COLLABORATION

Amazon Web Services expands cloud curriculum across San Francisco

SOURCE: Enea Kelo/Shutterstock
Amazon is working with several universities to ensure San Francisco graduates are entering the workplace with valuable and essential skills.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is continuing to expand its cloud curriculum, working with a consortium of high schools and colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area to develop courses and credentials relevant to today’s job market.

The online giant is working with several universities to ensure graduates are entering the workplace with valuable and essential skills. While hugely beneficial to students, it’s not entirely selfless as Amazon is also ensuring a reliable and skilled tech talent pipeline that they themselves will benefit from.

The expansion will start with community colleges, moving on to high schools and colleges in the next two years. The consortium will launch a multi-course curriculum, complete with credentials provided by the institutions, through resources that will allow colleges to efficiently develop and launch cloud technology coursework.

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“By responding to this quickly evolving regional workforce need for cloud technologists, the consortium of K12 school districts, community colleges, and universities will have the resources and agility to scale quickly while providing the highest-quality education to students,” a statement from Amazon Web Services said.

“In addition to the tools that facilitate curriculum development, the consortium will also provide students with access to some of the Bay Area’s most innovative employers.”

This is far from the first university collaboration from Amazon Web Services. In June they teamed up with George Mason University (GMU) and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to launch a new degree in cloud computing.

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The transfer pathway, which will be available from Autumn 2020, builds on NOVA’s associate degree in cloud computing, launched with AWS Educate last year. It will run through an existing transfer programme between the two Virginia institutions.

At the current pace of innovation, universities are struggling to keep up with the change and keep curriculum relevant. That’s why working hand in hand with the tech giants leading the charge can prove so valuable for faculty and students alike.

With the digital skills gap continuing to grow, it is exactly these types of skills that employers are after. LinkedIn listed cloud computing as the most sought after skill by employers in 2019, followed by artificial intelligence.

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Both San Francisco Bay Area and Northern Virginia are home to some of the largest concentrations of tech jobs in the United States, as well as one of the greatest demands for employees with cloud computing skills.

This looks set to increase dramatically once Amazon’s new second headquarters opens in Arlington, Virginia.

According to Reuters, the company plans to invest approximately US$2.5 billion, and create more than 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over US$150,000. It is expected this investment will generate more than US$3.2 billion in tax revenue for the region.

The location has already spurred universities to position themselves favourably to work alongside the internet giant. In June, Virginia Tech announced it will be building its new US$1 billion campus in Alexandria specifically to be near the headquarters.