If you don’t already know how to code, you probably know the feeling. It’s the feeling of being too far behind to catch up, let alone to find work in the field. But what you also might not know is that today learning to code is much easier and faster than you might have ever imagined.

A Job in High Demand

According to Dice.com in 2016 the average income for a tech worker in the United States was $92,081. Currently, more than 600,000 coding jobs sit unfilled in the United States. And they don’t seem likely to be filled anytime soon. Another report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that by 2020 that number will reach 1 million unfilled jobs, and last year only 43,000 students graduated into the workforce with degrees in computer science.

How Long it Takes

So how long would it take to acquire the skills needed to fill one of these jobs? The answer may be much shorter than you’d imagine. According to Kevin Ng, Tech Lead at Wildebeest, “If your goal is to quickly learn the basics of coding, your career could be started in as little as three months.” This sentiment is echoed by many experts across the field who state that a new career in tech could be had in as little as a few months. But how do you get started?

Getting Up to Speed

One obvious option is to enroll in a traditional four year university. But if you don’t have the time, or the means, for this option you’re still very much in luck. Currently several viable at-home options exist to allow you to quickly get up to speed in as little as one hour a day.

Free Online Classes

One such option are free online coding classes. These classes can be ideal for people who need to keep a day job, and are also a great option because they let you go at your own pace. One of the best such sites in which to find such classes is, Codeacademy.com. At Codeacademy, they walk you through the step-by-step process to learn any one of 12 different programming languages. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the core skills needed before applying to a more rigorous coding bootcamp.

Boot Camps

While the idea of a coding bootcamp may sound intimidating at first, they’re often much less demanding than you may think. Coding bootcamps are relatively short term (usually 8-12 week) intensives that  are specifically designed to teach you how to program in a short amount of time. Many online bootcamps are free, but to enroll in a higher end program may cost as much as $20,000. This may seem high until you realize how much they can pay off.

Many bootcamps boasts extraordinarily high career placement rates for graduates. For example, one well known boot camp, Hack Reactor, is a 12 week intensive that costs $17,780, but boasts a 98% graduate placement with an average graduate’s starting salary of $104,000. With such impressive results it’s little wonder that entrance into the program is so competitive. But for those accepted, scholarship and financing options are available. For more information on deciding which boot camp may be right for you, check out this following link.

Community College or Night School

A final practical option is to enroll in a community college or night school. While a traditional four year program certainly has its advantages, many of the same skills taught there can be learned at any local community college. Here you can learn both the skills needed to create a portfolio to show potential employers or simply brush up on the requirements for one of the prestigious bootcamps.

With so much opportunity in the field of tech, it’s a wonder why more people aren’t pursuing these high paying jobs. Perhaps when more people realize how attainable the skills are to land one of these jobs they won’t remain unfilled for much longer.