Amazon fulfillment centers around the world are filled with advanced technology and high-tech tools, and the company’s new global upskilling program is helping employees move into IT roles that keep these operations running smoothly.

Surge2IT is now open to entry-level IT employees looking to advance their careers and work with the wide variety of technology in fulfillment centers, delivery stations, and buildings across our operations network. Surge2IT is part of Amazon’s more than $1.2 billion commitment to upskill 300,000 of its own employees by 2025.

Learn more about Surge2IT from Hilary Roche, who holds a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology, and Ashley Miyagishima, a longtime learning and development manager. Both women helped build and now run this new program.

What is Surge2IT and what do participants learn?

This is a program to help IT employees access learning resources and develop skills necessary to meet the technical bar for advancing into in-demand, higher-paying, customer-facing IT roles. The program provides an opportunity for some people who may not have had this opportunity otherwise to reach the next step in their career or professional field.

The program offers a wide scope of skills training. The content covers Amazon networks, devices, tools, and technology, including scanners, printers, laptops, mini computers at different stations, Amazon Robotics picking and stowing technology, and more, along with internal IT customer service and an introduction to project management. The training also provides more standard, industrywide technical training that focuses on network routing and infrastructure, Linux command line, and Windows administration.

The last area of the program focuses on leadership and professional development. How do you build professional relationships, find a mentor, and coach others? How do you write a resume, nail an interview, and find open IT positions? You learn those skills and can use them to pursue a career within Amazon, or you could take that base knowledge and find an IT career somewhere outside of Amazon.

Participants who move up at Amazon can quickly make an additional $10,000 a year. And long term, an IT career could lead to an additional $20,000 to $50,000 a year. It’s a game-changer.

Why are these roles important within an Amazon fulfillment center?

Think about how dependent we are on the internet. We need every single piece of equipment within a fulfillment center to talk to each other, so we know exactly where inventory is, what the customer order is, where we go to pull it, when it's been pulled, when it's been packed, and when it's been shipped.

We need the network connectivity and all of those devices speaking to each other to know everything is working, so we can fulfill customer orders. Our IT employees are key to making this happen—they work behind the scenes and are critical when it comes to fulfilling customer orders.

How does Surge2IT work and how much time does it require?

This is an entirely self-service program made up of 40 hours of content, so participants can work through it as fast or as slow as they want.

The program is interactive, and there is no deadline. From a learning perspective, we recommend completing the course within a year. The more consistent participants are, the more successful they’re going to be.

Who can participate?

We're targeting all Amazon IT employees working in Operations roles. A lot of people will take roles at Amazon to get their foot in the door, maybe in an entry-level position or as an equipment coordinator. Surge2IT is the next step for them to really focus on their career and say, “Hey, I really like IT but I don't necessarily have the formal education or background in it.” We will upskill them—and they don’t need to pay for anything.

What makes this program a good career step?

Our Amazon fulfillment network includes facilities as large as fulfillment centers that span more than 1 million square feet all the way to 1,200-square-foot delivery stations—and the network is growing to continue to serve our customers. We have all of these really cool technologies that help us fulfill customer orders more efficiently, and IT is a critical element to make sure everything is operating safely and smoothly. It’s a rapidly changing and growing field that requires constant learning. Most importantly, we’re preparing people for roles where they have great flexibility day to day.

Learn more about Amazon’s commitment to upskilling.