AWS Training and Certification Blog

Singapore Management University collaborates with Amazon Web Services and Accenture to develop next-generation cloud talent

The rapidly evolving digital landscape, combined with macroeconomic headwinds, present an opportunity for academia to stay at the forefront of technology and collaborate with industry partners to provide students with relevant and practical learning experiences for in-demand cloud roles. Recognizing this opportunity, the Singapore Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing recently reflected upon this at a speech he delivered at an industry conference. “When industry and academia co-design, co-develop, and co-deliver the pre-employment and continuing education modules for both students and adult learners, we refresh the skills of our people much faster.”

Singapore Management University (SMU) is aligned with this objective, and has taken steps to ensure that its students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future. One of its initiatives is a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Accenture to launch a Work-Study Elective (WSE) Program for its School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS) students. The program is a six-month commitment from students to learn the latest AWS Cloud technologies and apply classroom knowledge to innovate cloud-based solutions that address real-world challenges.

“Through our collaboration with AWS Education Programs, SMU SCIS receives the necessary industry feedback on curriculum and learning experience design. We incorporate real-world industry experiences to build cloud solutions in our curriculum design,” says Ouh Eng Lieh, Assistant Professor of Computer Science (Education) and Director, BSc (IS) Information Systems Major at SMU.

At the cornerstone of WSE is AWS Academy, which provides higher education institutions with the tools and curriculum to prepare students for industry-recognized certifications and careers in the cloud.

“AWS Academy empowers our instructors to teach using the latest cloud computing technologies and offers our students the opportunity to learn in accordance with industry best practices and prepare for industry-recognized certification in a real-world, hands-on environment,” continued Ouh.

Connecting students to industry

SMU goes beyond the curriculum to prepare its students to enter the modern cloud workforce. Its Education and Career Guidance (ECG) department works with AWS to provide students with opportunities to engage with Amazonians and AWS Partners such as Accenture to better understand cloud job roles.

“As a leading global professional services company, Accenture’s constant endeavor is to explore opportunities to better support our people to be successful in the tech and consulting industry,” said Desmond Wong, Managing Director of Health and Public Service and Client Account Lead, Southeast Asia at Accenture. “The WSE collaboration with AWS and SMU sits alongside our broader strategy of building a talented workforce, and allows us to equip students with the skills needed to solve complex business challenges, especially in the area of cloud.”

The curriculum

The WSE program is open to all SCIS students annually, and comprises two key components – an Accenture internship qualification and a Cloud Solutions Development (CSD) course supported by Accenture and AWS. For the internship qualification, students must complete SMU-mandatory courses, AWS Academy associate-level courses, such as AWS Academy Architecting, and prepare to achieve the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification. For CSD, students will work on an industry-based practicum over a 24-week period to build cloud solutions with problem statements provided by Accenture Singapore.

Practical experience and industry-recognized credentials

WSE enables students to gain practical experience while they earn industry-recognized certifications and secure internships, with the opportunity of conversion to full-time employment. In 2022, a number of SMU SCIS students interned with AWS and converted to full-time employment in solutions architect roles.

“At SMU, we learn with AWS Academy and build many school projects on AWS. As an intern at AWS, I had the opportunity to hone not just my cloud skills but my leadership skills as well, and I learned the importance of customer obsession while designing and building solutions,” said Ian Koh, who interned with AWS in 2022. He will return as a full-time solutions architect following his graduation from SMU in May 2023.

Academia plays an important role in helping to prepare students with in-demand skills to be successful in the industry post-graduation. Through industry-academia collaboration, universities like SMU can leverage the expertise and resources of AWS to help students stay relevant to industry needs. By combining academic rigor with practical, hands-on experience, students can develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to succeed in their careers.

Learn more about how higher education institutions collaborate with AWS to prepare students for the modern workforce.

About AWS Education Programs

AWS Education Programs prepare graduates for cloud roles in cities and towns around the world. We designed our curriculum by working backwards from employer requirements, ensuring that graduates are qualified and prepared with in-demand cloud skills.