Coconino Community College has joined other colleges across Arizona in a statewide effort to increase access to cloud computing education in schools. The Arizona Commerce Authority recently announced the initiative, with the support of Amazon Web Services, Inc., which has a goal to train and certify 5,000 students in the state for entry-level cloud computing careers by June 2022.
“CCC is committed to serving the local community and the local labor force, and this initiative does both,” said CCC Career and Technical Education Dean Lisa Blank, adding that CCC will be ready to offer the training in time for the spring semester.
Instead of individuals and businesses purchasing expensive hardware to run computer systems, they rent off-site computing services at much lower initial costs, according to CCC Computer Information Systems faculty member Duane Marshall, who will be teaching the AWS courses.
“They rent it by the time used,” Marshall said. “It’s sort of like a timeshare for IT. The nice thing about that is it moves expenditures, in a business standpoint, from capital to a monthly rotation.”
And, of course, cloud-based computing services are scalable, Marshall added. For instance, if a business website goes from 100 visits to 10,000 visits a day, cloud services can easily scale to handle the increase without the purchase of additional hardware to scale it from there.
The plan is to integrate AWS programs in cloud computing education into CCC’s IT programs for certification, Marshall said.
Blank said that cloud-based work can be performed anywhere there is a reliable Internet connection. Therefore, the certifications will allow residents the chance to stay in their home communities and still earn a significant salary that could improve the quality of life for their families and their communities.
“It’s our mission, and it’s important to us to find new ways to help members of our communities,” Blank said.
Marshall said that CCC is planning on having an initial course in foundations and architecting (building a system out in the cloud) up and running for the spring semester. Additional classes will be added to give students a leg up on AWS certification exams.
“Success on the AWS exams means, on average, people can earn $90,000 to $100,000 a year, starting out,” Marshall said. One of the biggest gaps in the technology field right now is in cloud foundations and the education that goes along with it. FBN
By Larry Hendricks, FBN
For more information about the initiative, visit azcommerce.com/aws.
Larry Hendricks is the senior manager for public relations and marketing at Coconino Community College.