How to Change Careers to Software Development


How to Change Careers to Software Development

How to change careers – barriers to avoid

In recent weeks, you may have read about what has now been coined “the great resignation”. After 18 months of working from home, it appears that the masses are ready to switch careers in search of a happier life. Employees are now in search of better opportunities. Today, we’re going to talk about how to get into software development.

What is the “Great Career Migration”?

The Great Resignation, or, as some call it, “the Big Quit”, is a phenomenon that started during 2021, while the world began to open up more. It refers to the mammoth number of people who voluntarily left their roles in search of better jobs, or indeed, decided to retire entirely from working. 

We live in a new normal, where many employees realise that life is too short to work in a job that they don’t like. As a result, the trend of career switchers is growing. If you’re thinking about a career change and wondering how to get into software development, we’ll highlight some of the key barriers and statistics around today’s programming jobs market.

41% Planning to leave their employer

One of the fundamental changes to the workplace due to COVID-19 was working from home (WFH). It suited many employees. The benefits of WFH are many. Firstly, millions of people said goodbye to their commute. No more sitting for hours in traffic or getting tin canned into the tube or buses. According to Metro UK, workers have saved as many as nine days by not commuting. That’s impressive. Apart from the dreaded commute, parents warmed to paying less in after-school fees, and many boasted about the amount of extra work they can do because there are fewer interruptions in the home office than there are at the work office. 

So, according to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, 73% of employees want “flexible remote work options to stay”. However, to add to the “Great Resignation” theory, Microsoft tells us that more than 40% of the 30,000 people surveyed are “considering leaving their employer this year:”

42% of those age 45 or older plan to change job

For many people, age can be a barrier to getting into software development. They ask themselves if they are too old to learn how to code. According to the Independent, as many as 42% of workers aged 45 or older plan to change careers in the next two years.

85 million jobs will be displaced by 2025

In October of 2020, the World Economic Forum released their Future of Jobs Report. They estimated that as many as 85 million jobs will be displaced by the year 2025. Their paper highlights that many existing roles will be displaced due to the rise of automation, AI, machine learning and more. However, the good news is that these 85 million jobs will be replaced by as many as 97 million more tech-focused roles. This news is great for people who are thinking about reskilling and changing positions to software development.

How to change careers – The Barriers:

In a recent whitepaper, Code Institute looked at perceived barriers that were in the way for many career changers. Identifying obstacles before they become a problem is a positive way to approach a career shift. In our white paper, we highlight the key reported barriers to career changes. 

33% “Family and Financial Commitments.”

Changing jobs can be daunting. If you’re career shifting, you could be looking into a world of unknowns. While this can be exciting in some ways, it’s understandable that people with family and financial commitments feel there is more of a risk involved. However, when weighing up these decisions, it’s important to remember the negative impact that a career you don’t like can have on your family. It’s easy to hold the weight of a lousy workday on your shoulders. 

Software development also offers excellent salaries (even entry-level) and rapid career progression. It’s not unusual for a junior developer to become a senior within three to five years. 

20% “I’m too old to start over.”

Age can act as a barrier to many people. However, in our experience, we’ve had many people beyond 60 years old who have successfully transitioned from one job into software development after completing our programme. 

There is no magic age that somebody has to be to become a developer. In today’s world, businesses need programmes, but not only that, they need people with life experience, soft skills and sense. 

19% “I don’t have the right qualifications.”

This is an important one. For example, if you want to become a software developer, you have to train for it. We should all know that if we want something, we have to work for it. When it comes to software development, there are options. Firstly, a learner can try for a three to four-year computer science degree. The problem here is that it takes too long. Learners can also opt to teach themselves using free online resources. In theory, this can be a lot quicker than opting for a computer science degree. However, because there is no support available, the dropout rate can be huge, and it can be challenging to stay motivated. 

In the case of Code Institute’s Full Stack Software Development programme with Specializations, students can get the best of all worlds:

  1. It is the only university credit-rated online coding bootcamp in the UK and Europe.
  2. It offers unrivalled support, including tutors who are available seven days a week, mentors and more.
  3. Because it’s online, it provides flexibility, requiring a student to complete the programme within 12 months.

It also offers incredible career support to assist its students in landing a new job in software development once they graduate, supporting them with career change advice. At present, 98% of career services users are employed within a year of graduation. 

What’s really important about the Code Institute programme is that it’s the only course that offers students the opportunity to specialize in the most in-demand technologies in the world. So not only does a student become a full stack developer, but they can also become qualified in e-Commerce, Advanced Front-End Development with React.JS, or Predictive Analytics

Demand is everywhere

If you’re wondering how to change jobs to software development or whether or not now is a good time for a career change, the indicators are that there has probably been a better time to do so. The digital skills gap has been an issue for businesses for many years. In fact, tackling the digital skills gap now features in many government policies. 

The demand for tech skills, particularly software skills, is continually on the rise. When we look at research from the likes of the World Economic Forum, it appears that the demand will only rise into the future. To narrow it down, currently, there are 38,900 software jobs on Indeed UK when writing this article. In Ireland, it’s thought that as many as 10,000 ICT will go unfilled over the coming years. In the Netherlands, Indeed highlights more than 29,000 software vacancies, whereas in Sweden, a recent report highlight more than 70,000 unfilled ICT jobs between now and 2024. 

Start learning

If you have been thinking about how to change jobs, it’s always worth thinking about why. Why do you think about a career change? Do you dislike what you’re currently doing? Is it that you’d like a more stable career? Your reasons can often be used as motivators when you do actually decide to reskill. 

So, what’s the first step to changing your career to software development? Well, it’s time to start learning, and a great place to start is with our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. By taking part, you will learn the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. After just one hour a day, over five days, you’ll have built your first ever web page. This sample will let you know if you have an aptitude for software development. The challenge will also show you how you would learn on a Code Institute course. Register today through the link below.

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