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5 Reasons You Should Learn to Code

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At Launch Academy, we’re committed to teaching anyone how to code and fostering awesome web development careers. Check out five reasons we think attending a coding bootcamp and pursuing a software engineer career is worth doing.

1. Coding Skills are in High Demand

Get ready to be the most popular kid in the cafeteria, because the job market is exploding with a need for programmers. Just to give you an idea, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27 percent growth in available web developer jobs over the next seven years. Professional developers are no longer confined to tech companies. As technology has creeped into just about every facet of business and personal life, every sector has developed an online presence. Want to work for a flashy tech startup? Go for it. Prefer the stability of a large multinational corporation? They’re clamoring for developers, too. Your options are wide open.

This also means the software engineering community is growing. So not only will you have a solid career in a great industry, you’ll also have tons of people with whom you can connect, collaborate, and learn.

But the most important part about having a skill that’s in high demand? You’re largely insulated from the uncertainty of the job market. So if you start working at a startup that promises to change the world through their revolutionary WiFi-enabled toaster (with Twitter integration!) and the company doesn’t get their expected VC funding, you’ll have recruiters chasing after you as soon as you change your LinkedIn status.

2. Coding Jobs Pay Well, Offer Work-Life Balance

Work isn’t just about money, but a little extra cash never hurt anyone. Tech professionals are among the highest-paid workers out of any industry. Plus, there is huge potential to grow and develop your skills so your base salary can keep expanding along with your knowledge. A recent Dice salary survey shows that average U.S. tech salaries come in around $92,000, with 61 percent of those surveyed having received a salary increase from the previous year.

Wherever you end up—whether it’s Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, or even Dallas—your new skills will give you increased earning potential. All things considered, web developers have roughly the same salary in relation to living expenses no matter where they are. So when you’re deciding where to live (or where to attend a coding bootcamp), choose a place based on where you want to be, rather than average starting salary. (Those tempting six-figure starting salaries in Silicon Valley mean a lot less when you’re looking at an average monthly rent of $3,500 for a one-bedroom apartment, or $4,750 for a two-bedroom.)

Another bonus: According to Glassdoor’s 29 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance, mobile developers come in high (number 8). Money is nice, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t have time away from work to spend it. Working in software development offers the best of both worlds: excellent pay and plenty of time to enjoy yourself.The tech industry is a great place to work—no ties or high heels required. But a denim-friendly workplace is just the beginning. The tech space is overwhelmingly laid-back and open in order to facilitate collaboration and a space people actually enjoy coming to day after day. People who are happy in their work environments tend to be more productive than their unhappy counterparts—and the tech industry is taking notice.

3. You’ll Always Learn Something New

Coding isn’t something you can master. If you like a challenge and constant education, this is the ultimate job. And when we say you’ll be learning, we’re not talking about the “make a million flashcards, buy a bunch of highlighters, and regurgitate everything you memorized tomorrow morning.” We’re talking about the deep, meaningful learning that gives you the tools to create things that matter.

There aren’t any textbooks, but daily tests are a given. You might go into a job being comfortable with one programming language, and instead be asked to work on a project in a language or framework you don’t know (yet). You’ll be expected to lean on your peers and your previous knowledge to grow your understanding and tackle new problems. And remember that “community” thing we talked about earlier? Your coding probably won’t end when you leave the office. With so many Meetups, hackathons, and people who are genuinely excited to talk programming all the time, you’ll learn a lot outside of work, too.

4. You Get to Be Creative

Being able to actually build something and see the finished product is incredibly satisfying. It’s a special moment when you put the finishing touches on something you coded or played a major role in coding.

In most cases, turning an idea into reality can be expensive. Tangible things require tangible inputs, and those inputs can be pretty expensive. Constructing a building, opening a restaurant, making an indie film—these all require significant capital investment. But in software development, the only tangible thing you need is a computer with a text editor. You’re only limited by the hours in a day.

5. Coding is the Ultimate Golden Ticket

Coding can be the token to understanding much of the world around you. If you understand how things work—or at least the underpinnings that make ‘em tick—you’ll be better equipped to handle the technology-based challenges that creep into everyday life.

Coding gives you the framework to understand so much of the world that you interact with on a daily basis. A world of self-driving cars and vacuuming robots can be a little terrifying if you don’t understand the underpinnings of how they work, but when you know the foundation these things are built on and the rules they follow, you’ve got a leg up.

Want to discuss coding with someone from Launch Academy? Schedule a phone consultation and let’s chat soon!

Britni Birt is a former member of the Launch Academy marketing team.

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