The internet has become part of almost every aspect of our lives.
To find our way through a city, we depend on mapping tools; to connect with our loved ones, we depend on messaging and videoconferencing technologies; to find entertainment, we use sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Behind every website and web application—large and small—is a web developer, who is tasked with making sure that a website is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. These web developers take a design and a list of specifications then turn it into a website that can be browsed on mobile phones, computers, and any other internet-powered device.
Developers use HTML and CSS to build the structure and design for a website. HTML is a programming language that allows you to define where certain elements appear on a website, while CSS allows you to add aesthetic effects to make a website visually appealing.
According to StackOverflow’s 2019 Developer Survey, which studied more than 90,000 developers and their thoughts on programming, HTML and CSS together ranked #2 on the list of top programming, scripting, and markup languages.
You may be asking yourself: Why should I learn HTML and CSS? What are the benefits of doing so? Those are questions we’ll answer in this article.
What Are HTML and CSS?
HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is a programming language that defines the structure of a webpage. HTML uses a system called tags to describe where certain elements should appear on a web page and tells the browser how to display content.
For instance, in HTML an
<a> tag is used to add a link to a web page, and a
<h1> tag allows you to create a big header that appears on a web page.
HTML is commonly used with another language called CSS. CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, describes how HTML elements should appear on a web page. Using CSS, you can add color to a web page, change the style of fonts, add gradients, and make other visual-related updates to a site.
Let’s break down seven reasons why learning HTML and CSS is a good use of your time.
#1: HTML and CSS Are at the Core of the Internet
HTML and CSS are the two most fundamental programming languages used in web development. Without them, we would not have websites.
Knowing how to code in HTML and CSS will give you a clear insight into how the internet works and will help you better understand how the websites you use every day are built.
Have you ever wondered how websites can show colored text, or how a website can include a YouTube video? Well, if you know how to code in HTML and CSS, you will not have to wonder, because you’ll know all the basic parts of how a website is built.
#2: HTML and CSS Allow You to Create Websites
HTML and CSS are, as we have discussed, web development technologies. So, if you learn how to code in HTML and CSS, you’ll be capable of building your own websites that you can share with other people.
Have you ever wanted to create your own portfolio site? Or perhaps a website to show off your photography skills? Or have you aspired to create a site to discuss your hobby? Well, you no longer need to dream of doing those things—if you can code in HTML and CSS, you can actually build those websites.
#3: HTML and CSS Can Help You Get Better at Your Existing Job
Knowing a bit of HTML and CSS can help even if you don’t want to become a web developer.
For instance, if you are a marketer, knowing how a web page is built allows you to design more effective marketing campaigns. Or if you are an SEO expert, knowing about website structures can help you refine your strategy. So, no matter if you want to build a website or just have a new skill under your belt, HTML and CSS are a good skill to master.
Are you responsible for customer success? You could use your HTML knowledge to design a more effective email to send to customers. Or are you responsible for sales? You could use HTML to design a custom form that can be placed on your company’s website.
That’s right. Learning HTML and CSS is both an investment in yourself, and also your current career. You don’t even need to move to a job in tech to use your skills!
#4: Web Developers Are in Demand
When deciding on what skill to build, the question “will this help me in my career?” will likely pop up in your mind.
As we just discussed, learning HTML and CSS could potentially help you become better at your current job. But that’s not all—learning HTML and CSS can help you break into a career in tech as a web developer or a web designer.
HTML and CSS are the two fundamental skills required for all jobs in web design and development, and as a result, these skills are in high demand.
According to data from Glassdoor, there are over 53,000 job postings for web developers in the United States (as of April 24, 2020).
In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in web development will increase by 13% by 2028, which the Bureau describes as “much faster than average.” Combined with the data from Glassdoor, this data paints a clear picture—web developers are in high demand.
#5: HTML and CSS Are Easy to Learn
Many new developers start their journey into tech by learning HTML and CSS. This is in large part because these programming languages offer a simple syntax—which is the set of rules that defines how to code—and are easy to learn.
HTML uses a tag-based structure, which is easy to understand even without any prior technical experience. CSS uses a simple structure, too, which means that the learning curve for mastering the language is relatively smooth.
For instance, the following line of code allows you to add a paragraph of text onto a web page:
<p>This is a paragraph of text!</p>
The “p” in this example stands for “paragraph”—isn’t that simple!
Also, knowing any programming language generally makes it easy to acquire new skills in coding, because all coding requires the same degree of analytical thinking and problem-solving.
#6: HTML and CSS Pay Well
Are you looking to learn a skill that will advance your salary prospects? HTML and CSS have you covered.
According to data collected from Glassdoor on April 24, 2020, the average base pay for a web developer in the United States is $68,524—that’s an impressive sum!
If that was not enough, senior web developers—who typically have a few years of experience—command an average salary of $87,712, which shows the growing earning potential that can build up as you gain more web development experience.
Another bonus to learning HTML and CSS is that, because they power the internet, you should have no trouble finding a company that can utilize your skills. Facebook, Twitter, Coursera, Netflix, Google, and Tesla are just a few examples of companies that use HTML and CSS. But it’s not just big companies that use HTML and CSS, even your favorite coffee shop’s website will use HTML and CSS too!
#7: There Are Many Great Resources Available for Beginners
The simple syntax associated with HTML and CSS is one great reason why learning these languages is a good idea for beginners to coding.
But there is another compelling reason that relates to the ease of learning these technologies—there are many great resources out there to help you learn HTML and CSS.
These languages are so important to the internet that there are thousands of tutorials and online courses that cover them. As a result, you should have no trouble finding a resource you can use to learn to code in HTML and CSS.
If you are looking for a good place to get started, check out Career Karma’s Introduction to HTML and CSS series, which cover the fundamentals of these languages in depth.
Say Yes to HTML and CSS
Knowing how to code in any language is valuable, but if you’re interested in web development, HTML and CSS are two main skills you’ll need to know.
HTML and CSS are renowned for being beginner-friendly, both as a result of the simple syntax used by these languages, and the great developer community that surrounds them.
Although these languages may be good for beginners, their importance should not be undermined—all websites are powered using HTML and CSS, and even big websites like Amazon and Netflix rely on these technologies.
Learning HTML and CSS allows you to build your own websites, gives you a skill you can use to improve work at your current job, and also opens up an opportunity to transition into a career in tech. What’s not to love!