- Amazon Web Services (AWS) is continuing to expand its cloud curriculum, working with a set of K-12 schools and colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area to develop courses and credentials through the institutions.
- Work will start with the community colleges and expand to high schools and four-year colleges in the next two years, with the goal of diversifying the pipeline for tech jobs, according to a company release.
- AWS is working with several colleges across the country to address their need to keep technology curriculum current and the company's own desire to build out a future workforce.
Two-year colleges have been a target for Amazon and other technology companies that are working with them to develop and implement curriculum covering their software. That's in part because of the connections those institutions have to a diverse workforce, local and regional employers and nearby K-12 and four-year schools.
AWS sees them as "a flywheel for the changing face of education," the company's director of worldwide education programs, Ken Eisner, told Education Dive in July. At that time, the company announced it was partnering with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and the Marine Corps to embed its cloud platform in military data intelligence training. The courses will also count toward an associate degree at the two-year institution.
That news followed shortly after AWS and NOVA announced a partnership with George Mason University in Virginia that allows students to transfer into a four-year cloud computing degree after completing a specialization. AWS has partnered or plans to partner with public colleges in Florida, Louisiana, New York and Ohio on cloud curriculum.
It's not the only tech company teaming up with colleges. Google and Facebook are also working with higher ed to offer certificates and other training programs that teach people how to use their software.
And while concerns linger about whether colleges will be able to deliver platform-agnostic education when working with these companies, colleges say such partnerships allow them to keep up with rapid changes in fields for which there is strong employer demand.
"We owe it to our students to identify the skills they'll need and to think about creative ways to embed those skills in our programs," Michelle Marks, vice president for academic innovation and new ventures at George Mason, told Education Dive earlier this month.