Pluralsight, Gov. Herbert and the Utah Technology Council Participate in ‘Hour of Code’ for Computer Science Education Week

Pluralsight announced a partnership with Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Technology Council to bring “Hour of Code” to Utah during Computer Science Education Week. 


To kick off CSEW, Gov. Herbert will join Utah students and dedicate an hour of his time to learning coding skills during a special event at the Utah Capitol on Dec. 8. Joe Eames, a Utah-based author of Pluralsight courses, will instruct Gov. Herbert and Utah students using Code.org's Hour of Code content platform.

Gov. Herbert, who recognizes the importance for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in his education platform, partnered with Pluralsight in the Hour of Code movement to demonstrate a statewide commitment to helping Utah’s youth prepare for high-demand STEM jobs and to showcase that anyone can learn to code. Along with pro-business policies, the governor's emphasis on education is aimed at helping Utah's economy build on its elite status. Utah currently ranks in the top three nationally for job growth and employment.

“The Hour of Code is a great way to showcase a skill that is increasingly being taught in creative classrooms and after school programs throughout the state. It’s never too early or too late to learn critical computer science skills," Gov. Herbert said. "Utah has been the nation’s leading state for business and technology because we recognize that long-term economic growth starts with an educated labor force. We need to invest in our students today so they are ready for the jobs of tomorrow, which is why I have made STEM education and computer science a top priority.”

In bringing Hour of Code to Utah, Pluralsight and the Herbert administration join Code.org and about 30 leading global industry partners and educators to champion computer science education around the globe. Also supported by tech titans — including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff — the 2014 Hour of Code effort aims to expose 100 million students worldwide to computer science by devoting an hour to learning basic concepts.

Computer science education has become especially relevant as growth in high-demand STEM professions outpaces employers' ability to find qualified talent. A July 2014 report by the Brookings Institute found that "post-recession, STEM skills, particularly those associated with high levels of educational attainment, are in high demand among employers." The report also noted that some of the most valuable STEM positions at organizations take longer to fill than occupations in other fields due to a lack of qualified talent.

“In today’s world, computer science is just as critical as reading and writing, and our children deserve the opportunity to learn it early in life,” said Pluralsight CEO and co-founder Aaron Skonnard. “Hour of Code demonstrates that anyone can code, and by spending just an hour learning, students are introduced to a new world of opportunity that could have a major impact on their professional future.”

Founded in 2004 as a classroom-based training company, Pluralsight moved online in 2008 and is dedicated to empowering individuals through online technology training. Skonnard, who learned to code on his family’s Apple II at age 10, has made it part of the company’s core mission to advance computer science education for youth. In August, the company partnered with state agencies to provide free annual subscriptions to the full Pluralsight training library for Utah teachers. Pluralsight also has an ongoing nationwide initiative providing free beginner coding courses for kids of all ages.

“We hope to break down the barriers that stop kids from learning and enjoying computer sciences,” said Richard Nelson, President and CEO of the Utah Technology Council. “Computer science isn’t just for boys. It isn’t just for ‘brainy’ kids. All kids should have the opportunity to see what they can accomplish if they will just give it a try.”