Nov 9, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Coding has been declared to be the “most important job skill of the future” as well as being heralded as “the next mass profession”. But whether or not you plan on a career as a coder -- and you should at least think about it if you are looking for an in-demand profession -- learning to code can be a worthwhile pursuit. Read on for roundup of five reasons why you should learn to code.

1. You’ll hone your problem-solving skills.

How do computers work? It all comes down to coders, who write the code that tells computers what to do. Doing so involves the ability to put together objects and functions, a skill which transcends the coding world. Curiosity.com says, “These skills you use in coding are applicable to multiple facets of life. For example, coding forces you to break up a problem into a series of smaller steps and then logically create a program that solves them. This same approach can be applied to virtually every problem in life.”

But don’t take it from us. Take it from Steve Jobs, who once said, “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think. I view computer science as a liberal art.”

2. You’ll have boundless career opportunities.

If you are looking for a job with huge potential -- both in terms of security and salary -- look no further than coding.

“Programming is growing 12 percent faster than the job market average overall, while at the same time, Silicon Valley employs only 8 percent of coders. It’s a unique situation for a career that’s risen in popularity. Commanding a curious mind, the requisite skill sets can be attained through self-study, higher education and other hybrid outlets. On an accelerated path, coding has quickly become a service profession with endless occupational growth potential,” proposes Forbes.

3. You will become more self-sufficient.

Even if you don’t want a career as a coder, you will still benefit from acquiring coding skills. In most workplaces, tech teams are overwhelmed. As a result, workers with technical needs but no technical skills often end up waiting for help. Now imagine what you could accomplish if you had the skills to handle your own basic coding needs.

Marketing Director Tyler Moore told The Muse of his basic coding abilities, “I can build landing pages for marketing campaigns without having to rely on a designer or an engineer. I’ve mostly worked for technical startups and SaaS companies, and being able to iterate quickly has made it a lot easier to ship new campaigns, or to get something started that I can hand off to an actual designer or engineer for polishing.”

HTML, CSS, Go, and Python are a few languages worth knowing for non-techies. Plus, if you work with technical clients, being able to converse with them about coding in a non-clueless way is a credibility booster.

4. It improves your collaboration skills.

Whether you are a coder working with other coders or you are a member of a team working alongside coders, knowledge of coding can help you be a better collaborator.

Web producer Katelyn Cowen told The Muse, “It’s much easier to communicate with engineers, designers and product managers. I was able to give well-thought-out feedback regarding feature development, and could do more investigation when it came to bug triage.”

5. You just might change your life.

“The future is code,” proclaims Forbes. For those savvy enough to be on the forefront of the movement, life-changing possibilities await.

Consider the experiences of 2012 college graduate Laurence Bradford, who struggled with few career options after completing her degree. After adding coding to her skill set, however, her life changed for the better in many ways, including the freedom to make her own schedule; more earnings for less work; extra time to pursue outside interests and side project dreams; the ability to work remotely; and a sense of self-reliance and empowerment.

If you are lacking these things in your current work life, learning to code may turn out to be a transformative endeavor.

Perhaps the best part? From self-teaching to free online workshops to coding courses, there are many different ways to learn to code -- meaning just about anyone can get in on the boom. So what are you waiting for? A bright future in coding may be just a few clicks away.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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