Does the thought of spending your days building the web app of tomorrow set your pulse racing? Are you looking to increase your job prospects, or earn a higher salary?
In this post I’ll be writing about how to learn to code and get a a job. We’ll learn about the amazing job opportunities available in web development, and how if you want to build your new career or change your old one it’s time you got started.
If you want to try learning to code from scratch, try this free 5-day coding course on for size.
You can skip ahead to one of the sections in this article, simply use the clickable menu:
- Is there a shortage of web developers at the moment?
- How to increase your chances of getting a job by learning how to code
- So what does this mean for you?
- How you can learn to code and get a job
- Start your career in tech today: A step-by-step guide
1. Is there a shortage of web developers at the moment?
Jobs involving coding skills are growing at a lightning pace, but many employers are struggling to find employees with the right skillsets.
One thing that’s for sure is that the need for experienced coders is strong.
Despite what you might have heard about layoffs in tech companies and fear-mongering predictions about AI taking developer’s jobs, the demand for software engineers and developers in other industries is thriving, as digitization continues to roll out into every sector.
What’s top of US Money’s 100 Best Jobs in America in 2023 list? Software developer, with web developer at number nine. The rest of the list is littered with other coding roles—you can look a bit closer at some of these in our guide to the top coding jobs out there right now.
Add to that the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 16% growth of the web developer job market between 2022-32 (the average for all jobs is 3%), as well as that a quick search on jobs portal Indeed.com shows over 68,000 open developer roles and you’ve got a real opportunity.
The number one reason those without a job are finding it hard to score one of these numerous jobs employers are begging to fill is because many lack the technical competencies necessary for the job. There simply aren’t enough trained developers!
So, how to you go about learning to code and getting a job then?
2. How to increase your chances of getting a job by learning how to code
What can we do to solve this problem? Well, unless workers start training today, this tech skills gap will only widen.
Millions of new programming jobs will be created, but universities with Computer Science degrees are only on track to fill a minority of these positions. On both sides of the Atlantic, demand is set to vastly increase while supply falls.
Unless workers (that means you!) start learning web development now, a huge portion of these positions will go unfilled. This issue is not limited to tech companies; in fact, the tech skills gap is spreading into every industry.
As data-based decision-making becomes increasingly common across all fields, including government offices, healthcare, advertising agencies and more, tech skills are becoming essential tools for scoring many roles.
So it makes sense that once you’ve learned to code you can start targeting some of these areas.
3. So what does this mean for you?
The tech skills gap means that learning to code will boost your chances of getting a job—and not just any job, but a role you like, and a high-paying one at that!
What you gain when you upgrade your skillset and learn to code and get a job:
- A decent salary
- Creative fulfilment
- A flexible schedule
- More stability
These perks are just the tip of the iceberg when you learn how to code and get a job. Programming skills are likely to bring you some pretty sweet benefits.
Remote working, unlimited vacation time, professional development funds, and full home-office budgets are just a few of the freebies you might encounter at a tech company, with more and more tempting ones being offered every day.
Think these perks are more than you could ever ask for? Think again. It’s becoming commonplace for technology professionals and IT contractors in the U.S. to earn six-figure salaries.
Now highly in-demand, programming skills can grant you access to almost any industry that interests you. Yes, you read that right—learning to code can be your “in” not only to traditional tech companies but also to so much more.
From jobs at startups and small businesses to long-standing corporations and organizations in the sciences, arts, education, and more, there’s something for everyone who learns how to code.
Interested in learning to code, but not so keen on leaving your current employer?
If you aren’t looking to change jobs, developing programming skills can improve your work life too.
Your additional tech knowledge will make you more adaptable to new technologies, and your newfound ability to take on more advanced technological tasks will give you an edge. Even if you do not work in a strictly “technical” role, learning to code will enable you to collaborate with your more techie coworkers and put you in a position to hire techies.
In fact, learning now, when full-stack developer skills are at their prime, will make you indispensable to your company and could even put you in line for a promotion. Yes, you can learn to code and get a job without even having to leave your current company!
As Emma Sinclair, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of EnterpriseJungle, told us, learning new skills will only increase your employability and show that you are a self-starter:
Whether it’s learning to “speak finance” or how to code, tackling a new skill in sectors at the heart of business can only increase your employability.
You don’t have to be a pro, but showing a potential new employer that you recognise learning doesn’t stop at school or college and that you’ve taken time to upgrade your competency in an important field speaks volumes about how motivated you are, especially if you want to change career paths.
Smart employers look for knowledge-hungry people with an ability to learn rather than solely relying on existing know-how.
Now that you know what to do and when to do it (now), let’s see how you can go about doing it.
4. How you can learn to code and get a job
Are you to upgrade your skills and pursue a career in tech? These days it’s very common to study at your own pace while you continue on at you day job, and focusing on the skills you want to learn.
We’ve collected five quick useful tips to get you started coding. There are a whole host of web development tutorials for beginners out there as well, so that you can work your way through them in your spare time.
If you are looking for even more options, we’ve done some research and have collected a few examples of free and paid web development courses, both online and off.
Offerings: Full-Stack Web Development Program
Features: Access to dedicated tutor, mentor, and career specialist; bespoke learning platform; study at your own pace
Selling point: Like other organizations, CareerFoundry helps you learn to code from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you happen to lug your MacBook).
