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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
April 5, 2017
Ministry of Advanced Education
Post-secondary students get coding skills

VICTORIA – Ten public post-secondary institutions will receive targeted funding to create short-term coding programs that give students the coding skills in demand by tech employers.

The $500,000 investment this year is the third year that the program has been funded and the first time that the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) has received funding. The programs support the growing technology sector in B.C. that employs over 100,000 people.  

Ten universities, colleges and institutes will receive $50,000 each to provide short-term coding programs:

  • B.C. Institute of Technology
  • Langara College
  • Okanagan College
  • Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Victoria
  • Vancouver Island University

The one-time funding announced today by the Ministry of Advanced Education builds on investments of $250,000 in 2015-16 and $500,000 in 2016-17.

Short-term coding programs are generally less than 12 weeks in length. These targeted programs help students build on the education they previously acquired at college or university, and helps increase their employability by providing them with the specialized coding skills local tech employers are looking for.

For example, SFU is partnering with CodeCore to offer a free coding course to low-income, unemployed or underemployed adults living in or near Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Okanagan College partnered with Lighthouse Labs to offer Coding Fundamentals. The 60-hour course helped students develop their coding literacy and web development fundamentals. Students were also mentored by developers.

The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of British Columbia's vibrant technology sector and strengthen B.C.'s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million #BCTECH Fund and initiatives to increase talent development through more tech-related grads, co-ops and coding, as well as data innovation and market access for tech companies to drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.

Under B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, the Ministry of Advanced Education aligns programs and funding to support in-demand careers, including those that support the B.C. tech sector. B.C.’s Blueprint outlines a plan to ensure British Columbians have the training and education they need to take advantage of the diverse, strong and growing economy in the province.

Since 2015-16, the Ministry of Advanced Education has invested a total of $1.25 million dollars to support short-term coding training.


Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson –

“Our government is meeting its promise to deepen the talent pool to support the growing tech sector. Students completing short-term coding programs are developing the skills they need to meet the demands of employers.”

Vice-president of software development, Hootsuite, Geordie Henderson –

"We have hired numerous people from UBC into starting positions after they have completed these courses. The courses form a solid foundation to begin a career in software development and continue with further courses in computer science."

Quick Facts:

  • The B.C. tech sector supports more than 100,000 jobs.
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers are ranked 23rd in the top 100 job occupations expected in B.C. by 2025

Learn More:

#BCTech Strategy:

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint:

B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook:

SFU and CodeCore free coding course:

Okanagan College and Lighthouse Labs offer coding fundamentals:

Richelle D. Funk
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 356-7876

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