Technology leaders say cloud computing is not just the future, it is there.
Coconino Community College has partnered with other colleges across Arizona to improve access to cloud computing education in schools. On Thursday, the Arizona Commerce Authority, with support from Amazon Web Services, Inc., announced the initiative aimed at training and certifying 5,000 students in the state for entry-level cloud computing careers by June 2022.
"CCC is committed to the local community and the local workforce, and this initiative does both," said Lisa Blank, dean of careers and technical education at CCC, adding that CCC will be ready to deliver the training in time for the spring semester.
Instead of buying expensive hardware to run computer systems for individuals and businesses, they are renting third-party computer services at a much lower cost, said Duane Marshall, computer information systems faculty at CCC, who will teach the AWS courses.
"They rent it out at the time used," Marshall said. "It's like timeshare for IT. The nice thing is that, from a business perspective, spending shifts from capital to a monthly rotation."
And of course, cloud-based computing services are scalable, Marshall added. For example, if a corporate website goes from 100 to 10,000 visits per day, cloud services can easily be scaled to handle the surge without the need to purchase additional hardware to scale from there.
According to Marshall, AWS programs in cloud computing education are to be integrated into CCC's IT certification programs.
According to Blank, cloud-based work can be done anywhere there is a reliable internet connection. Therefore, the certifications allow residents the opportunity to stay in their home communities and still earn a significant salary that could improve the quality of life of their families and their communities.
"It's our mission and important to us to find new ways to help members of our communities," said Blank.
Marshall said CCC plans to launch an initial course in fundamentals and architecture (building a system in the cloud) for the spring semester. Additional classes will then be added to allow students to take the AWS certification exams.
"Success on the AWS exams means people can make an average of $ 90,000 to $ 100,000 a year, starting with," Marshall said. One of the biggest gaps in technology right now is in the cloud fundamentals and related education.
About the Coconino Community College
CCC has served residents in an area of 18,000 square kilometers in Coconino County since 1991. The college aims to improve the lives of our residents through human resource development and higher education.
CCC offers affordable tuition and more than 50 certificate programs as well as two-year associate degrees in academic and professional fields. CCC also offers programs that facilitate student transition to any of the three state universities, including the award-winning CCC2NAU.
CCC reaches the more rural parts of the county and tribal lands. Educational sites offer courses through online, face-to-face, and zoom video conferencing classes to meet the needs of students in rural and remote areas. Almost 20 percent of CCC students are Native American learners.