5 Reasons You Need To Learn Programming To Succeed In A Robotic Future

From iPhone apps to delivery drones and even scan ‘n go programs showing up at grocery stores, cutting edge tech is dominating every aspect of our lives.

That tech doesn’t run on its own, however, and programmers are required to keep those drones in the air and ensure those apps are working properly.

To stay competitive in a shifting job market, learning a programming language offers you a leg up over the competition, whether you typically work from a portable computer or at an office desktop workstation.

1. Tech jobs pay better

It should be obvious that jobs in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field are becoming more prevalent around the world.

In case everyday reliance on smartphones and tablets didn’t drive that point home, the numbers make it very clear where the job market is headed.

After jumping up 79% since 1990, STEM focused jobs are expected to increase another 17% by 2020 according to the U.S. Department Of Education.

Here’s why that matters…

Jobs that rely on programming or robotics knowledge aren’t just more readily available, they also pay better.

A recent Pew research poll published in January 2018 showed individuals with STEM related degrees earned an average of 26% more than those with degrees in other fields.

If you need a pay bump to cover the mortgage, keep yourself afloat with medical debts, or you just plain want more spending money, learning programming can be a key method to achieve that goal.

2. Tech jobs are going to dominate the workforce

Another poll from the Pew Research Center released earlier this year found that half of Americans feel college students don’t pursue degrees in STEM fields because the subjects are too difficult to understand.

That’s a hurdle that both students and workers of any age will need to overcome shortly. Besides the issue of increased pay in STEM jobs, the ability to write programs for running hardware will soon be a basic employability issue.

As tech continues to dominate in all fields, workers are losing jobs to self checkout machines, automated robotic assembly lines, and even self-driving vehicles. Everyone from grocery store baggers to truck drivers are on the verge of unemployment.

Having the ability to work with and innovate different kinds of hardware provides a path towards retaining employment.

Learning a programming language offers a useful skill for a broad range of fields, particularly as employers rely more on computer-driven solutions.

Moving into a coding-focused position doesn’t even necessarily have to mean a shift to a completely different career, either.

Nearly all employers require programmers in some fashion or another, whether you work at a  power plant, warehouse, factory, or convenience store.

From improving facial and vehicular recognition for drones and self-driving cars to modernizing outdated databases in the public or private sectors, programmers will soon be in very high demand.

3. Programming aids in logical problem solving

Students programming robots
In February 2015, U.S. service members helped spark Okinawa Department of Defense Dependent Schools students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math by helping them prepare for and participating in an island-wide robotics competition. Caitlin Yasuki, a Kadena Elementary School student, watches to see if she successfully programmed her robot to navigate an obstacle course during an island-wide robotics competition on U.S. Marine Corps Camp Foster, Japan, Feb. 20, 2015. KES students practiced for several weeks before the competition, learning to use programming software and competing amongst themselves to see who would represent their school at the island-wide competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zade C. Vadnais)

While the prospect of a steady paycheck is usually the driving force behind getting into coding, it certainly isn’t the only reason to learn a new programming language.

The peripheral benefits shouldn’t be overlooked either, as any programming language will quickly teach a person to approach obstacles with a logical problem-solving method.

Here’s the thing — programming languages seem incomprehensible at first to the newbie.

They operate on a very logical basis, however, where any issue can be resolved by breaking the problem apart and tackling it piece by piece. Learning how to find bugs in code teaches you to locate the root cause of a problem and come up with a solution.

That’s a skill that’s useful not just for building programs, but for approaching nearly any problem in the course of your career or even private life.

Consider how the lessons from learning a technological skill might be helpful in other arenas.

Organizing large-scale events that need to cut through the noise are a snap if you’ve mastered search engine optimization, and knowing the basics of programming means you can easily create your own web page for any business or project.

4. App building is the future

Mobile internet usage started officially surpassing desktop access in 2016, and it has only increased since then.

From Chromebooks to iPhones to ultra portable 2-in-1 machines, mobile devices are more commonly used than stationary desktop machines — and those devices run on apps rather than full programs.

Just about everything can be improved, sped up, or altered with an app these days. Think about how many of these elements of your life you rely on an app for:

  • Time wasting games in line at the bank
  • GPS maps when driving
  • Streaming music
  • Finding recipes based on what’s in your fridge
  • Meeting new people
  • Group chatting with your work team

Apps are a driving force in absolutely every area of life, and knowing how to build your own can be incredibly lucrative.

If you can identify a need that hasn’t been addressed by an app, learning to program your own can have you set for life.

5. Knowing basic programming saves time

Knowing the basics of app, Mac, or Windows programming isn’t just useful for building small mobile apps or large desktop programs.

Those same principles can be applied to drastically increase your efficiency by automating a wide range of tasks to save time.

Whether you need to recalculate cells in an office spreadsheet or are working on a personal art project, automation is key to saving time.

If you know how to code in nearly any language, it’s simple to figure out how to run spreadsheet macros or perform large-scale batch edits on dozens of photos at once.

Ending

The ability to use a computer and understand how networks operated went from a fringe oddity to a basic required life skill in a mere three decades.

The same will soon hold true for knowing how to program apps and work with automated robotic hardware as the job market shifts and everyday life is dominated by technology.

Are you ready for a rapidly-approaching future where coding is a necessary basic skill?

Author Bio

After more than a decade of working in the tech industry, from building gaming rigs to tracking the latest software trends, Ty Arthur knows a thing or two about staying afloat in an increasingly complicated world. He’d like to share that knowledge with all of you through his work at PortableMonkey.com, where his writing focuses on finding the perfect solutions for any kind of computer user.

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