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NOVA brings data science courses to the USMC with AWS Educate

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) are developing a new course of study in collaboration with AWS Educate focused on “Data Intelligence,” focused on cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI).

Marines will enroll in NOVA’s courses to complete a portion of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) as defined in their military occupational specialty (MOS; Intelligence Data Engineer). The 31 course credits completed by Marines at NOVA will include the first ML and AI-focused courses developed within the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). These new courses, combined with existing information technology coursework, will satisfy the USMC’s MOS training requirements and place Marines well on their way to earning NOVA’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Information Systems Technology (IST).

As part of NOVA’s course of study, Marines will enroll in AWS Educate and complete NOVA’s first cloud computing course that will prepare them for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification. Additionally, NOVA’s advanced coursework in ML and AI will use AWS Educate’s AI and ML Classroom, which includes access to Amazon SageMaker where Marines and traditional students apply their knowledge to build, train, and deploy ML models.

This modernized approach aligns military training with the education, training, and skills sought by industry.

These courses will launch in the fall of 2019 at NOVA where Marines will attend classes in a cohort structure. These classes will also be open to all NOVA students interested in emerging technology topics as an educational opportunity to learn alongside their military peers.

With NOVA, USMC is exploring opportunities to scale this methodology across other IT/Cyber occupational fields and to integrate this approach as an institutionalized component of USMC’s workforce development.