Published On: Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Province Invests in Coding Training to Support Tech Sector

Province Invests in Coding Training to Support Tech Sector
The B.C. tech sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy with jobs that pay 75% higher than average and employs over 92,000 people.

BC - Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson has announced $500,000 in funding to expand short-term computer coding courses to nine public post-secondary institutions.

In March 2015, five public post-secondary institutions each received targeted one-time funding of $50,000. The funding supported short-term coding pilot programs tailored to meet local tech-industry needs and job openings. This year, government has expanded funding to a further five sites, in addition to continuing funding for the previous five institutions offering short-term coding programs.

The institutions receiving new funding include Langara College, Thompson Rivers University, the University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus), the University of the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island University. Institutions whose programs will continue are British Columbia Institute of Technology, Okanagan College, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia (Vancouver campus) and the University of Victoria.

Throughout the province, several hundred students enrolled for initial course offerings when the first pilot programs launched in 2015. Additional courses will be launched later this year.

The programming takes a variety of forms, reflecting the diversity of the opportunities available. For example, with funding support from the provincial government as well as local partners, the University of Victoria introduced “Untangling the Web” with modules that provide an introduction to resources, practices, programs and career options for people who had no prior experience in the tech sector. British Columbia Institute of Technology offered a web-development fundamentals program, with five courses running over 12 weeks.

Computer programmers and interactive media developers are among the top 100 occupations in the British Columbia 2025 Labour Market Outlook. As part of this program, BC Innovation Council was asked to facilitate discussions between various B.C. post-secondary institutions and private-industry stakeholders.