Why and How Every College Student Should Learn Some Coding

Why and How Every College Student Should Learn Some Coding

Mastering your coding skills can be valuable if you are considering a career in the expanding computer and tech industry. There are more employment options in technology due to the world becoming more digital. In fact, industry analysts anticipate an increase in tech and digital occupations in the next ten years.

In addition to opening up more opportunities and having higher job stability, learning some basic coding skills is a great way to challenge your brain, keep up with the changing world, solve problems, and make cool stuff.

What is Coding?

Coding is writing in languages that computers can understand so they can execute commands and instructions. Coding is a core skill in programming or software development, which is the process of creating computer programs and applications.

Software programs, mobile apps, and websites are all developed using coding. Coding skills are increasingly in high-demand in this world of technological advancement.

College students can benefit from learning to code even if it is not part of their college degree.

Reasons Why Every College Student Should Learn Coding

  1. 1

    Keep Up with the World’s Demands

    The world is turning digital, which means that everybody relies on computers and the internet. Computers will only dominate our lifestyle more in the future.

    In fact, 67% of new jobs in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in the United States are in computing. However, the number of college students studying computer technology and software development is too small to meet the growing demands of coding and computer programming professionals.

    It’s only reasonable that computer literacy and technical skills should have the same treatment as other foundational skills like reading, writing, and mathematics.

  2. college student standing outside on a college campus
  3. 2

    Get Better Job Opportunities

    College students who have adequate programming skills will have more advantages in employment opportunities. They can take unfilled coding-related jobs even though they do not have a technology degree.

    Professionals in the computer and information technology field have a median annual wage of $100,530. Senior software developers take home over $120,000. The job growth for computer programmers in this field between 2022 to 2032 is 25%, which is faster than the average occupation.

    The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage in the computer and information technology field (including computer programmers and software developers) is $ 97,430. Senior software developers take home over $100,000. The job growth for this field between 2020 to 2030 is 13%, which is faster than the average occupation.

  4. 3

    Enjoy Career Flexibility

    Job availability, demand, and settings can change the course of one’s career. Those with solid coding skills who can’t find positions according to the degree they earned in college can still pursue other work opportunities. In fact, they can seamlessly switch to more in-demand positions like software engineer, computer programmer, and web developer.

  5. 4

    Exercises the Brain

    Working with source codes stimulates areas of the brain that involve working memory, attention, and language processing. Coding is a computational task that engages the brain and keeps it from growing idle. A stimulated brain is a healthy one.

  6. 5

    Sparks Creativity

    Coding is also an avenue for self-expression in a way that students need to be creative to solve real-life problems. The coding process allows them to see the result of their work in real-world settings.

    For example, programming and coding make it possible to create computer programs and apps that make tasks like shopping and running errands easier and more convenient. With coding, students can use their problem solving skills to make games and apps to inspire fun and excitement.

    Coding offers limitless possibilities, fostering creativity and imagination to contribute to a better world.

  7. 6

    Solves Problems

    Success in coding requires computational and problem-solving skills. Writing code doesn’t always yield the desired results, so coders must test, identify, and rectify errors. These problem-solving, logical, and analytical skills acquired in coding are transferable to other professions and tasks, enhancing overall capabilities.

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How to Start Learning to Code

After discussing why every college student should learn to code, how does one start learning?

Governments could make coding a mandatory subject, ensuring all students can understand, appreciate, and reap the benefits of coding. But this is far from the reality due to several reasons, including a lack of talent in the field. Unless students major in computer science or related fields, they must take the initiative to seize learning opportunities.

Here are some proven ways to learn coding

  1. 1

    Sign up for a course (free or paid)

    Online learning platforms like edX, Udemy, and Coursera have free and reasonably priced coding and computer programming courses, and most of them give certificates upon completion. Coding-specific platforms like Codecademy and Code Studio also offer free practice lessons on coding languages, STEM resources, and real-world projects that students can complete.

  2. 2

    Attend a coding boot camp

    Joining a boot camp is the best option if you’re not ready for a degree or the free courses are not enough. Boot camps focus on job-specific skills to help graduates land employment. The most comprehensive ones last about 24 weeks.

    Companies that offer boot camps include Coding Dojo, Flatiron School, and General Assembly.

  3. 3

    Grab a book and learn on your own

    You can also start by studying a book on a specific programming language to understand the programming and markup languages, which will help you think like a programmer. After learning the basics, you can decide to focus on another specific programming language later on.

  4. 4

    Join a community of coders

    Coding independently is impressive. However, constant feedback and people’s support will make learning coding faster and more fun. Coding communities are known to be helpful and supportive as they provide the knowledge and strategies to hone coding skills, especially for beginners. This will also develop teamwork and collaboration skills as students must learn to work and share ideas with various people.

  5. 5

    Find a mentor

    Technology still cannot replace human teachers in making learning concepts more personal and meaningful. Many students learn faster when they have in-person sessions. Coding mentors can fast-track learning. Their presence can also supplement online courses or DIY learning.

    A mentor does not have to be a high-profile professional. They can be a friend or a relative who is passionate about coding.

  6. 6

    Join Workshops

    Students who do not want to pay or commit to a continuous year-long bootcamp can consider coding workshops, which focus on specific skills and topics. Workshops are meant to be hands-on but still offer the human connection that is valuable to many learners.

    They are shorter than boot camps and offer more flexibility to participants. Students can choose to attend one, three, or ten workshops within a period.

Finally, whichever method to learn coding that a student chooses, the important thing is to grab every chance to practice it. Like any other skill, coding needs time and plenty of practice to master.

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Final Thoughts

Computer science and coding have solved some of the biggest global challenges, highlighting the importance of having a sufficient number of computer science-literate students to keep up with future global economic needs and lifestyle conditions. Learning coding in college not only prepares them for high-paying jobs but also empowers them to contribute to society, find meaning in their lives and create a better future.

Are you interested in pursuing a computer science degree or job? Here is how to make it happen.

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