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Digital skills have already conquered the workforce, with nearly 8 in 10 middle-skill jobs identified as “digitally intensive.” But as you climb the income ladder, the nature of the computer skills required becomes more complex.

In “Beyond Point and Click: The Expanding Demand for Coding Skills,” a report prepared for Oracle Academy, Burning Glass Technologies studied more than 26 million job postings to find out how extensively employers are demanding coding skills. The ability to write computer code, as opposed to doing preformatted tasks, is linked to higher-level work—and to higher levels of income.

Seven million job openings were in occupations that value coding skills in 2015. That accounts for 20% of all “career track” jobs, those that pay a national living wage of at least $15 per hour.

On average, jobs that require coding skills pay $84,000 per year. That’s $22,000 more than other occupations. But it’s how those jobs break out by income that is most revealing.

Chart: The Demand for Coding Skills Rises With Income Levels

In the lower income quartile, under $23,000 per year, there are almost no jobs that call for coding. The proportion of coding jobs slowly increases in the second two quartiles, and then skyrockets, with nearly half of all jobs paying more than $58,000 per year calling for coding.

The exact salary increases depending on how intensively coding skills are needed in the role. For example, IT roles, which call for extensive coding skills, have average advertised salaries of $90,000 per year. In scientific positions, where coding is required but not necessarily a core part of the job, the average advertised salary is $61,000.

The lesson? Few other skills open the door to as many well-paying positions as learning to write computer code. For those seeking a path forward in the job market, coding pays off.

Dan Restuccia is Chief Analytics Officer of Burning Glass Technologies.
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