AWS Tackles Cloud Skills Shortage with AWS Educate

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AWS has developed a program to teach cloud skills to students called “AWS Educate,” Amazon announced Thursday. The program is available for free to approved institutions, educators, and students.

Educators and students can apply to AWS Educate for credits for a range of AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute, Simple Storage Service, Relational Database Service, CloudFront, DynamoDB, Elastic MapReduce, Redshift, and Glacier. Further credits will also be available to those affiliated with member institutions.

The program also includes access to AWS Essentials courses and self-placed labs for educators, collaboration forums, and a range of educational content and AWS materials like webinars, instructional videos, University lectures and customer case studies.

“Based on the feedback and success of our grant recipients and the global need for cloud-skilled workers, we developed AWS Educate to help even more students learn cloud technology firsthand in the classroom,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “We’re pleased to offer AWS Educate to educators, students and educational institutions around the world.”

Cloud skills, and particularly AWS skills and certification, were identified by a recent “IT Skills & Salary Report” as being increasingly in demand, and increasingly well paid. A new cloud security certification program was announced in April, and cloud adoption was seen as outpacing cloud skills growth even in 2013, when Rackspace opened its Open Cloud Academy.

Some educators have responded by bringing cloud learning into the classroom, and AWS hopes its new program will lead to greater adoption of cloud into school curriculum.

Dr. Majd Sakr, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said, “Three years ago, I began incorporating AWS services into my cloud computing courses. The cloud resources AWS provided me has allowed me to really challenge my students to develop real-world solutions to problems they might face in their careers. One such project involves giving students 1.2 terabytes of Twitter data and asking them to compete against other students by building a tweet query web service that meets correctness, budget and throughput requirements.”

The benefits for AWS include a workforce more skilled and familiar with their services potentially pushing for their adoption in the workforce, as well as brand benefits, and ultimately a more cloud-savvy talent pool to recruit from.

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