National Coding Week returns this week, and is gearing up to help even more people in Scotland learn about digital skills and why they should consider entering our thriving tech sector.

Coding organisations across Scotland are joining forces with industry to run events and support this exciting initiative. Now in its fourth year, National Coding Week is a weeklong series of events that are run by volunteers to encourage people to try their hand at coding.

But why should people learn to code? These days, the bigger question is: why wouldn’t you? Our society continues to become increasingly reliant on tech, and those with digital skills have never been in more demand to join our growing workforce.

It’s not just tech companies with this requirement. Even traditional industries such as finance and healthcare are becoming transformed by technology. Creative industries, life sciences and the public sector now also depend on tech professionals to deliver their services.

With 12,800 jobs predicted each year until 2024, and average earnings in this sector coming in at £37,500 (30% higher that the average Scottish salary!), there has never been a better time to turn your hand to coding and find out if it’s for you.

Coding is the umbrella term used for the many languages coders use to write computer programs. Learning code really is like learning a foreign language, it allows you to communicate with and instruct a computer. If you are a problem solver, you could be a natural born coder, as both require a logical yet creative approach.

National Coding Week is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about coding, and to try it yourself in a safe and supportive environment. Many coding organisations are showing their support, running groups and taster sessions. For example, digital skills academy CodeClan is running free lunchtime coding drop-in sessions in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

There are also many libraries getting involved and running local events, you can check out your local listings to find out more. Search your area on the National Coding Week website to find out what’s on throughout the week. The Open Tech Calendar is another excellent resource to see what’s happening near you this week and beyond.

Experts across the country are giving up their time to help guide anyone who wants to begin learning to code. It’s an excellent chance to take your first steps into coding and become a part of the fourth industrial revolution. You can also find more information about the kinds of jobs that require digital skills, and how to get into them, on the Digital World website.

I encourage everyone to give it a go – you might just find a new hobby, or an exciting and rewarding new career path.

Claire Gillespie is key sector manager for Digital Technologies at Skills Development Scotland.