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Should Candidates Be Required to Have Coding Skills?

With recent advances in technology, it’s becoming apparent that coding skills are in high demand across every industry and sector worldwide. And many experts are dubbing coding languages the “language[s] of our modern world,” as coding schools and online learning platforms continue to pop up everywhere.code
According to prominent research, half of the jobs that earn the most income require some coding knowledge or skills, which means that workers are beginning to gravitate toward those jobs. Although most of those coveted jobs are in the information technology or computer engineering industries, many of them are not.
This is becoming a pervasive and lasting trend. Now, even digital marketers, banking professionals, and business analysts need coding skills to execute their everyday jobs and functions because of the tools and platforms they’re now required to use. And it’s becoming impossible for organizations to remain competitive if their workers don’t have adequate coding knowledge and skills.
For example, content marketers need HTML and JavaScript coding skills for their content development strategies and implementations to be successful. Business analysts need structured query language (SQL) coding skills for accessing databases and data sets. The list goes on and on for nearly every single modern-day role or profession.
Even machinists are learning coding languages as they work with more complicated Internet of Things (IoT) equipment and machines driven by artificial intelligence. Essentially, as the overall economy becomes more reliant on data and mobile and automated technologies, the need for workers to understand and execute code continues to increase.
According to one report, as many as 7 million job openings in 2015 valued coding skills. And more and more job openings each year seek workers with coding skills for more hybrid roles.
Most of these job openings aren’t directed toward computer scientists or computer engineers, for example, but are directed toward those seeking other roles—like the business analyst who also knows how to use his or her coding skills for databases and the content marketer who knows how to read and write JavaScript code.
And this indicates that coding skills aren’t just for computer and software programmers anymore—they are starting to become a more basic requirement for many common and traditional functions across industries and business sectors.
Many employers are relying on coding bootcamps and online learning programs to help their current and prospective employees learn coding skills. According to one Indeed survey, 72% of employers think bootcamp graduates are “just as prepared” to be high performers as degree holders.
So, while employers aren’t asking applicants to come pre-equipped with a computer science degree per se anymore, they do expect workers to have some coding skills already. However, they should also expect to directly invest in their workers’ coding education and knowledge to some degree, as 90% of employees think employers are mainly responsible for upskilling employees, and 57% of employees claim they don’t have basic coding skills.
The bottom line is that if organizations want to remain competitive nowadays, they should expect their employees to have some basic coding skills or knowledge, but they should also be prepared to upskill their employees so that they have basic knowledge, as technology platforms and trends continue to change at rapid rates.
For related insights, read “Should All New Hires Have a STEM Education or Work Background?