Crack the Code to a Brighter Future [INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s projected that by 2020 computer-related employment will rise 22%, resulting in the creation of 1.4 million jobs. According to Code.org, computer programming jobs are growing at two times the U.S. average for all jobs. The strongest overall demand will be for software developers.

There will be incredible opportunities to find jobs and build careers in this field. After all, less than 2.4% of students graduate with computer science degrees. If current job trends continue, U.S. citizens will only fill 30 percent of our country’s computer science jobs. Perhaps because of the scarcity of qualified employees, according to Jason Calanis, CEO of Mahalo and the founder of the startup showcase LAUNCH conference, an employee who understands how to code is worth $500,000 to $1 million toward a company’s total acquisition price.

Governments are stepping up to address the dearth of coders. Beginning in September 2014, England will implement computer coding as a compulsory school subject at all grade levels. Here in the States, U.S. Representative Tony Cardenas has introduced a new bill that, if passed, will classify computer programming as a foreign language and allocate grants for schools to teach coding as early as kindergarten.

While job prospects should be excellent for coders, learning how to code can be very gratifying and even fun. Coding teaches problem solving, creativity and communication skills to kids and adults alike. You’ll have to learn the basics. Algorithms, for example, are the math that makes up programs. Machine intelligence encompasses how services like Netflix can learn a user’s preferences.

Worried about how to get started with learning code? Don’t be! There are many fantastic programs and apps that can help. Check out Code.org, Code School, Treehouse, Lynda, Codecademy, Udemy and CoderDojo. Inexpensive online courses are also available. To learn more, take a look at the full infographic below!

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