But what makes CareerFoundry stand out from other online offerings is its focus on mentorship. Every student is paired with an experienced mentor who will not only guide them through their learning but also help them kickstart their career in tech.
Features: Contains many free course; self-paced; interactive modules
Selling point: Codecademy prides itself on being the first world’s first truly net-native educational offering
Features: Community support; one-on-one online mentor sessions; customized curriculums
Selling point: Community focus that groups students into skill groups for additional support
Features : Project-based learning; expert feedback; influenced by industry experts from Google, AT&T and more
Selling point: Udacity’s “nanodegree” program aims to help students build credentials recognized by industry leaders. Currently available for frontend web development
Offerings: Web design, frontend web development, Ruby on Rails, iOS, Android, PHP, WordPress, business
Features: Self-paced; over 1,000 video tutorial offerings; access to filmed conferences; free 14-day trial
Selling point: Score points as you complete tasks so you can easily track your progress
Offerings: HTML, CSS, iOS, gaming, entrepreneurship, photography, music, film, fashion and more
Features : Project-based; celebrity teachers (who wants to take a class under James Franco?)
Selling point: Skillshare offers online courses taught by professionals in all fields, making for some fairly entertaining (and definitely non-traditional) experiences
If you’re looking for even more virtual options, we’ve done some in-depth research into the best web development bootcamps for those interested in learning to code and getting a job.
Offerings: Business foundations, data analytics, digital marketing, mobile development, product design, UX design, web development
Features: 90-minute one-off lectures; full-time and part-time courses; meetups; demo nights; hackathons; choice online courses
Selling point: GA’s campuses provide physical spaces where students and teachers can meet, learn and collaborate many cities around the world, including Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, New York and San Francisco
Offerings: Web development, data analytics, UX/UI design
Features: Bootcamps with career skills preparation at the end; talks series; Buddy program
Selling point: Campuses spread around the world, including Miami, Paris, Berlin, and São Paulo. Students have the option of doing hybrid learning and studying online in Spanish as well as English
If you are looking for further course options in terms of emerging with official recognition of your new skills, we’ve produced a guide to the best web development certification programs out there at the moment.
5. Start your career in tech today: A step-by-step guide
High-quality coding courses are available no matter where you live in the world.
The only thing that you’re waiting for to learn to code and get a job in tech is you—so get cracking! Here are five some steps for putting yourself on the right track.
1) Learn to code
Ready to broaden your skills and improve your job prospects? It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start coding.
Determine which skills you want to learn, and choose a course that suits your schedule and learning style. If you’re looking for a skillset with the most job prospects, consider taking on Python, Android, and HTML5, which are highly in demand.
2) Build your portfolio
You can learn to code all you want, but you’ll never gain real web development skills unless you practice.
Take advantage of your course assignments as opportunities to build a professional-quality portfolio. Volunteer to help a friend with a website—or design one for your new blossoming personal brand!
These days, hosting a website for free is simple and quick. Do whatever it takes to complete real-world tasks and you’ll be able to refine your skills and demonstrate your value to potential employers and clients.
3) Work at a startup
Once you’ve crafted an eye-catching portfolio, you’ll be ready to approach a startup regarding an internship or junior position. Of all companies, why approach a startup, you ask?
Startups are often more approachable than established companies, offer more flexible work environments, and push you to learn about a wide range of topics in a very (very!) short time. This can be the perfect environment for an enthusiastic new programmer or designer—take it from someone who’s worked with several startups around the world.
Start by researching startups in your area and choosing the few that seem the most meaningful to you. Next reach out to the startup’s CEO or other relevant Head Of and explain your interest.
For example, when I spent three months living in Buenos Aires, I browsed the website of a local startup accelerator and discovered an up-and-coming travel business whose mission strongly aligned with my values. After speaking with the CEO I was soon brought on as an intern, winning me a valuable learning experience that became the springboard to many of my future freelance gigs.
4) Follow your dream
Now that you’ve been building out your portfolio and have tested your skills in the fast-paced startup scene, it’s time to reflect on your long-term career goals.
How do your newfound coding skills fit into your 5, 10, or 20-year plan? Once you’ve finalized where you want to go, strut your stuff and start applying to the companies of your dreams. The flexible hours, masseuse, and catered company lunches await you!
5) Get hired
Openings for workers with programming skills are set to continue to soar over the next few years, but there won’t be enough workers to fill them.
If you’re looking for work with high pay, stability, big benefits, and a creative challenge, or just to make yourself indispensable in your current job, the time to learn to code is now!
With so many courses available to learn to code and get a job, it’s in your hands to gain new skills, build your portfolio, and get hired!
6. Next steps
If you’re still not sure that learning to code is right for you, we’ve put together a free 5-day Web Development for Beginners short course. It’s an excellent first step to learn to code and get a job.
You’ll find out all about how to set up the right tools, how to build you first website, and what the next steps are for launching your web development career, if that’s what you want to do. All-in-all, it’s a great chance to get your hands on some code and get a feel for the discipline without any financial or real time commitment.
If you’d prefer to read a bit more on the world of web development instead, then these articles may be of interest: