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Scholarship Fund to Cover Cost of AWS Certification

A new program in Arizona will help disadvantaged students in high school and college take Amazon AWS certification exams. As part of an initiative being run by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the state's economic development organization, a $300,000 endowment provided by the Garcia Family Foundation will cover the cost of the testing at local testing centers. AWS certification exams cost between $100 and $300, depending on the level of the credential and area of specialization.

According to the ACA, there were nearly 80,000 unique job postings in the state in 2020 that required cloud computing, and about 12% specifically mentioned AWS cloud skills, in an analysis done by economic modeling company Emsi.

Last year the ACA worked with AWS and Arizona Community College Coordinating Council to outfit every high school, community college and university in the state with access to "AWS Academy," including AWS-designed educational programs with materials, labs and instructional resources. One goal of the program is to prepare students who complete the courses through AWS Academy to take and pass the AWS certification exams.

"Since our announcement in October, nearly all of our community colleges and universities have signed up to participate in the AWS Academy program. We are seeing similar interest across the state from our high school career and technical education districts. By fall of 2021, a large majority of our students will have access to AWS Cloud skills education, and we're immensely grateful to the Garcia Family Foundation for helping expand these opportunities to even more students," said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the ACA, in a statement. 

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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