Mississippi Coding Academies Launches Gulf Coast Campus, Enrolling for Fall 2021
The Mississippi Coding Academies board of directors is pleased to announce that enrollment is now open for a Gulf Coast-based cohort of coding students to begin classes in August 2021. The University of Southern Mississippi directly supports the new campus, which is already gaining interest from employers in the region.
“We’re excited to get this off the ground in 2021,” said Dr. Sarah Lee, MCA board member and director of USM’s School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering. “We’ve got a great learning space, our instructors are in place, and we’re ready to welcome our first class of coders in August.”
The first Gulf Coast campus of the Mississippi Coding Academies will follow the same 11-month, full-time schedule that other MCA campuses employ to immerse the coders in a real-world environment and get them ready for the job market. The program is tuition-free for the coders, and recent high-school graduates are welcome, as are those who have had some college—or even mid-career professionals.
“We appreciate the support of USM and Dr. Sarah Lee,” said Mike Forster, chairman of the MCA board. “This is a much-needed expansion of the Mississippi Coding Academies in an area of our state with a critical mix of both potential employers and corporate partners.”
Gulf Coast-based coders will begin their instruction in a virtual environment as plans are finalized for a physical space. They will learn from the full-stack coding curriculum employed at other MCA campuses, with one addition. Dr. Lee says they plan to add a cybersecurity module to prepare coders to successfully complete a CompTIA Security+ certification.
“Cybersecurity certification will add to the employment options for our coders,” Dr. Lee said. “We’ve gotten very favorable feedback from companies and public-sector employers on the Coast.”
With major ransomware stories in the news, eSecurityPlanet.com reports that cybersecurity positions stay open longer than any other technology position, with a zero-percent unemployment rate. Cybercrime Magazine says damages from cybercrime could reach $6 trillion in 2021.
A core element of all Mississippi Coding Academies campuses is tight linkage with area employers and corporate partners for feedback on the program and internships for student coders. With proximity to technology-oriented employers such as the Stennis Space Center, the Roger Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise, and Kessler Air Force Base, the Gulf Coast campus is well-positioned to take advantage of some exceptional resources.
“With so many new employment and career opportunities in today’s workforce it is crucial to make sure teenagers are aware of what options and opportunities are available to them as they graduate high school,” said Bobby Gillon, director of marketing for The District of Howard Avenue. “In Biloxi, Mississippi Coding Academies is actively working with local companies to understand the necessary skills needed, and developing a curriculum that provides the training, education, and mentorship needed to fill those jobs.”
To apply, you don’t have to have prior coding experience, although interest in math, gaming, and problem-solving is encouraged, as is a willingness to commit to the 11-month program. Those who successfully complete the program graduate as junior full-stack coders with salary potential of $40,000 or more in their first year.