and your hourly rate is $40 an hour and you only want to earn $2,000 a month, because that’s what you need to maintain your lifestyle. You’d only need to work 50 hours a month. That’s 12.5 hours a week and breaks down to only needing to do 2.5 hours a day (5 days a week). Staggering, right? Think of what you could do with all your free time. Spend it with family, learn new skills, pursue hobbies, or in my case… do more work!
3. You can work from anywhere when you learn to code
Well, anywhere with wifi and a laptop! You can work from an office, from home, from another state or even another country! We’ve all seen videos of people who have been traveling the world for years, having awesome adventures and maintaining glamorous lifestyles. Chances are, these people have some kind of tech skills. They’ll show you the videos of them climbing to the top of mountains and swimming with dolphins, but they don’t show you what’s behind the scenes. Behind the scenes they’re more than likely typing away furiously on a laptop. Using code and tech skills to make a living while they pursue their dream to travel. Do you want to live like these people? Well you can, all you need to do is learn to code and become a digital nomad!
Digital nomads are people who have the tech skills that allow them to work from anywhere. So they make the most of that and they go nomad. Being a nomad means you have no permanent address, you can live and work wherever you want. And this is what I’m going to be doing! My tech skills have enabled be to become a digital nomad, like so many other people who decided to learn to code. Honestly, without learning code, I 100% would not be able move into an RV and travel America. Having tech skills is the reason I can make my dream of traveling full-time a reality.
4. Learning to code is super rewarding
The sad reality is that not many 9-5 jobs are rewarding. They’re mundane, monotonous and quite frankly, they don’t challenge you enough. If you’re happy with having an unfulfilling professional life, then by all means, stay in your 9-5 job. If however, you want a professional life that challenges you, learn to code. I am one of those people that needs to be challenged in their career to feel fulfilled professionally. Code is just challenging enough to make it enjoyable, but not so challenging it’s impossible. Learn to code and you’ll be able to create websites and web applications that you’re proud of. Being able to build and create something is super rewarding. Not only do you get to create, you get to help. I’ve been able to help other businesses and freelancers get online for the first time, or even help them improve their existing website. By helping them with their online presence, they have increased their business and become more profitable. Most importantly, I go to bed every night knowing that I’ve achieved something and feel rewarded by my job, and I wake up every morning raring to go!
5. When you learn to code, you’ll have more freedom
When you learn to code, not only will you be able to go nomad, you’ll have freedom in so many other aspects than location. When you’re a freelancer, you’ll be the master of your own schedule. Like I said, if you want to work 2.5 hours a day and not a minute more, you can do that. If you’re a workaholic like me, you can work well into your evenings and weekends. If you want to take a day off, you can. If you want to go on vacation for a month, you can do that too. Just make sure you take your laptop along so you can get your geek on while relaxing by the pool!
Being able to work less means you’ll have more time to pursue your hobbies and interests. You could be a more active member of your local community or even learn something new and adventurous like Kite-Surfing! Whatever that hobby is that you’ve been dying to pursue, learning to code could help you have a more adventurous and fulfilling personal life as well as a professional one!
I’m notorious for not being able to say no to clients, but if you wanted to, you’d have the freedom to turn away jobs. Being a freelance entrepreneur, you can pick and choose the clients and jobs you want to take on. You can specialise your skills for your dream client avatar, and choose only to work with them. Alternatively, variety is the spice of life, and you could choose to work with anyone and everyone who asks for your help. Oh, and that’s the other awesome thing that will happen when you learn to code, people will come to YOU, asking if you can work for THEM! People seeking you out, to pay for your service, that’s the dream! No more having to fill out those tedious job applications. You’ll be able to create your own freelance business and become your own boss. Isn’t that the dream?
To sum up
Chose to learn to code and you’ll never look back. Even if you don’t go on to develop websites and web applications, you’ll be equipped with skills that can help you land so many other jobs. Not only will you have the freedom to choose from more job opportunities, you’ll have the freedom to become your own boss, live and work from wherever you have a laptop and wifi. So what are you waiting for?! Learn to code and see where it takes you…because it can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go.