Hey, software developers, web developers, web designers – you’re in demand! It’s estimated that by 2018, there will be roughly 1.4 million tech-related job openings in the U.S., but the country won’t have enough college graduates to fill even 30 percent of those positions.
If you’ve been thinking about picking up a new coding skill like C++, Python or Ruby on Rails, online schools allow you to test the waters of programming without a major time or money commitment. Or, if you’re an old pro looking to add new resources to your tech bag of tricks, free online classes can help you step up in-demand skills.
In a recent CNBC.com article, “High Tech Worker Shortage: Has Anything Changed?” Ed Nathanson, director of talent acquisition for the IT security firm Rapid7 was quoted, “Skills for Java, Hadoop and Ruby (programming languages) are in great demand, but there’s not enough available pool talent for them,” Nathanson says. “That’s why there’s a lot of competition for those who do have those skills.”
There are many free or inexpensive online courses to help tech types stay competitive in the high-tech worker’s market; here are six to consider:
Lifehacker Night School
Coding classes on this open source website include “The Full Beginner’s Guide” and “Working with Variables.”
Flexible learners like the hands-on instruction of online courses like “Introduction to Java” and “Ruby on Rails.”
Learn the tools to build great websites, games and apps with Codeacademy’s free classes.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare Site
Although OCW does not grant a degree or certificate, it does offer considerable free MIT course material.
Stanford University on iTunes
Stanford’s new iTunes U app features audio and video recordings of lectures (plus supplemental materials, assignments, exams, and posts) from actual courses offered to Stanford students.
A quick snapshot of four popular tech positions:
• Software developers make $90,530 on average, and job growth is projected to be 30 percent through the end of the decade; much faster than average.
• Computer programmers make $71,380 on average, and job growth is projected to be 12 percent; about as fast as average.
• Computer and information systems managers make $115,780 on average, and job growth is projected to be 18 percent; about as fast as average.
• Web developers make $75,660 on average, and job growth is projected to be 22 percent; faster than average.
*All job growth projections and wage information are provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook and based on May 2010 median pay.
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(photo credit: flickr/cjdc)