When you think of the push for coding skills, you probably think of a large number of mostly tech firms offering increasingly competitive signing packages for new talent. But did you know that there are so many job openings that people don’t even know what to do with themselves?
In fact, the tech giant Facebook said in a recent publication that there will be a million programming jobs left unfulfilled by 2020. That’s solely for programming, by the way, which means that any form of web development or internet technology jobs were not included in that estimate.
Code is Everywhere
Perhaps the primary driving force behind the not-so-sudden uptick in software production is the fact that software is everywhere. In the words of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for the number of available software developer jobs is growing at about 21% per year, or “much faster than average.”
Part of the reason for that is that software developers are needed by almost every firm in every industry from coal mining to robotics. All you have to do is look around to see this in action.
When you send a text message, when you write on that Google Doc, when you edit the notes in a Salesforce account, etcetera, you’re using somebody else’s software created from code.
Coding Skills are Applicable to Any Industry
The fact that nearly every modern firm uses some kind of software has lead to coding skills becoming one of the few skill sets that know no corporate bounds. That is to say that coding skills are just as helpful in one industry as they are in another. Pick and choose the industries and you’ll find that this remains the truth.
Design, finance, healthcare, business, and countless other industries are currently hiring people with a working knowledge of code, pushing for coding skills from the front lines of the economy. As the global economy becomes more and more networked and uses more software and digital tools to function, this push for coding skills is likely to only increase in intensity.
Writing Code Teaches More than Just How to Code
Obviously, the act of writing code helps you learn how to write better code, but its benefits don’t stop there. In fact, there are a wide array of skills that coding practice can impart onto just about anybody.
These skills include more abstract benefits such as problem-solving and creative thinking as well as more concrete benefits such as improvements to your understanding of math and science.
The extent to which each of these benefits manifests itself varies from person to person and program to program, of course, but the general rule of thumb is as follows: if you’re coding, you’re learning.
The Economy is Becoming More and More Driven by Software
Among the fastest-growing industries in the world are advanced manufacturing and robotics, which together have a growth rate of 189.4%. This massive increase in job openings is both a product of the recent introduction of these fields to the world of mainstream tech as well as the result of a changing economy.
Between cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and social media advertising programs like Facebook’s Blueprint, the world is changing. Whereas the 1960s saw almost exclusively brick-and-mortar storefronts and offices, the 2010s have seen an increase in online-only businesses seeking to increase productivity by decreasing overhead.
Even Kids are Coding
One of the primary consequences of the worldwide push for coding skills in all industries has led to the increase in companies teaching “coding for kids” courses, often citing Facebook’s one-million-jobs figure as evidence for the importance of such programs.
David Dodge, CEO of Codakid, puts it this way: “Without a firm understanding of how to code, today’s kids are likely to miss out on what might be the biggest change economy has ever seen.”
As society moves further and further down the path of digitization, Dodge’s fears seem more and more real. However, there remains the possibility that, as Paul Krugman so infamously said, the importance of the Internet might prove to be “no greater than the fax machine’s.”
There is doubtless going to be disagreement over the “why” behind the big push for coding skills across industries, but the “what” and “when” are pretty self-evident: millions of tech jobs right now.
Of course, it is entirely possible that the influx of software developers and programmers into the market might result in an increase in the intensity of the push for coding skills, with companies across all industries increasing demand for more labor to match their newfound productivity.
Only tomorrow can tell!
Author: Hunter Amato
Hunter Amato is a content writer and editor that recently graduated from the Florida State University. He uses his profound skills in generating content for publication across the web.