In our last post, we talked about why coding has become the new go-to professional skill.  Significant numbers of employers now assume new hires will arrive with at least basic coding skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the job growth for software developers is expected to grow by 17% from now until 2024, which is much faster than average compared to other occupations.

What drives that growth? What technologies, work trends, and economic changes create the need for coders?

Changes in technology and how we use it leads to software developer jobs

Where do you go without your smartphone? Except for the shower and the swimming pool, probably nowhere. The ubiquity of mobile devices drove the need for apps and mobile-friendly user experience.

As a smartphone user, you likely downloaded personal apps years ago. How many banking, social media, and shopping apps do you use? They made our personal lives more convenient. We like having real-time data at our fingertips. Not surprisingly, workers began to want this same kind of convenience and real-time access for their work lives as well. The enterprise application market is projected to be a $287.7 billion business by 2024. Why? Companies and their employees want connected processes. Apps allow that connection.  

Work trends affect the numbers of coding professionals being hired

Robotics. Automation. AI. Consider the small ways these technologies have already changed your personal life. You’ve seen self-checkout at the grocery story and chatbots that answer your customer service questions. You can even buy your next car from a vending machine. Those automated services are powered by coders and developers.

Many express worry that automation will destroy jobs. It’s true that some jobs will disappear because of automation. Yet it pays to remember that as recently as 50 to 60 years ago, people worked in typing pools and as punch card operators. Office automation, personal computing, and software changed those jobs, yet many new jobs were also created. Robotics, automation, and artificial learning have created a need for coding skills, particularly in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution.

Economic and business shifts increase number of coding jobs

If you’re a Millennial, another thing you may not realize is how significantly software has changed the business world and impacted the U.S. economy. For you, digital tech and the software and systems that run it have always been around. Consider its economic impact as reported by BSA, The Global Software Alliance.

Software businesses:

  • Add $1.07 trillion total value-added GDP to the U.S. economy.
  • Create direct employment (like software developers/web designers) that accounts for 2.5 million jobs.
  • Spend $52 billion on R&D, which accounts for 17.2% of all domestic business R&D in the U.S.

These changes in technology use, workplace forces, and economic drivers create the growing need for software developers and coders within the U.S.

What does this mean for you? If you’re a coder now, these shifts should provide you with a sense of job security. The demand for coding skills is pervasive across industries. If you’re not a developer, but want to be one, these same trends suggest it’s a smart move.

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