AWS Training and Certification Blog

APU and AWS Academy accelerate students’ path to cloud careers

It’s no secret that people with cloud computing skills are in high demand. With 5M cloud jobs unfilled globally, 75% of IT professionals are reporting a skills gap—with cloud skills being the most crucial area of need. (Source: Draup).

That fact wasn’t lost on Lau Yi Xian, a cloud DevOps engineer for the Malaysian software company Silverlake Axis and alumnus of Malaysia’s Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU). While a student in 2020, Lau was first introduced to the cloud when he took an AWS Academy course, where he learned about AWS services, security, architecture, pricing, and support.

“As a result of taking the course, I discovered a strong motivation to enhance my knowledge of cloud architecture and AWS,” Lau says.

Preparing students to enter a technology-driven workforce

AWS Academy provides higher-education institutions with a free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognized certifications and in-demand jobs. APU offers AWS Academy through multidisciplinary IT degree options, embedding the curricula into its cloud foundation, cloud architect, and cloud developer certification tracks. Through these courses, students build their cloud knowledge in preparation for AWS Certification exams, which empower individuals to validate their technical skills and cloud expertise. Students who complete AWS Academy courses with labs earn digital badges that demonstrate their skills and receive an invitation to the AWS Emerging Talent Community, where they can network with their peers and are eligible to earn free AWS Certification exam vouchers.

AWS Academy courses are purposefully designed to bridge the gap between industry and academia. Through its collaboration with AWS Academy, APU systematically prepares students for more than 20 cloud-related career options. These options include machine learning scientist, IT manager, business process engineer, software developer, and many others. Since adopting AWS Academy in 2018, APU students have earned a variety of AWS Certifications, including AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, and AWS Certified Developer – Associate.

“Thanks to the guidance of APU and what I learned through my AWS Academy course, I was able to earn my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification,” says Yew Lock Shen, another APU student. “I’m really interested in learning more about cloud technology because I know it will help me advance my career.”

Empowering university faculty with cloud curriculum built by the experts at AWS

APU faculty benefit too. The ready-to-teach courses and modular content, built by AWS experts, help empower AWS Academy instructors with real-world content that grows their knowledge, keeping them at the forefront of cloud innovation and continued professional development.

“AWS brings emerging technologies onto campus,” says Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, chief innovation and enterprise officer at APU. “We are very lucky to have partnered with AWS Academy, because we received a lot of educational and training support. This has enabled our academicians to provide cloud-skills training to our students so that our graduating talents are ready for the workforce and highly employable.”

AWS also provides faculty enablement and access to a global educator forum for networking and Q&A. The content is designed to fit into existing course structures and includes lectures, hands-on labs, knowledge checks, and projects for in-depth learning experiences. “AWS empowered us to create our classes. Not only for the theoretical but also for the hands-on content,” says Amad Arshad, senior lecturer and corporate trainer at APU.  Plus, teaching students in-demand skills and watching them launch cloud careers is personally rewarding for APU faculty.

“I started my cloud journey with Mr. Amad Arshad,” says Victor Khoo Shien Yang, alumni of APU and Data Analyst. “APU motivated students from different disciplines and backgrounds to collaborate. I was able to share ideas and gain new insights that prepared me for the industrial world. And the AWS Certification I earned makes my job hunting much easier because there is a high demand for cloud engineers.”

Launching a successful professional career in the cloud

As an APU student, Lau secured an internship working as a data engineer at Axrail, an AWS Partner specializing in cloud services, which exposed him to AWS database, machine learning, and compute services. When Lau returned to school, he and a team of fellow students won second runner-up at the Malaysia Institute Build On 2021, a competitive hackathon where students built cloud-based solutions with recommendations and guidance from AWS mentors.

Lau continued with a progression of AWS Academy courses designed to culminate in earning an additional AWS Certification. In August 2022, he earned the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification.

Now, working as a cloud DevOps engineer, Lau designs the overall architecture of cloud solutions to optimize the configuration of continuous integration and delivery pipelines for Silverlake Axis clients. “Because of my previous experience with AWS technologies and the guidance of my instructors at APU, I am confident in my abilities to provide valuable solutions. I’m also committed to staying up to date with the latest trends and advancements in cloud technology to provide the best solutions for our clients,” says Lau.

Connect with talent from AWS Education Programs

AWS Education Programs are preparing graduates for cloud roles in cities and towns around the world. We designed our curriculum by working backward from employer requirements, ensuring that graduates are qualified and prepared with the skills needed. Apply to become an AWS Academy member institution today. Find cloud-skilled talent to fill your open roles today.