COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation, in collaboration with Build Carolina, today officially launched SC Codes, a statewide program designed to provide free access to coding education for all residents. Hosted at Blackbaud World Headquarters in Charleston, S.C., the celebration event provided an opportunity for current and prospective students, mentors, programmers, educators, business and industry leaders and innovators to connect and learn more about SC Codes.
Announced last fall, SC Codes is a first-of-its-kind, state-funded resource, aiming to connect South Carolinians to the education and resources they need to unlock careers in technology. The program provides free online coding curriculum, as well as mentoring services, to all South Carolina residents through a web platform.
“An educated, job-ready digital workforce is critical to ensuring future economic prosperity in South Carolina,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “SC Codes will help us develop the necessary talent to both prepare our citizens for the jobs of tomorrow and enable our state to continue to be competitive in the global economy.”
SC Codes is available to any resident with access to the internet; no downloads or special equipment are required. Interested participants can enroll in beginner to advanced curriculum, specifically designed with the demands of the state’s industries in mind. Additionally, cohort-style and classroom-led sessions are available through 16 local community partners. Those interested in becoming a student, a mentor or a community partner can find more information at www.sccodes.org.
“The intention behind SC Codes is to provide access to valuable education and training for anyone in South Carolina, whether they’re new to programming or wanting to skill up,” said Lelia King, executive director of Build Carolina. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had since the platform was launched, and we’re excited to connect more South Carolinians to career pathways that will lead to great jobs, strengthen our technical workforce and impact our state’s economy.”
South Carolina’s tech sector continues to grow, and opportunities for individuals entering the workforce with this type of training are vast. Employment in the state’s technology industry expanded by an estimated 4,028 jobs in 2018, representing the 7th highest year-over-year net employment growth in the U.S., with a $12.6 billion contribution to South Carolina’s economy, according to Cyberstates™ 2019, an analysis published by CompTIA. Including more than 7,400 tech businesses, the Palmetto State’s tech sector is responsible for an estimated 6.3 percent of the overall state economy.