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Low-Cost Tools to Give Your Career an Edge


The current unemployment rate in the U.S.
stands at 8.1 percent. With job prospects seeming bleak, more workers are
opting to continue their education, learning new skills that will hopefully
give them an edge in the competitive job market. Enter Treehouse (,
an online learning database for graphic designers and computer programmers
that offers video instruction on a wide range of subjects. Their hope is to help stand out in a sea of competitors by developing skills like coding and programming.

than 12,000 students use Treehouse to continue their education. Instead of
spending thousands of dollars, not to mention precious time they could spend
workinng, to earn a formal college degree, subscribers pay a minimum of $25 a
month for access to in-demand web design, web development, and iOS development tutorials.
Need to learn a new skill to stay relevant in your career? Treehouse has you
covered. Want to step up your professional cred (and maybe even your paycheck)?
They have programs that can help you out.

Online Good Enough?

could work against you if you learn your coding skills online, from a source
like Treehouse? Some employers want applicants to have a college degree or some
formal education – larger employers are more likely to require certain
certifications or degrees.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

for yourself or focusing your job search on small companies or start-ups may be
the best way to find willing employers.

Payoffs Possible

Cassidy, press relations for Treehouse, says many students take courses to
refine their skills or eliminate bad habits. Others come to the site with no
prior coding or designing skills. “I've spoken to one student who relied on
Treehouse entirely for his programming education and now makes $3,000 to $4,000
monthly on an app he's built,” says Cassidy. “Another student used Treehouse to
end her career as an office assistant. She is now front-end development for a

The Future of Online Skill Building

What does Treehouse mean for the
future? For some students, Treehouse is their first exposure to
programming. “First-time programming students find Treehouse not just
accessible, but effective,” says Cassidy. Using fun, engaging videos, quizzes
and badges, which post to your profile as proof of your learning accomplishments,
Treehouse students can go from zero experience to coding in a matter of weeks.

On the other hand, some Treehouse students
have obtained university degrees in computer science or worked in the field for
years. “What we hear from them is that the quality of Treehouse's instruction
exceeds their university educations and previous instruction,” says Cassidy. The
key to Treehouse is that it works for people of all skill levels. “We're not
selling the idea of
coding,” says Cassidy. “Treehouse is actually educating programmers and
designers, equipping them with the confidence and skills necessary to
contribute to the field.”

“For both Treehouse and our students, the
sky is the limit,” he says.

Coding and Design Job Salaries

Are you curious what sort of job
opportunities you can create with coding know-how? Some very lucrative
positions may await you:

Computer Programmer

Web Developer

Software Designer

More from PayScale

Coursera Creates a Successful Global Higher Education Community

Online Schools for Learning Code

Is Self-Learning the New Master's Degree?

(Image courtesy of

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