A fulfillment center associate. An executive assistant. A recruiter.
The majority of Amazon Technical Academy’s latest graduates previously worked in those and other non-technical roles at Amazon. I’m proud to report that all 77 graduates are now on their way to becoming full-time software development engineers. They will be working on teams including Alexa Skills, Whole Foods Market Digital, Amazon Advertising, Prime Air, Twitch, AWS, and many more.
Along with the rest of the Amazon Technical Academy team, I was excited to celebrate the graduates’ hard-work during a virtual graduation event—with a special visit from Dave Clark, Amazon’s CEO of Worldwide Consumer.
Amazon Technical Academy has trained hundreds of Amazon employees in the essential skills they need to transition into high-demand, entry-level software development engineer roles. Many graduates started in our logistics networks, and this year more than 40% of our graduates came from Amazon’s customer fulfillment network. Since 2017, the tuition-free program has placed 98% of its graduates into software development roles within Amazon, with their salary and compensation packages increasing an average of 93%.
Amazon Technical Academy is just one of the training programs included in Upskilling 2025, Amazon’s $700 million commitment to equip more than 100,000 Amazon employees with new professional skills to pursue in-demand jobs by 2025. We know our training is in high demand: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of software developers is projected to grow 22% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Amid a particularly challenging year, our latest Amazon Technical Academy graduates took part in the program’s first fully virtual training experience. They participated in the nine-month, full-time program from across the U.S.—making Amazon Technical Academy truly national for the first time.
Becoming a software development engineer in nine months isn’t easy. It’s a massive undertaking, especially for students with little to no previous technical experience. Yet in that short period of time, our students rapidly progress from writing a few lines of code to designing a system that analyzes whether feedback left on code reviews is positive or negative using machine learning.
That level of growth is intense and extremely challenging, but this program sets our graduates up for success—not just in their first role at Amazon, but in their careers. They should be so proud of the hard work they put in and what they’ve accomplished.
I love that my role on the Amazon Technical Academy team encourages our participants to learn and be curious every day. As software development engineers, we are always getting to build new things—but we have to be constantly learning. Technology is ever evolving.
Our graduates may not hold a computer science degree, but they have worked incredibly hard to learn the essential skills for the role. They also bring diverse perspectives to their work, pulling from their previous life and professional experiences to best serve our customers from around the world. Many of the Amazon Technical Academy instructors also come from non-traditional backgrounds, myself included. The graduates are more than qualified for these roles, and I’m honored that I got to be even a small part of their journey.
I personally never knew I’d love being a software development engineer—this field is far more collaborative and creative than I ever could have anticipated. I encourage anyone thinking about it—even if you thought it was out of your reach—to go for it. Seven years ago, when I began my transition into a software development engineering role, I would have never guessed I would end up teaching and developing curriculum to help others do the same. You never know how an upskilling opportunity like this could change the trajectory of your career for years to come.
I’m also excited that this program is not just for Amazon employees anymore. We’ve shared our curriculum and best practices with two new collaborators, Kenzie Academy and Lambda School, to help more people land in-demand technical roles.
Amazon is also proud of all the Amazon Technical Academy graduates. Hear from some of the new graduates below, and learn where they’re working now: