Cloud computing—which delivers vast data capacity to organizations of all shapes and sizes without requiring expensive on-site servers—is an exciting place to build a successful career, with LinkedIn highlighting cloud and distributed computing as the "#1 in-demand global skill" for the past four years in a row. Cloud computing is also one of the highest paying IT fields, opening a world of opportunity for students. The local demand for cloud computing talent is increasing in New York City – the broader occupational forecast estimates an increase of 17% for these roles by 2024.

To offer New Yorkers the possibility to access job in this fast-growing field, Amazon is working with LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), the City University of New York (CUNY), and the State University of New York (SUNY) to create a cloud computing certificate program – enabling students in the region to learn skills for entry-level tech roles, whether at Amazon or other tech companies. The cloud computing initiative is expected to be available in fall 2019 to the tens of thousands of students who attend LAGCC, CUNY, and SUNY, and is part of Amazon’s broader workforce development and training initiatives for residents across New York.

“As we continue to expand our presence in New York, we’re excited to work with the community to provide more opportunities for skills development,” said Ardine Williams, vice president of workforce development at Amazon. “There is such rich talent in New York, and we want to ensure we’re reaching New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds, as we hire for 25,000 jobs across the region. We see this collaboration with LAGCC, CUNY, and SUNY as ensuring that more students have the opportunity to join companies like Amazon as we seek out more tech talent. This is the beginning of our workforce development efforts in New York – we’re looking forward to launching more initiatives to meet New Yorkers where they are, providing opportunities for new skill sets and even better paying jobs.”

“LaGuardia’s students represent a singularly unique talent pipeline for Amazon—they have a diversity of life experiences that have prepared them to contribute to and develop the next-generation of consumer and enterprise technologies. We will work closely with our community, including Queensbridge public housing residents and organizations such as Urban Upbound, to secure funding for this program,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “We are interested in collaborating with AWS, and any tech company, that recognizes the inherent business, cultural and technical skills that students from our community bring to the workplace.”

“CUNY is deeply committed to providing students with access to programs that will equip them to thrive in an ever-evolving workplace," said CUNY’s Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. "As industries have discovered the value of cloud computing to enable innovation, the demand for workers skilled in its deployment has ballooned. We are pleased to work with Amazon and SUNY in this effort -- the first of what we expect will be numerous career development initiatives -- and to prepare our diverse pool of students for jobs in this burgeoning field.”

“At SUNY, we are pleased to offer a path for more New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds to careers at Amazon and other emerging industries across the state,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “Education and training are clearly key to developing a talented workforce, and by working with Amazon Web Services, our colleagues at CUNY, and our respective campuses, we will develop specific programs online and in our classrooms. The cloud computing certificate is the first step toward this end, and we look forward to the launch of this credential in 2019.”

This is the beginning of our workforce development efforts in New York – we’re looking forward to launching more initiatives to meet New Yorkers where they are, providing opportunities for new skill sets and even better paying jobs.
Ardine Williams - vice president of workforce development at Amazon

AWS Educate will provide LAGCC, CUNY, and SUNY faculty with professional development opportunities, such as curriculum development workshops and AWS trainings. All students will also be eligible to receive membership in the AWS Educate program, which provides opportunities to gain hands-on experience with leading cloud technology and tools at no cost to the student. Through AWS Educate, students have access to AWS Promotional Credits for use with real-world, project-based assignments; instructional content and activities; micro-credentials; and the AWS Educate Job Board for direct hiring by AWS, members of the Amazon Partner Network, and AWS customers in NYC and around the globe.