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Advice / Career Paths / Training & Development

5 Underrated Benefits of Learning to Code (Even if You're Not an Engineer)

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If you’re not an engineer and never plan on being one, you probably have no desire to learn to code. That’s fair! I mean, why would you try to pick up a skill that isn’t even relevant to the job you’re in?

But understanding code isn’t just a technical skill to slap on your resume—although it certainly doesn’t hurt to have it. Kapil Kale, a software engineer and venture hacker at AngelList, says recent AngelList data show that “candidates applying to non-technical roles who highlight technical coursework are 50% more likely to get matched.”

Let me repeat that for the people who are skimming: 50% more likely!

Learning to code has plenty of other perks, too—no matter what field you’re in.

Here are just a few:

1. You Can Make Tech Changes All on Your Own

If you’re a marketer or writer who’s ever felt frustrated by a blog’s layout or had to struggle to use a generic newsletter template, skills like HTML and CSS will be your new best friends. With the ability to create templates from scratch, you can brand your content based on the exact format and style you—or your boss—seek.

Best of all, you can work autonomously. You’ll eliminate time spent across engineering and design teams, you won’t be waiting for other people to make edits, and you’ll impress your boss by making everyone’s lives easier. And, you’ll be able to maintain that professional and fresh look to your content if resources and budget are limited.

2. You Can Back Up Your Negotiations With Data

Coding skills like SQL can help back up your next client proposal or salary negotiation with hard data to make your case. Rather than talking in the abstract, you’ll actually be able to show the numbers.

SQL allows you to take any data set (whether that’s showing the need for a project you’re proposing or finding out how much revenue the company has made because of your work) and distill it into useful results so your ideas are supported by facts—making it easier to land the deal you desire.

3. You Can Create a Portfolio That Stands Out From the Rest

Coding skills allow you to build custom websites from scratch, meaning you’ll have a way to showcase your work (including the results of your coding projects) without being limited to the same templates everyone else is using. Not only does this make you stand out visually, but it makes your website a portfolio work in itself.

Plus, in the process of learning these skills, you’ll gain the ability to build landing pages, edit websites, and add some serious tech skills to your resume.

4. You Can Speak Your Engineering Team’s Language

One thing recruiters love to see, in almost any role, is the ability to communicate well with product and engineering teams—an essential skill for bridging the gap between product capabilities and how they’re positioned to the customer.

Coding skills provide insight into how products are created, meaning you can work more efficiently with the technical side of the house and accurately set timelines. Not only will your team love the time and energy (and friction) you save, but you’ll also be able to directly impact the business and be a part of discussions.

5. You Can Make a Case for a Raise

It’s still rare for non-technical professionals like designers, marketers, and project managers to have coding skills. Adding technical expertise to your resume will help you negotiate for more money down the road, whether you change jobs or move up in your current one.

Per Paysa’s salary calculator, the average salary difference for a marketer who knows basic HTML and JavaScript is over $10K. And a survey of Codecademy users in 2017 found that 30% of learners reported getting a raise or making more money from these skills, some of which they had learned in just a few hours. Not half bad, huh?

The point is, you never know when coding will come in handy in your career.

If we’ve convinced you that learning to code is worth the time (and if you’re not, you might want to re-read this real fast), here are the best classes for beginners to get started today—and for free!