Five Coding Careers with Increasing Demand


As a new breed of innovators step onto the tech scene, computer programming skills are quickly moving from supplementary to necessary.

But although coding will be a critical skill for tomorrow’s workforce, only 1 in 4 schools teach computer programming.

Working to increase student interest in coding, the engineers and computer programmers at Lockheed Martin will host the fifth annual Code Quest computer programming competition on April 30, 2016. During Code Quest, some of the best and brightest local high school students in nine cities across the U.S. participate in a two-and-a-half hour team coding competition aimed at encouraging them to pursue studies in information technology degrees.

Why Learn How to Code?

In today’s digital society, nearly everything boils down to science and math, and the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is becoming more and more evident. Learning how to code is one of the best ways to begin a career in a STEM field, because it is the most basic form of literacy in computer programming. In many ways learning to code is similar to learning how to write in a language class. Coding even has benefits that reach beyond STEM careers – it has proven to vastly improve analytical and problem-solving skills.

The United States’ technological advantage depends on the highly trained, highly capable technical talent of tomorrow. There are numerous careers and industries that require coding skills, many of which are exciting, fast paced and rewarding.

Cool Careers in Coding

Here are four cool ways coding is used at Lockheed Martin:

1. Tackle big data: “Big data” is a buzz word in the business world, and for good reason.

Big data describes the massive amount of data accumulating in our digital world that is too large to process, but thanks to coding and data analytics, we are able to tackle “big data” and use it to make more informed decisions.

In simple terms, data analytics it is the ability to collect, manage and analyze big data. Coding helps us to do this by creating algorithms that can systematically organize big data and produce meaningful insights. With the immergence of big data, companies and corporations around the globe are looking for a new kind of scientist – a “data scientist.” Discover more about the field of data analytics.

2. Fly planes: Becoming a pilot is a career dream of many, but if you don’t want to fly the plane yourself, you can still write the software that helps it take flight.

At Lockheed Martin, we are currently building the F-35 Lightning II – the most technologically sophisticated 5th generation fighter jet that runs on more than 8 million lines of software code.

This need for increasingly complex software is building the case for even more sophisticated computer programming known as quantum computing. Quantum computing will continue to advance and provide the ability to debug exceedingly complex lines of code, faster and more affordably. See how we are dabbling in quantum computing.


3. Code out crime: Cyber security presents complex computational security challenges.

All critical infrastructure owners and operators, from Fortune 500 CEOs to individuals and owners of small companies, are now paying closer attention to cyber security.

As criminals become more technologically savvy, the industry is looking for the next generation of cyber security experts to defend the country’s commercial and security interests. Currently, Lockheed Martin is developing a Computer Incident Response Team, which uses an intelligence-driven cyber defense to monitor all phases of a cyber-attack to understand the aggressor’s actions before they become harmful. Explore other ways we are helping to code out crime.

4. Build robots: When it comes to robotics, the opportunities are endless and discovery is ongoing. Today, we are programming robots that are capable of solving a number of challenges, from disaster response to deep space exploration.

The ability to program a robot with intelligent behaviors is moving the state-of-the-art innovations forward. Our systems can control and operate robots and unmanned vehicles that are seamlessly integrated with human missions. Learn more about our work in the world of robotics and meet the people behind the bot.

5. Track What’s Going on in Space: It’s been almost 65 years since humans’ first visit to space, and since then, we’ve advanced our situational awareness of what goes on “up there” by lightyears.

One example of how we keep abreast of the space situation is C4ISR - command, control, computers, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. C4ISR is a ground-based interpreter for all the information that’s gathered by radars and satellites. Thanks to the work of coders, we’re able to fuse all of this information together to create a picture of the space environment. This information is then shared with the people who need it, like Space Fence operators who need to adjust the track of satellites to avoid a collision with “space junk.” Explore how we collect and crunch data from space.

These are just five jobs at Lockheed Martin that use the power of coding to enhance our ability to innovate and stay ahead of the game. Learn more about Code Quest and Lockheed Martin’s other STEM outreach programs.