Nowadays, technology is everywhere. We use it to manage our social lives, to order and prepare food, to teach and learn, and to create solutions to everyday problems.
Statistics Canada predicts Information Technology jobs will outpace all other industries by a ratio of 4:1 and at the forefront of technical skills is coding. Just as you don’t need Shakespeare’s talent to learn to write, or Steve Jobs’ genius to work with Apple technology, you don’t have to be a math wizard to learn how to code. You just need to start, and in Calgary there are many free coding programs available including; Kids Code Jeunesse , Girls Learning Code, Lighthouse Labs, Canada Learning Code and in Calgary, RoboGarden.
Calgary Economic Development continues be an advocate for digital fluency and runs programs such as;
· Careers in Calgary, an initiative that provides students and individuals from non-profit organizations the opportunity to participate in free industry tours highlighting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM).
· EvolveU’s Full Stack Developer Program beginning this fall 2018, offering courses for adults to learn relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology. Curriculum is enhanced with onsite mentoring, peer-to-peer learning experiences, and personalized career coaching.
There are several Calgary-based not-for-profit organizations equipping adult learners with skills for today’s digital workplace.
Calgary Catholic Immigration Services (CCIS) Information & Technology Bridging Program (ITB) offers a 24-week training program for newcomers who have education and experience in the IT field, with necessary soft skills and occupational skills training to prepare them for 8 weeks of a work experience placement with IT companies. Their program also accepts Employment Insurance (EI) recipients that have received EI in the past 5 years.
Making Changes Women in Technology program combines an Employment and Life Skills program complete with technical training, networking and coding, and is facilitated by the team from YYCNet Labs and the CCNA Routing and Switching program. The program culminates with a 4-week work experience in the Information and Technology sector. This program is open to immigrant or Aboriginal women with interest in the IT industry.
The Centre for Newcomers offers immigrant professionals legally able to work in Canada and seeking employment a Peer Mentorship Program to assist in bridging into areas of professional expertise including IT.
For the current and future worker wanting to enhance digital fluency, there’s no better place than Calgary to access a wealth of digital training through a variety of not-for-profit organizations, and there’s no better time than now to start. In the wise words of Don Burks, Head Coding Instructor at Lighthouse Labs “Knowing how to code makes you a stakeholder in the world of technology, instead of just a consumer.”