The world is migrating towards the internet and we need web developers to lay the foundations for the rapidly growing digital space.
In 2009 the global recession spurred a massed exodus to the World Wide Web as businesses fled a crashing economy in the hopes of finding a rich, fertile, new space for the future.
In order to facilitate this, demand for web developers rose rapidly, with the web developer market growing 50% from 8,000 to 12,000 by the end of that year.
Since then, the number of web developer jobs has continued to rise 3% year on year, representing a steady migration of business to the internet. So the total number of web developer jobs currently stands at around 16,000.
(stats from ITJobsWatch)
However, there are currently more web developer vacancies than there are qualified web developers to fill them.
Meanwhile, high street business is shrinking, while online business is rapidly rising.
For example, The Mirror reported a 20% increase in online shopping during the 2012 Christmas period.
The paper also estimated that 4,000 high street stores would close by the end of March as retail chains accelerated store closure plans to focus on the online markets instead.
But what does it all mean?
Basically that the world is migrating to the internet faster than we can create web developers to facilitate business in the online space.
It also means that if there was an event that sparked another exodus to the internet, we definitely wouldn’t have the web developers to do that either.
But whether there’s a gradual migration or a massed exodus to the web – either way, the future looks bright if you’re a web developer.
Careers in Web Development
The rising demand for web developers could provide ample employment opportunities for proactive under-twenties struggling in an increasingly difficult jobs market.
Now that work experience, self tuition and personal projects are given greater value by employers than an expensive university degree, higher education isn’t really a requirement anymore.
For example, most people who go into web development usually study Computer Sciences. However, these courses don’t actually teach you any programming languages.
Meanwhile, all of the various developer languages can be readily self-taught using free online resources. You just need to pay to take a certification exam when you’re ready.
Anybody Can Learn
During the past year there have been a number of groups actively promoting programming languages.
The biggest (or best financed at least) is Code.org, which is backed up by entrepreneurs, technology leaders and politicians with the message that “Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code.”
There are over 100 endorsements on this site, but I think will.i.am sums it up best:
“Here we are, 2013, we ALL depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code. It’s important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.”
Obviously, you don’t need to be that young to start learning. But there are great career opportunities out there right now. And we, as a digitally connected world, need people to start filling vacancies and start training for the rising number of vacancies in the future.
And while we’re at it, let’s stop wasting millions on higher education that doesn’t teach our kids anything they need to know for a career in the real world.