Empowering the next generation of cloud talent in Colombia with SENA and AWS Educate
At the end of 2019, el Servicio Nacional del Aprendiza (SENA) in Colombia graduated 160 students after completing AWS Educate Cloud Career Pathways to build their IT and cloud technology skills.
SENA is a public Colombian institution focused on vocational training programs for the Colombian labor force with a goal of increasing the competitiveness of Colombian enterprises. It is a government initiative under the Colombian Department of Labor to increase the employability of the labor force. SENA has 33 regional locations throughout the country, offers free educational opportunities to more than 1.3 million students annually, and has served more than 9.8 million students since 2014.
This was the first group of students to graduate after Colombia’s President Iván Duque Márquez and general manager of Amazon Web Services (AWS) public sector Jeff Kratz announced a strategic partnership with SENA to train 10,000 students throughout Colombia in IT and cloud technology.
The graduating students come from both technical and non-technical backgrounds. The training program is for students of all skill levels who are interested in learning more about the cloud and cloud-supported technologies.
The partnership includes a commitment to train 2,000 students in Bogota, followed by another 2,000 students in the Antioquia region (Medellin), 2,000 students in the Atlántico region (Barranquilla), and 2,000 in Valledupar, with interest from other regions. The Atlántico region has registered more than 2,500 students on AWS Educate, and almost half have finished a career pathway with more than 50 students having completed all 12 pathways.
Through AWS Educate, students and educators have access to content, AWS Promotional Credit, and programs developed to skill up for cloud careers in growing fields. Teachers have access to training resources and the community of cloud evangelists to assist with teaching, including access to open source content for their courses.
In addition to mentoring and exposure to AWS tools, students gain access to the AWS professional trajectories. The initiative also offers personalized content for students of ages 14 and older, who can learn about cloud computing and AWS before attending a university.
Sixteen-year-old Kristina Isabel De Aguas Romo and fourteen-year-old Luisa Fernanda Guzman Santoya, both students at Instituto Distrital Everdo Turizo Palencia in Barranquilla, completed all 12 career pathways through their public high school’s partnership with SENA. Kristina‘s curiosity was piqued by an interest in artificial intelligence (AI)—a cornerstone of Colombia’s digital strategy. With the support of her family, she not only completed the courses, she was also a lead for her class cohort of 20 students and took the teaching home to share what she learned with her family.
In the future, Kristina hopes to become an industrial or computer engineer. “Either way, I know these courses are valuable to me,” she said. “At first, like all new things, there were things I did not understand, and there where parts that were challenging for me and my classmates, but our SENA instructor was always there to help us, just like we had the support of our teachers and leadership at our school.”
Kristina’s co-lead for her cohort, Luisa also counted on the support of her family and school network to complete the courses. “I want to create things,” said Luisa. “If you can imagine it, you can program it, and there is so much we can create that can benefit society more broadly.”
“The collaborative effort, passion, and commitment from SENA Colombo Aleman, Instituto Distrital Everdo Turizo Palencia, the city of Barranquilla and Amazon Web Services have been key for young people to have opportunities like this that push us each day to learn more and prepare for the future,” shared Kristina during her graduation ceremony speech.