Why we've seen a huge upturn in people seeking a career in coding: Sam Caine

Over the past few weeks, we have seen an unprecedented number of people applying for our courses. So much so that we described Tuesday 9th January as ‘New Career Tuesday’. It may sound like a marketing cliché, but please bear with me… it’s really not.

At Northcoders, we have recorded a 250% jump in new course registrations from people wanting to switch careers since 1st January when compared to the same period in 2023. That is simply unprecedented. Especially when you factor in a bumper 48% increase in ‘coding bootcamps’ searches that we have recorded from Google over the Christmas period.

Based on our own detailed analysis and data trends, we expect this to peak on Tuesday 9th. If that happens, we will see the highest number of applicants to our courses that we have ever had since we were established eight years ago.

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What’s more, applications are coming in from right across the UK and are primarily for our software development and data engineering bootcamps - both of which are 13 weeks long and start in March.They can be taught in person at our hubs in Leeds and Manchester but the demand for our remote courses are really making a positive change for those unable to physically or financially commute into a major city - gone are the days that geography restricts someone’s ambition.

Sam Caine, COO at Northcoders, shares his expert insightSam Caine, COO at Northcoders, shares his expert insight
Sam Caine, COO at Northcoders, shares his expert insight

As a business that helps people to kick start new careers, Christmas and New Year has always been a key time for us, and we normally expect an increase in applications from those with a “New Year, New Me” mindset, but this huge upturn has surprised even us.

Why now? That is, of course, difficult to quantify but that precious two-week festive downtime gives us all some breathing space when we can reassess what we want out of life - whether that’s more money, a better work/life balance, more fulfilment in our work, or more stability.

We’ve also spoken to many people who are looking at what’s happening in the world – including economic and political uncertainty - and they are being inspired to act and do something that improves their lives.

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With the ongoing cost of living crisis means everyone is still feeling squeezed and that is certainly amplified at Christmas, it seems to have given people the extra push to change their lives by switching to a career in a growing industry.

Globally, 2023 was not a great year for the tech sector – and there were well-publicised redundancies and hiring freezes - but our network of 400+ hiring partners and wider market analysis suggests fresh momentum and new growth in the industry, and the new careers to go with it.

That demand for new people joining the industry comes down to three core factors: junior developers bring a fresh perspective and an eagerness to learn - qualities that can drive innovation and adaptation; in an economic climate where many companies are looking to control costs, hiring and retaining junior developers can a smarter strategy – we work with companies to find the right developers for them with no fee; and investing in junior developers allows companies to shape talent according to their needs and culture.

Moving forward, our focus will be on helping as many people as possible to realise their goals. That’s no small task but it’s one we are ready for.

Sam Caine the COO (chief operating officer) of Northcoders

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