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To highlight the success of its ‘Hour of Code’ initiative, Microsoft on Jan 28, 2019, published the engagement data for the program claiming it has so far benefitted more than 1.6 million students across Saudi Arabia. As a result, it now enjoys the distinction of being the best program in its category.

The data from the Redmond, Washington-based software giant further reveals that Hour of Code also saw more than 50,000 trainers undergoing extensive coaching sessions in 27,850 online and offline events.

Overall, the coding program targeted 30,000 schools across 147 cities including Riyadh. Khobar, Jeddah, Madinah, and Abha.

Elaborating how coding is an important skill that enriches career prospects of students, Rayan Zahid, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft Saudi Arabia, said:

“Today, more than 50% of jobs require some degree of technical skills, and that number will go up to 77 percent in the next decade.”

He added: “With initiatives like ‘Hour of Code’, the country has taken transformative leaps towards this effort by investing in human capital – and empowering the students, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. The initiative further promotes Microsoft’s vision to drive excitement amongst students to learn Computer Science.”

The success of the program can be gauged from the fact that it has enabled four in five students in participating schools to engage in coding and computer science.

The success rate with female students is also high at 74%. Among the key contributors to the Hour of Code initiative were Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators, Dar AlHekma University, Al Obeikan Education, and Namaa AlMunaware Foundation.