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Why You Need to Learn Programming Today

Montis has written before about the world’s efforts to improve the speed and efficiency of the web, and this article by Olivia Leonardi speaks directly to the individuals capable of making these improvements a reality: computer scientists and coders. She argues for the importance of these professionals by showing that not only is the demand growing — access to the Internet is growing too, causing a huge gap in professionals ready to handle the challenges. Olivia is a writer for www.OnlineComputerScienceDegree.com, where she shows through expert interviews it’s as easy to access quality computer science education online as it is to access to the Internet itself.

New, Wired Economy Needs More People Graduating with Computer Science Degrees to Keep Moving Forward

As online access creeps into even the furthest reaches of the globe, the value of skilled computer and technology based workers continues to grow. The US Department of Labor predicts employment opportunity increases by more than 20% through 2018 for computer programmers and software engineers, and 30% growth for software engineers. Yet, despite the rosy outlook, many graduates are entering the job market without computer skills that are quickly becoming necessary for employees in nearly every field. Fortunately, online resources are offering opportunities for anyone to learn even advanced computer programming skills to anyone with the ambition to learn.

“Even in most blue-collar jobs, you are going to be interacting with computers in some shape or form,” says technology consultant Dmitry Grekov. “Knowing basic programming can make you more efficient (and) more valuable to your employer.” In today’s globalized marketplace, individuals with strong computer skills are able to compete for jobs no matter where they are located. Despite a job market that is growing more slowly than economists predicted, the online freelance job market is growing substantially. Freelance positions in software and application development, web design and programming are now open to any talented and ambitious individual with a wifi connection.

For many, the most difficult part of learning to program is simply getting started. Though it can seem daunting, and nobody learns over night, there are more resources for learning the language of computers today than ever before. Several innovative web designers have taken note of how dry and confusing computer languages seem to many people, and thus have developed tutorials that also serve as entertaining and intuitive nature of programming. Alice, for example, is an educational programming language that allows users to easily create an animation for telling a story, play an interactive game, or videos that can be shared over the web. Available for Windows, Linux and Mac, Alice was developed to expose object-oriented programming to novice computer science students while engaging them viscerally.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the myriad online programming resources in the number of quality tutorials that are offered for free or very low cost. Dream in Code is a popular site that allows users to browse their content for free, with the option of signing up to become a permanent member. Dream in Code offers in-depth tutorials on any language a user might be interested, as well as an active community of helpful users, many of whom are very knowledgeable and eager to assist. Codecademy, perhaps the most well known resource, offers an entire interactive tutorial for free, allowing users to track their progress and receive badges in a supportive and engaging environment.

Though many are out of work, companies assert they are still many openings for talented employees with a technology-based skill set. By utilizing the resources made available by fellow technology innovators, nearly anyone on the planet can become a highly marketable computer science expert. “Coding is one of the most important skills of the 21st century, and we want to teach the world to code”, says Zach Sims, cofounder of Codecademy. In an increasingly technology-based world, a truly lasting economic stimulus will likely only come from graduates entering the workforce with solid, marketable computer-based skills, and resources from Sims and other tech innovators offer a path for anyone to get there.

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