When we made the decision to go cloud-first with AWS as our predominant cloud supplier, we also decided we would support all our associates in achieving any number of AWS certifications they want. As a result of that emphasis, we're now in the top three of all enterprises globally for AWS certifications held by employees, and that's something we're really proud of.
George Brady Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Capital One

One of the ways Capital One achieved companywide buy-in for its cloud-first policy—under which all new applications are architected for and deployed in the cloud—was by implementing a robust cloud-computing training program. That program was successful partly because of the wide net that it cast, offering carefully designed and tailored training not only to the engineers who would work directly on AWS but also to the business executives and other non-technical stakeholders who needed to be able to understand and advocate for cloud computing's transformational potential.

But there was another reason Capital One employees were receptive to this training initiative. “As we evolve as a technology company, we are focused on building a culture of continuous learning and development, says George Brady, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Capital One. "It's good for our associates, and it makes us better as a company."

An emphasis on training and education makes Capital One better as a company in two critical ways, Brady continues. "Training is important not only because technology is constantly changing, and the company needs to keep up with those changes, but also because being known as a company that supports and encourages employees in pursuing lifelong learning and professional development is a big part of what helps us attract such talented people to work for us."

One of the foremost examples of Capital One's commitment to lifelong learning by its associates is the Capital One Tech College, which Brady describes as "a learning development system built by engineers, for engineers." Launched in 2017 and offering a combination of online courses and in-person workshops to audiences divided into Leadership, Tech Practitioners, Non-Tech Associates, and New Hires, the Capital One Tech College already has more than a dozen discipline areas and is still growing.

"Each of the Tech College discipline areas is anchored to the technology goals in the company's long-term strategy," says Brady, listing examples like cloud computing (including supporting obtaining AWS certifications), software engineering, machine learning, and cybersecurity. "Each discipline area is curated and supervised by a dean, most of whom are engineers, who ensure that anyone who wants to come up to speed on an emerging, strategically important technology can get just the right amount and kind of training they need."

In addition to providing training for current employees, the Capital One Tech College also provides training to participants in the Capital One Technology Development Program (TDP), the company's two-year on-ramp for entry-level software, data, and cybersecurity engineers. "The TDP rotates new hires among various teams so they can try different roles and gain a comprehensive understanding of the technology in use at Capital One," says Brady. "One of the rotations they go through gets them AWS certified."

TDP participants aren't the only employees Capital One encourages to pursue AWS certifications. "When we made the decision to go cloud-first, with AWS as our predominant cloud supplier, we also decided we would support all our associates in achieving any number of AWS certifications they want," Brady says. "As a result of that emphasis, we're now in the top three of all enterprises globally for AWS certifications held by employees, and that's something we're really proud of."

Brady underlines the importance of education and professional development in the company’s overall strategy. "To deliver on our central promise of bringing simplicity and humanity to banking, we need top talent working for us,” says Brady. "I can't overstate how much easier it gets to attract top applicants when they know that, whatever new technologies come along while they're working here, or whatever new directions they want to take their skills in, they're going to be supported in getting as much training and education as they need."