“Programmers will lose their jobs to AI soon” – you’ve certainly heard this since AI and ChatGPT exploded onto the scene, drastically changing the world as we know it. Mastering the top programming languages is no longer enough to land you a job, so is coding still a good career?
The answer is yes, as programming is more than just writing code. It involves communication, collaboration, creative problem-solving, innovation, and critical thinking. While AI is perfect for automating code writing, it’s unable to think outside the box to resolve issues or create new ideas.
However, not only should tech professionals stay on top of AI innovations, but they can use them to become more productive and efficient. Code autocompletion, automated testing, as well as bug detection and fixing are just a few ways to make AI work for you.
The Future of Technology
Understandably, many professionals feel threatened by technological advancements. The constant evolution of technology has undeniably impacted and changed many jobs. For example, most bank tellers and cashiers have been replaced with ATMs and self-checkout machines.
While these innovations help make people more autonomous, humans are still needed to load ATMs with money, and self-checkout machines still need someone to help when the machine can’t identify an item or to ensure underage customers aren’t buying liquor.
New technology has automated manual and menial tasks at a breakneck pace. While society is evolving alongside these innovations and benefitting from them to speed up daily chores, it’s important to be wary of the side effects. Two such examples are screen addiction and a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to obesity and severe health issues.
In the coding world, many more innovations are undoubtedly yet to come. Programmers won’t be replaced by AI, but they need to adapt and learn from each new development and how to best use it to their advantage.
Current and Future Demands for Coders
Qualified coders are in high demand by the job market and will continue to be. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer, tester, and quality assurance analyst job openings will increase 25% in the decade leading up to 2031.
The technology and software development industry isn’t the only one that relies on coding. These skills are also needed in data science and analytics, cybersecurity, finance and fintech, healthcare, gaming, and many other sectors. Fintech companies, for example, rely on coding professionals to develop models for risk assessment, fraud detection, and credit scoring.
According to Indeed, front-end, backend, full-stack developers, UX designers, and data scientists are among the most in-demand programming jobs. Luckily, there are numerous online resources for those who wish to develop and maintain the required skills.
Codecademy, for example, is a comprehensive platform filled with courses, boot camps, and exercises that help coding experts keep up with new technologies. Coding newbies who want to start a career in software development can also benefit from it.
The Diversification of Coding Roles
A wide range of roles and specializations is possible in the coding world. For example, software developers can work in many industries, such as developing databases that facilitate patient records management for healthcare companies. Medical coding is one area where there’s strong demand.
The technology industries are continuously evolving, so coding roles also change. The rise in cyberattacks and increased data management requirements has created a need for specialized professionals, such as cybersecurity experts and data scientists. Plus, using AI in tasks ranging from translations to sales forecasting means that machine learning engineers are also highly sought after.
Impact on Coding of Automation and AI
The arrival of artificial intelligence in the workplace brings automation. Job openings now require knowledge of ChatGPT and other AI technologies, as they undoubtedly make coding processes more efficient and enable the development of more experience-driven applications.
One of the main consequences of AI is the ability to automate code generation. Code generators and auto-completion plugins are AI-powered tools that make programming faster, and they are increasingly capable of writing their own script. This makes the whole software development process more streamlined, giving the programmer more time to focus on other problem-solving tasks.
However, as much as AI is valuable in coding nowadays, it won’t replace people. Human coders are essential to figuring out and organizing code structure and also bring a contextual understanding of a project or domain. On a truly fundamental level, the human programmer has empathy and an understanding of the user experience that no software can imitate. Plus, skilled individuals are often necessary for the training, refining, and maintaining of AI systems, so it’s a matter of adaptation, not replacement.
Job Security and Career Prospects
Every year, there are waves of layoffs in the coding field, making it seem like there isn’t job security. However, the statistics show otherwise, as the unemployment rate of software developers is a shy 1.2%. Coding is a stable career to pursue, and its growth is driven by technology’s significant role in numerous industries and our daily lives.
Every industry relies on digital solutions that demand specialized programmers. So, a coding career can offer diverse responsibilities, skill development, remote work opportunities, competitive salaries (ranging from $60,000 to $200,000 per year), and career progression.
Five Most-in-Demand Programming Languages in the Industry
Due to AI tools, machine learning, and data analytics, the most sought-after programming languages are constantly changing. However, recruiters are currently looking for:
- Java: A simple language that can be used to develop websites and apps. Software development companies and tech startups are constantly searching for Java professionals.
- Python: A versatile language used to create apps and websites and automate business processes.
- C#: A versatile language mainly used to create apps and operating systems.
Where To Start?
At the end of the day, pursuing a career in coding is still valid and relevant, as programming jobs won’t become obsolete anytime soon. If you’re considering carving your way into coding, Codecademy is the perfect place to start. It has numerous courses focusing on the top programming languages and also offers comprehensive bundles for those wishing to become tech professionals like full-stack developers or data scientists.
So, Is Coding Still Worth Pursuing?
All things considered, coding is still a solid career to pursue. Undeniably, the advancements in AI technologies make processes more efficient, reducing the need for manual coding. Still, task management, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, user experience consideration, and problem-solving are essential parts of a tech expert’s job.
Additionally, AI technologies often require skilled individuals to work on training, refining, and maintaining their systems. People should focus on adapting to the changes and acquiring AI-related skills rather than debating whether coding remains a stable career.
If you’re eager to dive into the programming world, it’s worth starting with Codecademy. Choosing one of its numerous free courses means you can start learning a new programming language, but make sure to incorporate AI-related skills, too. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing you won’t be left out.
Are you a professional programmer or code as a hobby? What are your thoughts about the future of coding?