If you're not thrilled about your current job, you might want to pay attention to the Hour of Code. This event took place a couple of weeks ago and focused on getting children involved in coding, but Ryan Carson, founder and CEO of online coding school Treehouse, says it's never too late for adults to learn to code as well.
Most people see learning to code as something for the young, but Carson says that Treehouse is also working on helping adults who are interested in a career change learn to code, and therefore, land coding jobs. Carson says,
"We believe this National Computer Science Education Week presents an opportunity to retrain our current work force and help many American adults, 27 million of whom are either unemployed or underemployed, begin or transition into a computer programming job of their own. Encouraging and educating adults with coding skills now provides an immediate solution to solving our country's shortage of tech talent, while we wait on our youth to infiltrate our tech work force over the next decade.
Treehouse is committed to help alleviate the projected shortage of coders and the only way to do that is to teach more people to code, which can be you, or me. I asked him if someone like me--a savvy end user, but not terribly technically oriented--could learn to code. He said:
We believe that anyone can learn how to code. In fact, it's the foundation of our business. We've proven that we can teach anyone to code, even those with no prior education or computer science background. Coders often get a "techie" stereotype, but the reality is, it's not rocket science. All it takes is creativity, hard work, and a desire to learn. As a matter of fact, some of our most successful students have come from non-technical backgrounds. Many start building real websites and apps pretty quickly, typically after about a month.
Americans typically focus on the 4-year degree as the key to career success, but Carson says that isn't necessary.
He says, "At Treehouse, we've seen beginners learn front-end development languages and land a junior development job (at a minimum $40,000 salary) in about six months if they spend roughly 5-10 hours a week (1-2 hours a day) completing online courses. However, if a student is able to commit more time, like 21-28 hours a week (3-4 hours a day), it's possible to become job-ready in as little as three months." Not a bad investment, compared with 4 years and $100,000 in student loan debt you can get for going to a university.
Treehouse has jumped on the coding bandwagon and currently has about 100,000 students learning to code. With yearly revenue growth over 120 percent and $10 million in yearly sales, it's obvious that there's money not only in learning to code, but also in teaching others to code.
Carson says he's seen lots of success at Treehouse.
I get heartfelt notes from students all the time telling me how Treehouse and learning to code has changed their life. Russell, one of our students, emailed me earlier this year and his email literally made me cry. Russell was an electrician with a 3-year-old son and work really slowed down because of the recession. He started to worry about paying his mortgage and putting food on the table. He came across Treehouse and after learning to code for six months, he now makes websites and builds apps and he's able to pay his mortgage and provide for his family. Learning to code and building a career is 100 percent achievable.
Other success stories can be found on their website. For instance: