Switching careers is tough.
It’s hard to know if your career change goals are actually realistic. For example, if you’re trying to make a switch into tech, what programming languages do you really need to know? How do you know how well you stack up against everyone else? How do you know if you’re qualified enough to make a move?
It’s not easy to figure out.
You might feel that you’re “throwing away” everything you worked so hard for. If you have a degree in a certain area or have been working for years in a field, it may be it harder to switch to something new and feel like you’re taking a few steps back.
And it’s true — you might be taking a few steps back in the short term. But it could have a lot of amazing benefits in the long run, like the ones below:
You could skyrocket your income
If you’re transitioning into a job in the tech world, you could boost your income significantly.
For those who go to a coding bootcamp, the average salary increase is about $26,000. For lower income students, the average lift in income is nearly $40,000. Within several years, after you develop a bigger portfolio of projects and experience, you could be making six figures with a lot of room for upward mobility.
There’s no doubt that it takes work — programming is a challenging field and there’s a reason they get paid higher-than-average salaries. But if you learn from the right people and stick with it, you could get there relatively fast.
Imagine what kind of life that would mean for you. Imagine what you could do with tens of thousands of extra dollars coming in every year.
Maybe it would mean an nice vacation for you and your family. Maybe it would mean buying your dream car. Maybe it would mean getting a personal trainer to get in great shape, or home cooked meals delivered to your door so you don’t have to worry about what to eat. An extra $10k-$20k a year could be a massive game changer for most people in terms of their quality of life.
And if you choose to invest an extra $20,000 a year in standard index funds, you’ll be seeing multiple six figures in your bank account within a few years.
In addition to your full time job, you might also choose to do some freelancing on the side in your downtime. More and more small companies are looking for developers to build web and mobile apps. There are 100+ startups looking for part time front end developers on AngelList alone.
If you have basic knowledge in that area, you could easily make an extra $1000 per month and quickly ramp up.
That starts to add up to a lot of cash relatively quickly. It takes work for sure, but it’s still easier to increase your income as a developer than it is if you’re non-technical.
For many people, seeing an income change like that alone makes it worth it to switch careers.
More job satisfaction
Around 70% of Americans say they’re not happy at their jobs. That’s a ridiculously high number.
People can be unhappy for all sorts of reasons. It could be low pay, it could be their working conditions or how their office is structured, it could be the people they work with, it could be that they’re not feeling recognized by their boss, etc.
But at big part of why so many people are dissatisfied is that they don’t feel challenged enough.
Many of us go through school or even some additional training to get qualified enough to land the job we want, but once we get it, it can feel like we’re just doing mindless work all the time without using anything we learned.
The nice thing about landing a job as a developer is that there’s always something new to learn everyday. Even engineers with 20–30+ years of experience sometimes still rely on sites like StackOverflow to tackle difficult problems at work.
Programming isn’t a skill that you learn and regurgitate over and over again. It’s a thought process that you apply to solving new problems — so you can virtually guarantee that you’ll feel challenged enough at work.
More perks to enjoy everyday
Another benefit of getting into a tech career is that you’re in super high demand.
It’s usually harder for companies to find the right developers than it is for developers to find a good company to work for. That’s why startups are maintaining cool office spaces, and perks like free food, game rooms, fitness classes, gym membership, reimbursement for education, even massages.
Those perks might get you another $10k-$20k / year worth of value out of your job.
Another huge benefit that some companies offer is the option to work remotely. That means you’d be able to slowly get up and start your day completely relaxed — instead of rushing out the door at 8am to commute to work after slapping “snooze” on your alarm clock five times.
It means you’d be able to structure your day how you want to structure it, and spend a lot of concentrated time getting your work done instead of putting out fires at work everyday.
Other tech companies have more unique perks. For example, Airbnb gives employees a $2,000 stipend to travel anywhere they want to in the world. Pinterest gives workers up to three months paid time off for paternity leave, and another month of part-time hours. Twitter gives its employees three free meals a day, offers improv classes, and on-site acupuncture.
These perks don’t just cover some of the expenses that you’d otherwise have to cover on your own (like food, gym, etc) — they also give you the opportunity to learn things that you’d otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to. It allows for a richer life all around.
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference whether it makes sense for you to switch careers or not, but considering all these benefits, it could be worth it to invest the time right now and reap the rewards for years to come.
See how your background “stacks up” against everyone else in the tech world here.