AWS and Coursera deliver cloud training 101
- Coursera announced the "AWS Cloud Fundamentals: Going Cloud-Native" training program on Thursday, geared toward users who want to learn to create and manage cloud applications and apply Amazon Web Services capabilities in their organization.
- Coursera's first partnership with the No. 1 cloud provider has a three-pronged objective: educate cloud professionals and customers; help businesses looking to move to the cloud; and bring a new wave of cloud developers into the talent pipeline, according to Leah Belsky, VP of enterprise at Coursera, in an interview with CIO Dive. AWS already has a robust training program, but with Coursera's platform it has access to 32 million more learners, including broad IT and data science learning spaces, she said.
- Course participants would only need working knowledge of IT infrastructure concepts, such as storage fundamentals, how databases are configured and basic IT security, Belsky said. The course would help learners get their company started on AWS, understand what benefits it provides and learn how to design and plan a cloud environment.
The pace of technology disruption has forced many companies to put the training wheels back on with reskilling and upskilling initiatives. Blending in-demand technical skills with essential soft skills is critical, but employers also have to ensure that training initiatives are extended through the workforce and not just to a select group of valued and skilled workers.
With many developers shrugging four-year university programs, IT certifications have become a key marker for technical skills. AWS has two of the top three highest-paying non-security certifications: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate and AWS Certified Developer - Associate. An employee with these certifications earns an average salary in the six-figure range.
While the AWS-Coursera partnership is not tied to AWS certification exams, it can serve as an on-ramp to foundational AWS courses and concepts that help cloud professionals prepare for the tests, boosting the potential population of cloud professionals who can work with the AWS platform.
In 2019, Coursera will continue working directly with tech departments and professionals across IT, engineering and data science to develop enterprise training programs, according to Belsky. The learning platform frequently partners with companies on workforce training initiatives, mapping out areas of competency that leadership wants to develop.
Adobe, for example, has a machine learning initiative with Coursera on targeting three levels of expertise: exposure, introductory concepts and full ML engineers, Belsky said. The exposure level is well suited for executives or individuals working in nontechnical areas in the organization.
Coursera also has executive data science programs and, announced earlier this week, an "AI for Everyone" course from co-founder Andrew Ng to teach nontechnical leaders how to build a sustainable AI strategy and understand the technology's opportunities.
Already feeling the effects of the skills gap, technology companies have taken to large training programs to grow the IT talent pool.
Earlier this year, Google launched a training program to prepare workers for entry-level IT positions and made its internal ML training program public. Microsoft also made public an AI training program in the spring, similar to its internal program, to train aspiring AI engineers.
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