Low-Cost Tools to Give Your Career an Edge

The current unemployment rate in the U.S. stands at 8.1 percent. With job prospects seeming bleak, more workers are opting to continue their education, learning new skills that will hopefully give them an edge in the competitive job market. Enter Treehouse (https://teamtreehouse.com/), an online learning database for graphic designers and computer programmers that offers video instruction on a wide range of subjects. Their hope is to help stand out in a sea of competitors by developing skills like coding and programming.

More than 12,000 students use Treehouse to continue their education. Instead of spending thousands of dollars, not to mention precious time they could spend workinng, to earn a formal college degree, subscribers pay a minimum of $25 a month for access to in-demand web design, web development, and iOS development tutorials. Need to learn a new skill to stay relevant in your career? Treehouse has you covered. Want to step up your professional cred (and maybe even your paycheck)? They have programs that can help you out.

Is Online Good Enough?

What could work against you if you learn your coding skills online, from a source like Treehouse? Some employers want applicants to have a college degree or some formal education – larger employers are more likely to require certain certifications or degrees.

Working for yourself or focusing your job search on small companies or start-ups may be the best way to find willing employers.

Big Payoffs Possible

Chris Cassidy, press relations for Treehouse, says many students take courses to refine their skills or eliminate bad habits. Others come to the site with no prior coding or designing skills. “I've spoken to one student who relied on Treehouse entirely for his programming education and now makes $3,000 to $4,000 monthly on an app he's built,” says Cassidy. “Another student used Treehouse to end her career as an office assistant. She is now front-end development for a start-up.”

The Future of Online Skill Building

What does Treehouse mean for the future? For some students, Treehouse is their first exposure to programming. “First-time programming students find Treehouse not just accessible, but effective,” says Cassidy. Using fun, engaging videos, quizzes and badges, which post to your profile as proof of your learning accomplishments, Treehouse students can go from zero experience to coding in a matter of weeks.

On the other hand, some Treehouse students have obtained university degrees in computer science or worked in the field for years. “What we hear from them is that the quality of Treehouse's instruction exceeds their university educations and previous instruction,” says Cassidy. The key to Treehouse is that it works for people of all skill levels. “We're not selling the idea of coding,” says Cassidy. “Treehouse is actually educating programmers and designers, equipping them with the confidence and skills necessary to contribute to the field.”

“For both Treehouse and our students, the sky is the limit,” he says.

Coding and Design Job Salaries

Are you curious what sort of job opportunities you can create with coding know-how? Some very lucrative positions may await you:

Computer Programmer

Web Developer

Software Designer

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(Image courtesy of TeamTreehouse.com)


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