NOVA, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Governor Ralph Northam announced a new collaboration between AWS and select K-12 school divisions, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), and leading four-year universities. This collaboration will create opportunities and build pathways to high-skilled and high-wage cloud computing careers for students in all regions of the Commonwealth. Event speakers included; NOVA’s Dr. Mel Schiavelli, Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois, AWS Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Teresa Carlson, and other education and economic development leaders from across the Commonwealth.
As part of the collaboration, participating academic institutions will use AWS Educate, an initiative to support cloud technology learning for students and faculty. AWS Educate allows schools to incorporate cloud skills into high school STEM curriculum and associate and bachelor degree programs. This collaboration will also help employers throughout Virginia who have a growing need for workers with cloud computing skills.
“The field of cloud computing is growing and dynamic, and we know that for our Commonwealth to reach new heights and remain a national leader in tech talent, we must build seamless pathways from classrooms to careers at all education levels,” said Governor Northam. “This initiative represents exactly the kind of cooperation we need to ensure that Virginians have access to the skills they need for 21st-century jobs, while also helping employers find Virginia workers with the right training to fill those jobs.”
“The growing demand for these skills is clear,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “Since September 2016, job postings requiring these skills in Virginia have increased from approximately 5,000 per month to 20,000 per month.”
Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University are two of the first higher education institutions in the country to offer cloud computing degrees. As a result of this new collaboration, these successful programs will be replicated at other community colleges and four-year institutions. In addition, high school students will have the opportunity to receive college credit in cloud computing courses through dual enrollment and early college models.
“This new degree program marks an exciting first step in a much broader plan to bring cloud computing education throughout the state, as the degree seeks to bridge into high schools and four-year institutions,” said Secretary of Education Qarni.
“The need for these skills extend beyond Amazon as a company, or even what we consider the technology industry. Practically every field is growing more reliant on this technology and the need for people who can make it work,” said VCCS Chancellor DuBois. “This collaboration means our students will be at the forefront of a degree program that will help prepare them for high-demand jobs.”
“By embedding the AWS Educate program to create a statewide cloud degree program, Virginia is providing students with an on-ramp to innovation and careers in the cloud,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We applaud Governor Northam and Virginia’s educational leaders for providing this workforce development opportunity to students in all corners of the Commonwealth, from K-12 to community colleges to four-year institutions and on into the workforce.”
You can watch the event here.
The following institutions are participating in this initiative and have committed to implement the cloud computing degree program in Virginia.
- Fairfax County Public Schools
- Loudoun County Public Schools
- Alexandria City Public Schools
- Arlington Public Schools
- Northern Virginia Community College
- J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
- John Tyler Community College
- Thomas Nelson Community College
- Blue Ridge Community College
- Patrick Henry Community College
- Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
- Tidewater Community College
- New River Community College
- Lord Fairfax Community College
- George Mason University
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Old Dominion University
- Hampton University
- Virginia State University
Office of the Governor
Amazon Web Services, Inc.
Northern Virginia Community College