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date icon June 24, 2024

Why learn tech even if you are not a techie?

CEO & Founder at CodeOp

We’re now in the digital age, where technology is no longer reserved for IT professionals and tech enthusiasts.

In today’s interconnected world, tech literacy is a skill that transcends industries, impacting every job role from marketing to manufacturing, healthcare to finance.

You wonder why you should care about tech if you’re not a techie? The answer is simple.

Technology drives innovation and efficiency in every field. By gaining tech skills, you increase your Employability and productivity. Additionally, you equip yourself to navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving job market.

Of course, I am not asking you to become a hardcore programmer and immediately replace your operating system with Linux. Understanding the basics of technology can help you transform your career, streamline your daily tasks, enhance your creativity, and open up new realms of opportunity.

A solid grasp of technical skills is more than a line item on a resume—it’s a significant competitive edge. Here are my ten reasons to learn basic tech even if you aren’t a techie:

1. Boosting Employability

For modern professionals, technical proficiency is crucial. Employers across industries value candidates who can navigate complex software, handle data effectively, and understand the basics of coding.

This is because such skills directly enhance productivity and versatility. Tech skills can help you automate tedious tasks, analyze data to create targeted marketing campaigns, automate content creation, etc. For eg: knowing how to automate tasks with scripts can save hours of manual work, making you a valuable asset to any team.

2. Enhanced Digital Literacy

In today’s digital-centric world, technology isn’t just about knowing how to use gadgets; it’s about understanding how your data is being used, safeguarding your privacy, and navigating digital spaces responsibly.

Nowadays, knowing how to manage privacy settings on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and (especially) Reddit can protect you from unwanted data sharing and prevent common scams that target less tech-savvy users.

3. Enhancing Job Performance

Learning a technical skill doesn’t just correspond to learning software; it helps you develop critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and the ability to break down complex problems. Such skills are valuable in any career and can help you approach problems with an innovative mindset.

With tech skills, you can perform various tasks more efficiently and solve problems more creatively. For example, mastering spreadsheet software like Excel for data analysis or learning basic web development can allow you to take on projects that others might need to outsource. This capability boosts your performance and positions you as a go-to problem solver within your workplace.

4. Improving Daily Convenience

Technical skills can dramatically streamline everyday tasks, making routines more efficient. Imagine automating your home lighting and heating systems through smart home integrations.

For example, I have set up my home devices such that my room’s lights turn on 5 minutes before I have to wake up, followed by Alexa Rickrolling me in the morning with the immortalized song. But that’s not all, my IR controller systematically increases and decreases my HVAC temperature such that it gets chilly at night time (facilitating good sleep) and warmer in the morning (facilitating an ideal waking-up routine).

Can you guess how many lines of code it took me to make all this happen? Zero.

5. Opportunities for Career Advancement

Technical skills open doors to new career paths and opportunities for advancement that might otherwise be inaccessible. Understanding the technical aspects of a business can help you move into roles that bridge the gap between technical and management teams.

For instance, project managers with a strong technical background are better equipped to manage tech projects because they understand the language and challenges of their teams.

6. Supporting Family and Community

Being a tech-savvy family or community member can be incredibly rewarding. It often involves troubleshooting devices, setting up new gadgets, or educating others about safe internet practices.

For instance, you might help a relative set up a new smartphone, teach them to download apps safely or help a local community center improve network security.

7. Future-Proofing Your Career

As industries evolve with technological advances, foundational knowledge of tech can future-proof your career. Learning a basic programming language, design software, or data analysis tool will help you stay relevant and marketable in this ever-changing job market. It makes you adaptable and prepared for roles that might change with emerging technologies.

8. Hobbies and Personal Projects

Tech knowledge can significantly enhance personal hobbies by adding a layer of modern sophistication. For photography enthusiasts, learning digital editing through software like Adobe Photoshop can transform your raw photographs into professional-level artwork.

Similarly, if you enjoy gardening, tech skills can help you design a controlled irrigation system triggered by soil moisture sensors, all managed through a simple user interface.

9. Staying Informed and Safe Online

In an age of rampant misinformation, tech literacy helps you identify reliable sources and fact-check information. It also equips you with the skills to safely navigate and utilize the internet.

For example, understanding how phishing scams work or recognizing the signs of fraudulent websites can protect you and your financial assets from cybercriminals.

10. Open Doors to Side Hustles and Freelance Work

Tech skills are in high demand across the gig economy, offering numerous opportunities for lucrative side hustles and freelance work. Whether you’re interested in developing websites for local businesses, crafting engaging content for social media platforms, or offering data analysis services, possessing technical skills can provide you with significant additional income and professional flexibility. This aspect of tech proficiency supplements your main income and enriches your professional portfolio.

By embracing technical learning and continuously updating your tech skills, you position yourself as a proactive, forward-thinking professional ready to take on complex challenges and seize opportunities in a digitally driven world.

Tips for succeeding in a part-time coding bootcamp
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How can you learn and Improve Technical Skills?

Starting your journey in tech learning might seem daunting, but it’s more accessible today than ever. Here are some pointers to help you get started:

1. Identify Your Learning Goals

Determine what you want to achieve with your tech education. Do you want to build websites, create mobile apps, or understand data analytics? Your goals will guide your learning path.

One of the biggest mistakes I see new students make is they try to learn “the most popular stuff.” Learning Python and JavaScript won’t do you any good. It’s not an ideal stack to build anything worthwhile. If you want to build a website, learn JavaScript, HTML and CSS, maybe some PHP. If you want to build games, try C++ and its sister languages.

If you want to build a home network and host your own alternatives to Google Drive, Dropbox, Netflix, etc. learn networking, docker and some basic YAML.

2. Do It Yourself

If you can muster self-discipline and organization, a few Google searches can help you gather enough resources to get you going. The deeper you dig you will come across many helpful resources and platforms to acquire wanted technical skills.

However, remember that the only way to grow in tech is to gain as much hands-on experience as possible; it will help you learn faster and retain better. After all, book learning can take you so far.

3. Coding Bootcamp

A coding bootcamp is an intensive, short-term training program that teaches participants coding, software development, and other tech-related skills. These programs are designed to prepare students for tech jobs by providing practical, hands-on experience in a condensed time frame.

These programs often include career support and job placement services, making them a valuable resource for anyone looking to enter or advance in the tech industry. CodeOp offers various bootcamps: full stack development, data science, and analytics.

4. Join Online Communities

Platforms like GitHub, Stack Overflow, and even Reddit have communities where you can ask questions, exchange ideas, and get feedback from experienced professionals. Participating in these communities can accelerate learning and connect you with like-minded individuals.

5. Stay Curious and Updated

The tech field constantly evolves, with new tools and technologies emerging regularly. Keep your curiosity alive by staying updated with the latest trends and continuously exploring new areas of interest.

Author: Katrina Walker
CEO & Founder at CodeOp
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I relocated to South Europe in 2016 to explore the growing tech scene from a data science perspective. After working as a data scientist in both the public...
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