Idaho collaborates with AWS on statewide cloud computing training and education effort
Wednesday, August 11, 2021: Idaho Gov. Brad Little (left) greets Amazon Web Services’ Kimberlee Carlile (with whom he’s shaking hands), Aaron Osmond (middle), and Bruce Larson (right) at the Idaho State Capitol. Photo by Otto Kitsinger for the Idaho STEM Action Center.
This week, Idaho Governor Brad Little announced an initiative between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Idaho STEM Action Center to train and reskill 2,000 residents in cloud computing in the next two years. This collaboration will support instructors through training and professional development to teach cloud computing courses throughout the state, provide Idahoans with an opportunity to reskill or upskill in high demand cloud computing courses and certifications, and support the local economy by filling high demand cloud computing jobs with local employers.
The Idaho STEM Action Center, created in 2015, has been advocating for equitable access for students, educators, and communities across Idaho within the technology realm when it comes to courses, training, and certifications. This statewide initiative will support Governor Little’s STEM Action Center with the focus of building a competitive Idaho workforce and economy through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“We are excited to collaborate with AWS to provide training and certifications across Idaho,” Governor Little said. “Increasing the number of Idaho workers certified in cloud computing will support our growing businesses and provide good, well-paying jobs for our citizens.”
Education programs and instructor trainings for Idaho citizens
The initiative announced today will provide education course offerings for students and adults to reskill and re-enter the workforce. All publicly funded high schools and higher education institutions across the state are invited to participate in AWS Academy under this statewide collaboration. AWS education programs provide education institutions with ready-to-teach, cloud computing curricula that prepares students for in-demand cloud jobs and industry-recognized AWS Certifications such as AWS Cloud Practitioner and the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate.
AWS is committed to supporting education leaders in Idaho by providing local instructors with professional development, technical training, and certification exams for all educators, instructors, and faculty who plan on teaching AWS Cloud computing courses to their students. Educators at participating institutions will receive instructor training taught by AWS experts and access to a limited number of AWS Certification exams at no cost. Students will also be able to access self-paced online training courses and labs from AWS.
The need for technical training in Idaho
Idaho, similar to other states across the nation, has a growing need for tech jobs. Data from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) identified 11,194 unfilled cloud-computing jobs. According to LinkedIn, cloud computing has remained one of the most in-demand hard skills for the past five years, and two AWS Certifications appear on the top 10 highest paying certifications list by Global Knowledge (2020).
“Providing innovative professional-development opportunities like this to leaders, educators, and industry helps Idaho build a more competitive workforce and bolster its economy,” said Dr. Kaitlin Maguire, executive director of the Idaho STEM Action Center. “This collaboration will help enhance the digital literacy of Idaho students and increase the pool of workers certified in cloud computing.”
Technical skills training and education provided by AWS will focus on skilling for available jobs from organizations across various sectors and industries in roles such as software development, cloud architecture, data science, cybersecurity, cloud support engineers, and more. Local employers have weighed in to show their support for a cloud-based workforce such as VYNYL, St. Luke’s Health System, Asante Alliance, and Kount, among others.
“Asante Alliance is seeing a large increase for IT talent around cloud technology. COVID-19 has changed the way people use and perceive the cloud with services like Amazon, Zoom, Instagram, remote learning, and telemedicine,” said Tim Fitzpatrick, director of business development at Asante Cloud, an IT cloud consulting firm based in Boise, Idaho. “Demand has gotten to the point that we formed a second firm—Asante Cloud—to focus specifically on cloud consulting and IT migrations. Our clients now realize IT should be a service that just works so they can focus on their own business, and not on managing their IT ecosystem. I loved one client’s quote, ‘I want our IT to be a Netflix, not a Blockbuster.’”
The Idaho announcement works toward AWS’s commitment to skill, upskill, and reskill individuals around the world. Learn about similar initiatives in Georgia, Indiana, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Louisiana, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, and India.
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