Report: Degree-holders boosting tech resume with online courses, but rewards divided

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According to Codecademy, 2017 might have been the year of re-education. New research from the online coding resource said more than half of its users this year hold a college degree, using their free time to boost their skill set by learning to code.

About 55% of Codecademy’s users reported having some kind of college degree, showing that tech professionals are finding ways to expand their resume and stay relevant in a constantly changing field.

“We’re hearing increasingly from people learning to code to get a leg up in their current industry and from people who want to move into tech adjacent fields,” the report said. “Considering that this is one of the few sectors of the economy that’s growing, it makes sense.”

SEE: Hiring kit: Python developer (Tech Pro Research)

In a survey of part of the site’s 45 million users, about 40% said they were learning coding skills to enter software development or a similar position. Others said coding was empowering and enabled them to work from home, the report said.

With multiple reports of a tech skills gap, tech professionals may continue to see online courses, like those at Codecademy, as a way to keep up with new programming languages and refresh pre-existing skills. Online courses may also help those without a degree build the skills employers are looking for.

About half of the respondents said they had never taken an university coding course. Of those who had taken an in-person college coding class, 25% made the switch to online courses because they felt they were a safer space to learn a new skill. The report is coming from users who have already begun learning to code online, but the findings may signal a shift to more online courses as a way to boost tech resumes.

Around 10% of respondents said they felt happy when learning in a traditional university setting, the report said. Overall, only 5% of respondents said they were anxious in such a setting, but women were 2.5x more likely to say they were anxious. Online courses may offer women and minorities a chance to learn tech skills without feeling intimidated by typically male-dominated university computer science programs.

The report found that, while women may feel more empowered in online courses, men are more likely to see a pay raise or promotion due to learning how to code. Men are almost 55% more likely than women to say they made more money due to their new coding skills. Men are 1.5x more likely than women to receive a promotion due to the skills, the survey found.

“Dozens of programs have sprung up to help women move into careers in tech, but it seems that even when women take all the right steps, they’re not seeing the reward,” the report said of the findings.

Despite women-targeted programs and adjusted entry-level computer science courses, more may need to be done to fight gender disparity in the tech industry.

Want to use these statistics in your next presentation? Feel free to copy and paste these takeaways:

  1. 55% of Codecademy users hold a college degree, but are still learning how to code via the online course platform. -Codecademy, 2017.
  2. 40% said they were learning new coding skills to move into a software development job or similar position. -Codecademy, 2017.
  3. Men are 55% more likely than women to make more money due to learning how to code. -Codecademy, 2017.