Upskilling the next generation of cloud talent
As the U.S. begins to rebound from the health and economic disruption, experts predict that the technology sector will help lead the way to job growth and economic recovery. The challenge is how and where to source the talent needed to fill in-demand jobs. As more companies embrace migration to the cloud, finding professionals with the specialized skills and expertise will be critical to business success.
NPower is a national nonprofit with a mission to provide career opportunities and training to underserved populations including young adults, minorities, women, and veterans. In 2017, NPower partner Accenture proposed a new opportunity to develop a best-in-class cloud program with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Within six months, a new NPower Cloud Computing program launched in New York. NPower’s graduates represent the growing untapped talent ready to fill open technology roles and job postings.
AWS provides NPower funding, curriculum support, student networking opportunities, access to the management console, and most recently, apprenticeship and hiring opportunities.
More than a foot in the door
NPower’s no-cost Tech Fundamentals program provides an opportunity for students to earn Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and other certifications, and coaching to help students thrive in the workplace. Graduates often secure entry-level positions such as IT helpdesk roles.
However, getting beyond that initial starting point into the technology industry is what sets NPower cohorts apart from other tech programs. NPower has leveraged industry trends and insights to evolve and expand their curriculum to include advanced courses in cybersecurity and cloud computing. Providing next-level skills for graduates enables them to grow in their tech profession, but also positions NPower as a constant source of technology-ready talent.
“AWS is proud to partner with both NPower and Accenture to create a pathway for the next generation of cloud professionals to keep pace with evolving technology and advance in their careers,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president worldwide public sector at AWS. “The demand for cloud skills is greater than ever, and NPower’s long-term investment in its diverse and talented alumni is truly a differentiator. I cannot wait to see what more we can accomplish together.”
Yahaira was on her way to earning a degree when life took an unexpected turn. She was suddenly a mother to a newborn and seeking safety in a domestic violence shelter. In search of a job to become financially stable, she enrolled in NPower’s Tech Fundamentals program and launched her career in 2012 with technology service provider World Wide Technology (WWT). When cloud infrastructure became a larger focus within her department, she returned to NPower for the cloud computing program to expand her understanding and exposure. Balancing full-time work and motherhood, Yahaira earned her AWS Cloud Practitioner certification and, in January 2020, was promoted to associate managing consultant at WWT.
“NPower saved my life in many ways. NPower not only allowed me to gain the technical skills necessary to enter and dive in the industry, but also helped me build relationships that changed my life,” said Yahaira.
Building careers with AWS
In this 12-week cloud computing program, students deepen their understanding of cloud services and graduate with the ability to tailor AWS solutions for countless business needs.
With either an AWS Cloud Practitioner or AWS Solutions Architect – Associate certification, graduates obtain the proven in-demand skills to take their careers to the next level. Recent graduates report they have either received work promotions or made lateral moves within their existing company or a new one. Students graduating with cloud certifications now earn 35-65 percent more than when they started the program.
Before NPower, Elvis was working a hospital job where he saw the many ways protected health information became vulnerable. He was inspired to learn how to protect sensitive data when he completed NPower’s Tech Fundamentals course and went on to study within their Cybersecurity program, where he became exposed to cloud computing. While completing his full-time internship with alternative investment firm Oak Hill Advisors, he spent his evenings in the NPower Cloud Computing program. He landed a cloud support specialist role with Logicworks after graduating, increasing his income over 300 percent.
“During NPower’s cloud computing program, I was able to study and complete many things that I never foresaw myself doing within such a brief time frame. NPower and AWS opened many doors, and I plan to continue my pursuit in the world of cloud,” said Elvis.
Competing for best talent
As the domestic tech skills gap grows, NPower is constantly looking to offer their graduates new approaches to building a cloud computing career talent pipeline. Seeing that non-traditional talent is the solution to diversify the workforce and fill open positions. Join AWS, Accenture, KPMG, Logicworks, NBCUniversal, Bloomberg, Pfizer, Citi, The New York Times, CBS, Bank of America, the Federal Reserve Bank, World Wide Technology, and other leading companies by hiring NPower’s industry-trained and certified veterans, military spouses, and young adults ready to support your cloud strategy and goals.
After leaving the U.S. Navy in 2008, Anthony found himself working retail and odd jobs to make ends meet, even facing homelessness at one point. He saw technology as a path to a brighter future and enrolled in NPower’s Tech Fundamentals program in 2017. After starting his career with Bank of America, he decided to continue building his tech skills by joining the Cloud Computing program. In November 2019, he secured a production operations senior analyst position with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
“I’ve learned so much in NPower, from the hands-on instruction to the career support that enabled my professional growth,” said Anthony.