Could Programming Be The Next Blue Collar Workforce?

Market Trends

Could Programming Be The Next Blue Collar Workforce?

Feb 9, 2017

BLUE COLLAR CODING: Many are familiar with the ubiquitous tech-worker stereotype: a hoodie-clad programmer—perhaps a college dropout—who’s out to “change the world” and make a few millions in the process. But the hip Silicon Valley-guised image may be deceiving. In fact, “the Valley employs only 8 percent of the nation’s coders,” according to WIRED’s recent feature of the future of coding. What’s the other 92 percent look like? They’re the millions of software-security service people, computer or database administrators and IT managers running local and big businesses all around the country. The numbers lead WIRED to ask, could coding be the next “pillar of civil middle-class society?”

According to tech writer Clive Thompson, the answer is yes—if we change the way workers are prepared for these jobs. “You could learn how to do it at a community college; midcareer folks would attend intense months-long programs,” Thompson writes. “There’d be less focus on the wunderkinds and more on the proletariat.”


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