Coding For Teens: Getting a Head Start on a Career
Why get a head start in coding?
Coding is an essential part of our everyday life, and gaining a head start is now a common interest at the K-12 level. Elementary schools are offering kids coding classes, while high schools are running hackathons. There are some good financial reasons to join these and other new activities available to high school students. As college acceptances become more competitive, choosing a major becomes increasingly difficult. It’s better to choose a technical major based on some experience with tech rather than advice from a counselor based on your math grades. Although it happens to many, changing your major midway could cost you an extra year of college with a $20K-$40K price tag. Having some experience in a tech bootcamp helps ensure you like this career path.
Coding creates the technical foundation of any vertical industry, whether it’s used to create simple apps or develop an understanding of volumes of data. You should start exploring the types of coding used for industries you are interested in. You’ll have a more meaningful career if you can say, ‘I like my job because I code what I love.’ This means that you should start learning about various vertical sectors like: HealthTech, FinTech, Edtech, BioTech, and Environmental. All are in need of your help!
Online Coding Programs
There are many programs to explore and gain resume building experience. Here are the top three programs that offer excellent career awareness insights to landing a developer role in addition to programming skills:
- GIS Mapping Web Developer: Bootcamp GIS
- Description: Bootcamp GIS contains a variety of courses directly taught by industry professionals within the digital mapping industry known as GIS. Learn how drones, satellites, sensors, databases, and geographic apps combine in an $18B industry. If you are interested in how IT applications impact the environment, take their courses to build web apps for city maps, health, water quality, and disaster planning. Bootcamp GIS teaches project based courses which results in nice graphics and links for your portfolio. Their counselors will show you how to use your work to create an awesome Linkedin profile. They offer a free consultation to help you learn if the program fits you. This can lead you to various types of entry level GIS jobs that can grow into developers and managers that earn nice GIS salaries.
- Cost: $397/4 week course
- Time: 3 months
- Software developer: Coursera
- Description: If you want to start a foundation in coding, then Coursera classes, especially concentrated in Python are a great start. The Python for Everybody Specialization course builds on the success of the Python for Everybody course and will introduce fundamental programming concepts including data structures, networked application program interfaces, and databases, using the Python programming language. In the Capstone Project, you’ll use the technologies learned throughout the Specialization to design and create your own applications for data retrieval, processing, and visualization. Coursera’s Python for Everybody Specialization course can be the jumpstart you need to kick off your Software Developing career. Completion of this course is great for your resume as it checks off a lot of the skill necessary!
- Cost: $312
- Time: 8 months
- Data Scientist: Codecademy
- Description: Companies are looking for ways to make data-driven decisions. This requires scripting and data models to tease out the nuggets of knowledge and trends that are useful. This career path will teach you the skills you need to arm decision makers with defensible logic. You’ll learn to analyze data, communicate your findings, and even draw predictions using machine learning. Along the way, you’ll build portfolio-worthy projects that will help you get job-ready. In order to become a Data Scientist, hands on coding experience like Codecademy is amazing for your resume and will leave recruiters impressed with your knowledge!
- Cost: $150/annual subscription
- Time: 8 months
Conclusion: A headstart in tech has financial advantages
Think about the possible ripple effect. You take the first step of joining the younger generation of talent that takes a tech bootcamp before you enter college. You might get 4 different summer or part time jobs due to your technical abilities in college (maybe $40k in total value). You graduate with much more experience than your peers and you get a higher starting salary (maybe $40k difference). Ask any tech hiring manager and you’ll find that this is a realistic ROI. Whether you’re looking to delve into a geographic path with Bootcamp GIS, create a basic foundation in coding with Coursera, or study data science with Codecademy, taking advantage of these online courses now will move you up the ladder later.