AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS and Howard University announce initiative to prepare students for in-demand cloud careers

Howard University students in a computer lab

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Howard University announced an initiative to upskill its students and build pathways to technical careers with cloud computing courses and training resources for educators. Through this collaboration, students will have access to curriculum aligned to in-demand cloud careers, and developed in coordination with AWS experts to prepare students for the workforce, including hands-on experiences to help ensure alignment with the needs of employers seeking skilled cloud talent.

Howard University will integrate cloud computing concepts into new and existing higher education curriculum, giving students access to foundational cloud computing courses, and advanced technical topics such as machine learning (ML) and computer vision. AWS Training and Certification programs provide students and educators with cloud computing curriculum resources and learning experiences that allow education institutions to create or adapt programs of study to align to in-demand cloud careers. With the support of AWS experts, Howard University is creating a new master’s degree program focused on data science, and will also integrate cloud concepts into other areas of study, including business, computer science, and engineering. As this initiative progresses, Howard University will introduce its Middle School of Mathematics and Science students to computational thinking skills and cloud fundamentals.

“Howard’s collaboration with AWS is focused on empowering students at various levels to learn and master the skills needed for a cloud career, exposing them to exciting opportunities throughout their educational experience,” said provost and chief academic officer at Howard University Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph. “We’re engaging our middle school to introduce concepts early on, and creating advanced courses to give our graduate students a competitive edge when pursuing cloud careers. We are also making sure our educators are skilled-up with the tools and resources required for teaching, learning, and creating entrepreneurial ventures for African American and minority communities.”

In addition to enhancing technical education, Howard University and AWS will build pathways for students to pursue in-demand cloud computing careers and entrepreneurial opportunities. All students can access a cloud-focused job board, which consists of full-time, early-career roles and internships at Amazon, its partners, and with its customers. Amazon leaders will also engage directly with students to share information about company culture, leadership principles, interview tips, and career paths. For students interested in entrepreneurship, AWS will support hackathon and pitch competitions with sponsorship, prizes, and technical workshops to help students prepare for careers as start-up and tech founders. Students can also access content focused on entrepreneurship and Amazon’s culture of innovation as part of the Bison Startup and introduction to engineering classes.

“Amazon launched the Howard Entertainment Program in 2019 to build the next generation of entertainment industry executives,” said leader of US education, state, and local government at AWS Kim Majerus. “Now, as we expand our collaboration with the university, AWS is excited to support talented and ambitious Howard students on their cloud career journeys. Howard University is a lighthouse institution not far from Amazon’s HQ2 facility, and we are preparing students not just for potential jobs with our company, but in-demand cloud positions across industries and sectors that need skilled technical talent.”

Educating educators is also a key component of this initiative. AWS will provide Howard University educators with professional advancement and specialized skills training aligned with Howard Forward 2024, which is focused on enhancing academic excellence priorities. Training will cover a vast number of technical topics including artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, cybersecurity, how to build an Alexa skill, and more.

AWS works with K12 and higher education institutions across the globe to provide the current and future technical workforce with skills training. Learn more about AWS Training and Certification programs.

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