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Arizona Schools Begin Promoting AWS Cloud Studies to Students

A state economic development agency in Arizona hopes to train up to 5,000 students for entry-level cloud computing work by June 2022. The Arizona Commerce Authority will be promoting the use of Amazon Web Services instruction throughout the state's high schools, community colleges and universities.

Amazon offers AWS Academy curriculum to institutions of higher education and AWS Educate programs to teachers and students as a free online self-study route that includes labs. AWS Educate also works with institutions to customize or create programs of study by aligning curriculum to in-demand cloud careers. Both options will be available to Arizona schools.

Participating schools and their educators will gain access to content and instructional tools to help students prepare for several AWS Certifications, including AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate and AWS Certified Developer - Associate.

Already, 11 public school districts and 11 colleges and universities have committed to offering the AWS Educate and AWS Academy programs in 2021. Those include Arizona Western College in Yuma and Rio Salado College in Tempe at the higher ed level and Cochise Technology District in Wilcox and Pima Joint Technical Education District on the high school career and technical education side.

Data from Economic Modeling Specialists International (Emsi) identified 95,116 unique job postings in Arizona requiring cloud computing skills in 2019. Twelve percent of those jobs specified AWS skills. According to Amazon, a "select number" of state residents currently possess AWS Certification, creating a skills gap for employers interested in hiring technical talent to fill their open roles.

"Closing the skills gap and ensuring Arizonans are well equipped to pursue tech job opportunities remains a top priority for our state, and we're thrilled to work with AWS to advance that mission," said Sandra Watson, ACA president and CEO, in a statement. "We're also grateful to the Arizona schools that have signed on to offer these programs and look forward to continuing to add new educational partners."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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