Every day, more and more people are turning to online programming courses to teach themselves how to code — and for good reason. Whether you're looking to switch careers or simply see programming as a hobby, learning how to code is a fulfilling, transformative experience with a wide range of benefits.
Some of these benefits are professional. Many people are drawn to the competitive salaries, job security, and flexibility within the tech industry. Others are more drawn to its personal benefits, viewing coding as a form of creative expression or enticed by technology's potential to improve our society.
To help you decide if it's right for you, we turned to our community and asked our learners about what they wanted to achieve through programming. Below, we'll explore their answers in this list of 8 reasons to learn how to code.
1. Remote work
As illustrated in the comment below, working remotely was the most popular reason to learn how to code among our learners.
Tedosuji echoes a sentiment shared across the country. According to Forbes, 61% of the US workforce "prefers being fully remote," and 97% prefer a hybrid of remote and in-person.
The desire for remote work is no surprise when you consider its many benefits. For example, cutting out your commute can improve your work-life balance and allow for more time with family — not to mention its environmental benefits.
Working remotely has even been shown to boost productivity. After studying in-person and remote workers for two years, Stanford University found that the latter took less time off and accomplished significantly more than their counterparts.
Remote work is becoming even more popular in the tech industry after many companies made the switch during the pandemic. If you find yourself drawn to the idea of working from home, check out this list of high-paying remote tech jobs to find your future career path.
2. Switch careers
Many of our learners join our community because they're looking to switch careers. As Ellie notes in the comment below, sometimes you need a change, and programming is a fascinating career with almost endless opportunities.
The endless opportunities within a programming career stem from the vast amount of different programming languages and their many applications. Want to help companies build and maintain their online platforms? Learn how to use programming languages like HTML and CSS to create beautiful websites. Or maybe you're fascinated with AI and dream of working with robots. In that case, take a Python course and learn how to build machine learning models.
3. Job Security
One of the reasons why so many people are becoming developers is because their skills are in such high demand — and they will be for a long time.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Software Developers are in very high demand, with a job market expected to rise by 22% over the next decade. Similarly, there's also a great demand for Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers — as illustrated by their high rankings in LinkedIn's list of the top emerging jobs in the US.
4. Personal satisfaction
While there are many professional benefits to learning how to code, as Sardarsa notes in the comment below, nothing beats the satisfaction you get from building your first application.
Coding can also improve your reasoning and problem-solving ability, teaching you how to break complex processes into simple steps as you learn how to think like a programmer.
5. Creative expression
As we said above, coding is quickly becoming more popular as a form of creative expression. The creativity in coding can manifest in various ways, whether through an innovative approach to a problem, game development, or even art.
6. Contribute to primary goals
You know what they say: "If you want something done right..."
As Micro illustrates in the comment above, learning how to code can help you advance your primary pursuits. Whether you're looking to start your own business or create a portfolio that showcases your skills, understanding the basics of web development will help you keep your online platforms polished and effective.
Above, another of our members, Rowan, shows us that coding is beneficial even for non-technical professionals. Marketers, sales teams, Product Managers, and more can all benefit from learning how to use tools like SQL, which allows them to pull valuable data from their company's databases. In another post, we take a closer look at the benefits of learning to code for non-programmers.
7. Salary expectations
Along with job security and the potential to work from home, many people learn coding because of the salary expectations for developers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average Software Developer earns $110,140 a year.
Web Developers can also expect a decent salary, with averages in the US ranging between $106,129 and $120,752 depending on specialization. The same holds true for Data Scientists, who average $119,828.
Salary expectations for developers often exceed the six-figure mark because their skills are required in virtually every industry. In another article, we dive deeper into the different types of coders and how much they make.
8. Improve society through technology
Lastly, several of our learners offered altruistic reasons for learning to code. Jon, another community member, points to software's potential to improve our society in the comment below:
Jon touches on a key point that's often overlooked in discussions about the benefits of coding. Technology is revolutionizing almost every industry, including healthcare, where it can make health information and services more accessible.
Take Sophie, a conversational AI developed by UneeQ. Released early on in the pandemic, Sophie used natural language processing to help people discern truth from myth by providing a reliable source of information about COVID-19.
As Ascensian indicates, software is also being used to revolutionize the global economy with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin that rely on Blockchain technology. To learn more, check out our introduction to Blockchain course.
As you can see, there are many different reasons why you should learn how to code. What motivates you? What are you hoping to achieve through programming? Leave your answer in a comment below. Or, if this article served as a catalyst for you to learn coding, take your first steps by figuring out which programming language is right for you.