Google on Tuesday announced new Cloud Platform Education grants for computer science.
The grants encourage U.S. university faculty who teach computer science or similar subjects to apply for free credits that will allow their students access and use Google Cloud Platform tools.
The credits can be used any time during the 2016-17 academic year.
Providing students the opportunity to work with Google cloud tools before they graduate could help cement their passion for programming and provide them some marketable experience with real-world cloud tools.
“Google was founded on the basis of the work that Larry and Sergey did as computer science students at Stanford, and we understand the critical role that teachers play in fostering and inspiring the innovation we see today and will see in the years to come,” an announcement in the company blog reads.
The program could also give Google a pool of experienced people to pull from in the ultracompetitive tech job market. There are only an estimated 50,000 computer science grads each year, with demand far outpacing supply. The lack of viable talent can often lead to bidding wars. Earlier this month, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) said 2015 computer science grads have the highest full-time employment rate within six months of graduation.
"It is a fierce competition for new graduates," Jason Hayman, market research manager at IT staffing and service provider TEKsystems told Network World. "The huge monoliths out there, like Facebook or Google or LinkedIn, are scooping up, in particular, the developers, programmers and engineers."