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Program aims to demystify 'code'

The Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week helps to showcase that anyone can learn the basics and start developing their digital literacy skillset
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NEWS RELEASE
SAULT STE. MARIE INNOVATION CENTRE
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The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) and its YouLaunch division encourages everyone to improve digital literacy skills by participating in Hour of Code from Dec. 4-10, 2017 during Computer Science Education Week. Everyone of all ages can log on to www.hourofcode.com and try a one-hour coding tutorial.

Canada’s tech industry consists of 71,000 companies operating coats-to-coast and employing over 864,000 Canadians. That is 652,000 more Canadians than in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry. 6.2 per cent of that employment occurs in Ontario, from the 7.5 per cent of total businesses in the tech sector within the province. When looking ahead, the tech sector is expected to have a growth rate of approximately 16 per cent over the next three years compared to constructions expected growth rate of approximately 9 per cent over the next three years. To learn more about how the tech sector is affecting the Canadian economy, review The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016.

“The employment demand for experienced individuals and new grads with computer science education and skills is growing substantially in a variety of industries in Sault Ste. Marie and beyond,” said John Prgomet, business development manager, SSMIC. “We are very fortunate in Sault Ste. Marie to have both a college and a university with established, relevant, and growing computer science programs, and it is imperative that we encourage our youth from an early age to develop their digital literacy skills and experience just how simple IT can be. What may start as a hobby or general interest can evolve into a fulfilling and financially rewarding career path.”

The Hour of Code is an opportunity to experience a one-hour tutorial to demystify “code”. The program helps to showcase that anyone can learn the basics and start developing their digital literacy skillset. A career in computer science is more than just code and can take many forms. Approximately 733,000 ICT professional are working in non-ICT industries. This can include agriculture, construction, retail, administrative supports, health care and more.

Fun and engaging tutorials and activities for all ages are accessible for free online, including activities based on Star Wars, Frozen, Moana, and Minecraft. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide. You can try your own Hour of Code by visiting here and clicking on the try it button to pick an activity for your skill level.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) of Canada predicts that by 2021 approximately 216,000 ICT positions will need to be filled with 88,000 ICT jobs being created in Ontario. Growing total employment in the ICT sector in Canada by 2021 to 670,000 employees. To learn more about the ICT sector in Canada check out The Next Talent Wave: Navigating the Digital Shift – Outlook 2021.

If you are interested in further developing your digital literacy skills, then you can participate in the Beyond an Hour of Code activities all year long, or check out the variety of coder resources provided by YouLaunch.

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