7 Reasons why you need to learn to code

It was once thought of as a pastime for the super-nerdy, but coding is now an ultra-lucrative industry. And, with children as young as five now learning to code, it's probably time you did too.

Kathryn Parsons
Kathryn Parsons

It was once thought of as a pastime for the super-nerdy, but coding is now an ultra-lucrative industry. And, with children as young as five now learning to code, it's probably time you did too.


For anyone who doesn't have a techy/developer/IT background, the prospect of learning to code can sound daunting. HTML, what? JavaScript, who?

That's why we asked co-founder of Decoded Kathryn Parsons (@KathrynParsons) why she thinks it's so important that women, in particular, get involved in the digital revolution. After all, if it's good enough for Karlie Kloss...

These are seven reasons why you should learn to code:

1. Code is a language spoken by billions of people.

There are 995 million native Mandarin speakers, 405 million Spanish worldwide and 360 million English speakers, yet there is one language which unites us all. The language of technology. With three billion people connected to the internet - and growing - technology is radically reshaping every industry, sector, and all our behaviours. So, get behind the screen, become a creator, unearth the meaning and cultures of these codes underpinning the modern world.

2. There's a 50 percent chance a robot will steal your job.

According to The Future of Employment study released by The Oxford Martin Institute, 47 percent of jobs which exist today are are at high risk of being replaced by machines in under ten years. The key to future-proofing your role? Harnessing an understanding of code and technology, along with your creative and social skills.

3. The future is written in lines of code...

Yet over 90 percent of the people writing it are male. We must make sure women have a voice in a world where the products and services we use are increasingly digital. Research conducted by Stack Overflow also estimated that 37 percent of female coders had been learning for less than two years, which suggests the gap may be closing. Be part of that change. And, remember, the creator of the first algorithm was a woman: Ada Lovelace, born 1815, whose picture hangs pride of place at No.10 Downing Street to this day.

4. Code commands big bucks.

Code.org research estimates that there will be a shortage of over one million computer programmers in the US alone by 2020. With such a shortage of skills, if you've got what it takes, you can command serious money. With stories of Silicon Valley coders earning in excess of $1m, it's no wonder coders are being hailed as the new rock stars. On a more every day level, a report released by Propel London identified salaries within the technology industry in the UK as 10 percent above average and as one of the only fields boasting £100k salaries+ at C-level across the board.

5. 9-5 jobs are dead.

A PwC report identified flexible working as the second most valued aspect of employment, only to training and development, in a global survey of graduates under 30. The technology revolution may be threatening many roles, but is it also opening up new ways of working which will allow us to say goodbye to the desk-bound 9-5 (or more likely 8-8) of modern corporate life. With access to wifi you can turn a plane, train, coffee shop, bar or beach into your office for the day. You can code anywhere and anytime. And, 31 percent of freelancers can find a gig online in under 24 hours, according to Mary Meeker's Internet Trend Report.

6. Because Karlie Kloss is doing it...

And Lyndsey Scott, and Lily Cole (at Decoded no less!). If anything proves coding is cool, follow in this exemplary model behaviour.

7. You'll feel a little bit dangerous.

Learning coding, and hacking, and how to make or break things in the digital universe makes you feel... well, a little bit powerful. You are, so remember, be ethical!

 It's not too late to get tickets for our 2016 MC@Work Live event on 23 April 2016, with inspiring speakers, tutorials and workshops.