There is a shortage of skilled tech workers in the UK - 745,000 additional digital skilled workers are needed within the next two years, and one million by 2020. However, not only is there a skills gap, statistics also highlight that the tech industry is dominated by men: last year women accounted for less than a fifth of the UK's IT workforce.
The tech world needs more women, which is why we've recently launched our Girls In Coding campaign. And here are the top six reasons you should learn to code:
With demand for tech employees already exceeding supply, and the growth of digital jobs over the next six years expected to be higher than all other occupations combined, having digital skills means you are more likely to get a job in tech.
It doesn't matter how old you are, the experience you do or don't have, or what your job title is - a range of industries are eager to hire digitally skilled people. You don't need a degree in the subject and there are no formal qualifications needed so it's never been more accessible to learn to code. There are many free online sites and resources to give it a try and learn to code.
Working in tech can be a lucrative career. As employers look to recruit in-demand tech talent, many businesses are increasing salaries and providing additional benefits to attract candidates. Even better, the digital industry has the smallest gender pay gap; the gap between men and women is only 4% in digital industries compared to 19% across other sectors.
With the high demand for tech talent, many digitally skilled candidates are working in freelance and contract roles - this can mean you work fewer hours but earn a comparable amount to being employed full time. If you choose to start up your own business in tech, the sky's the limit for potential earnings.
Flexibility is one of the many benefits of working in the tech industry, and coding jobs can offer flexibility and independence. When you work for yourself, you have the benefit of being able to create your own schedule and working from a computer allows you to work from anywhere, at any time. Having a flexible schedule can help you manage family responsibilities and have a better work/life balance.
4. Be a boss!
If you've dreamed of being an entrepreneur, coding skills can help make it happen. There are over 26,000 directors aged 21 or under in the UK as the tech boom continues to propel young talent to the top of the corporate ladder. As technology continues to develop, an increasing number of job opportunities will be through entrepreneurship and developing new, innovative products and services using technology.
If you aren't planning a change in career, learning how to code can still be beneficial, no matter what your job title is. Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder, said "I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think." Coding encourages logical thinking and better communication - and in less than five years coding will be a required job skill for many jobs - so being able to understand code will keep you indispensable in the future job market.
Most industries now have a digital element and can benefit many jobs that already exist. For example, if you already work in marketing, learning to code can help you understand SEO and HTML and therefore can help you become better at online marketing. Understanding something such as how your computer works can help you automate or speed up processes. Some jobs will even pay more for people with coding experience.