For many years, Amazon has been talking with business and government leaders about how to bridge the technical skills gap. All parties involved in these discussions acknowledged the importance of democratizing knowledge and giving all individuals—regardless of their background, education, or social status—the opportunity to build technical skills. At re:Invent 2020, Amazon announced that by 2025 Amazon Web Services (AWS) will help 29 million people globally grow their technical skills with free cloud computing skills training. This announcement is the next step in the AWS Educate program.
As part of its efforts to continue supporting the future workforce, AWS is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to people from all walks of life and all levels of knowledge, in more than 200 countries and territories. It will provide training opportunities through existing AWS-designed programs, as well as develop new courses to meet a wide variety of schedules and learning goals. The training ranges from self-paced online courses—designed to help individuals update their technical skills—to intensive upskilling programs that can lead to new jobs in the technology industry.
AWS Educate is Amazon’s global initiative that provides students and educators with resources for building skills in cloud technology. It focuses on providing real-world, applied learning experiences. Learners have access to self-paced content designed to introduce cloud computing technologies driving innovation in fields such as artificial intelligence, voice and facial recognition, gaming, medical advancements, and more.
AWS Educate is not a new initiative and was launched in India in early 2017 with the aim of skilling students with the latest advancements in cloud computing technology, and providing them with an environment to experiment on AWS Cloud, without worrying about cost or access challenges.
Globally, there are currently more than 3,500 institutions that are members of AWS Educate; hundreds of thousands of students who have joined AWS Educate since its launch, and tens of thousands of educators who are members in AWS Educate. Students in more than 200 countries and territories have enrolled in AWS Educate.
How students in India are benefitting
Since its launch in India, tens of thousands of students have joined the AWS Educate initiative.
AWS Educate provides students with a number of benefits:
- AWS Promotional Credits to gain hands-on experience in using AWS technology and services.
- Content designed to get students comfortable with the basics of cloud computing.
- Access to 12 Cloud Career Pathways covering in-demand topics such as machine learning, cybersecurity, and software development, each with over 30 hours of content.
- Opportunity to earn AWS digital badges for different competencies such as IoT, gaming, and Alexa skills.
- The AWS Educate Job Board offers job and internship opportunities from Amazon and other companies in the AWS Partner Network.
Earlier this year, AWS Educate and seven higher education institutions in India came together to develop cloud curriculum to integrate with a college syllabus, essentially bringing an industry-aligned cloud curriculum to the forefront of a student’s college education. The AWS Educate cloud curriculum is helping prepare students for sought-after cloud- computing-related careers by integrating academic programs to entry-level job requirements.
Seven higher education institutions are now incorporating AWS Educate learning curriculum into their college syllabus, enhancing the degrees and programs offered to students.
With this initiative, AWS Educate and higher education institutions aim to:
- Prepare students for roles and career paths in cloud computing.
- Align the curriculum to the skills and competencies that employers are seeking in cloud professionals.
- Empower faculty through trainings on professional development and cloud learning.
With this program, AWS seeks to build a strong pipeline of talent and cloud innovators by providing higher levels of learning and skill development.
The higher education institutions offering the newly-designed Bachelor of Technology degree programs in Information Technology (IT) and Computer Science are:
- Six education institutions offering engineering degrees: Chitkara University, Punjab; Galgotias University, Uttar Pradesh; Manav Rachna University, Delhi and NCR; Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology, Uttar Pradesh; Sharda University, Delhi and NCR; and SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Tamil Nadu.
- One higher education institution offering a postgraduate diploma in Management: The ASM Institute of Management and Computer Studies in Maharashtra offers syllabus combined with the AWS Educate cloud curricula for its Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Emerging Technology.
Supporting this announcement at an industry level were NASSCOM and ICT Academy:
- NASSCOM (the National Association of Software and Service Companies) is a not-for-profit industry association and the apex body for the technology industry in India. NASSCOM will facilitate greater industry participation in this effort by engaging key employers in information technology (IT) and information technology-enabled services (ITES) segments in India, to build a talent pipeline equipped with cloud skills.
- ICT Academy, a not-for-profit society that works within the Government of India and collaborates with state governments and industry to train higher education teachers and industry-ready students, will also assist the educational institutions with faculty development and curriculum alignment.
The writer was invited by Amazon Web Services to attend re:Invent 2020, virtual edition.