Amazon Web Services, MCCCD collaborate for cloud computing program

Arizona is gearing up for a collaboration to focus on the future of our state’s tech workforce. Amazon Web Services, the pay-as-you-go cloud computing subsidiary of the namesake tech giant, Amazon, just announced a new education program in partnership with the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD).

“MCCCD is excited about the collaboration with Amazon Web Services for the new AWS Cloud Computing program,” Dr. Linda Collins, Residential Faculty and Chair, Department of Business and Information Systems said. “Our colleges are leaders in career and technical education focused on student success and preparing students for the modern workforce making this an ideal collaboration. The micro-certificate in AWS Cloud Computing will provide students with real-world experiences to develop technology skills in cloud computing for this high-demand job market.”

The AWS Educate program will kick off this fall for students who attend Mesa Community College before moving on to Phoenix College in the spring semester of 2020, and will then be expanded to the remaining community college campuses throughout the county. The goal of the program is to create a certificate that enables tens of thousands of students to pursue a career in cloud computing, an industry that is set to take off here in Arizona, according to Amazon. This is all part of the tech company’s wide-ranging workforce development and training initiatives for Arizonans looking to work in the industry.

The collaboration with Amazon Web Services includes access to AWS Educate that provides students with a variety of resources developed by AWS including open source materials, hands-on labs, and the AWS Educate job board for career placement opportunities. Students will learn the basic concepts of the cloud, deployment of cloud computing technologies, how the cloud can provide on-demand access to resources, setting up a cloud server, building a personal cloud, and global accessibility to information.

According to the Arizona Department of Labor, there will be a projected 29 percent increase for roles in computer and mathematical industries by 2024. The local demand for cloud computing professionals is seen as growing faster than any type of job in Maricopa County. In fact, it’s projected that the Greater Phoenix area will see around 25,000 new IT jobs in the next decade.

There are a number of jobs that are directly related to cloud services and the deployment of cloud services. Cloud services are the future of computing and help businesses expand their technology services. Cloud technologies can be utilized by almost any company or corporation. The competencies the students will learn through participating in this micro-certificate will prepare students to compete for jobs using cloud services at a variety of companies both locally and nationwide.

Students in Maricopa County will have the ability to access a 15 credit certificate program that focuses on in-demand cloud computing skills this fall. What’s more, Mesa Community College plans to fold the AWS program into its blockchain curriculum, which will then let students use AWS to complete blockchain projects.

“Offering programs like cloud computing and blockchain technology reinforce key initiatives to align education programs around the skills needed in Arizona’s economy and future workforce,” Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, MCCCD Chancellor said. “Our collaboration with Amazon Web Services is an exciting step forward to closing the employability gap and preparing the community for the workforce of today and tomorrow.”

Nick Esquer

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