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5 minutes a day: How to code your way into a 6-figure job

Jessica Yun
·3-min read
(Source: Getty, Grasshopper)
(Source: Getty, Grasshopper)

If you’re looking for a new skill to learn during the coronavirus crisis, a tech skill is a safe bet: not only will it add serious weight to your resume, but the skill is bound to come in handy, with Australia’s tech sector projected to need 100,000 more workers by 2024.

It’s also a skill that pays off. The salary of a web developer starts at the $49,000 mark but can stretch up to $120,000, according to PayScale Australia.

However, learning this skill doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on where and how you learn it, mastering coding can take from as little as three months in a specialised course to as much as four or more years if you’re learning it as part of a degree at university.

Where coding has traditionally been an intensive new skill to undertake, new user-friendly apps have helped interested newbies learn how to code, in a bite-sized way.

Apps such as Google’s Grasshopper app promise to teach total beginners the basics of coding in as little as five minute blocks a day.

The app teaches you coding concepts that apply to any programming language through drag-and-drop visual puzzles made of colour blocks.

“In as little as five minutes a day, you can complete lessons, quizzes and visual puzzles to build your coding skills,” Google states.

“Move through progressively challenging levels as you develop your abilities, then graduate with fundamental programming skills for your next step as a coder.”

You also get real-time feedback, and using the app feels like playing a game as you’ll unlock ‘achievements’ along the way.

Grasshopper isn’t the only app: other top beginner-friendly, bite-sized coding for beginners are Encode (Android-only), Mimo (helps you decide what to learn based on real-world projects), SoloLearn (for those who want something more advanced than just the basics) and Khan Academy (a free learning platform for students that features user-made courses on an array of topics).

Code yourself into a new career

Tech skills are highly in-demand at the moment, and knowing coding can unlock several career paths.

According to the US’ Rasmussen College, the kinds of jobs that require coding skills include software app developers; web developers; computer systems engineers and analysts; software quality assurance engineers; database or network system administrators; business intelligence analysts; and computer programmers.

But fast-growing sectors, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics require a solid foundation in coding skills, too.

Unemployed Aussies pivot to tech

Recently, the Institute of Data launched scholarships for workers in the tourism industry who had lost their jobs due to the fall-out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Institute of Data executive director Andrew Campbell, workers in this hard-hit industry often have relevant skills and qualifications that see them perform well in tech roles.

“Many skilled aviation and tourism workers have already been doing data modelling and analysis at work by using tools like Excel every day. Things like aircraft seat allocation, route planning etc. are primarily data-driven jobs, it’s a genuinely good foundation from which to build new Big Data or AI skills,” Campbell said.

“For others in the industry, they’ve had to pass security checks and risk management courses that serve as great indicators for their applicability when working with sensitive data.”

Generation Australia has also launched a 12-week course that will be free for a hand-selected number of applicants to help them launch a career in tech as a junior web developer.

Join us for Episode 6 of the Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club: Live Online series at Thursday 18th June, 10am AEST.
Join us for Episode 6 of the Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club: Live Online series at Thursday 18th June, 10am AEST.

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