Pioneering ‘cloud’ qualification to be taught at Barking & Dagenham College

13th June 2019

Barking & Dagenham College is to be the first UK college or university to offer a pioneering cloud qualification.

The Career Colleges Trust is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to integrate AWS Educate into a new, two-year cloud qualification. This will provide thousands of UK students with the opportunity to pursue technology careers in the cloud computing industry.

The programme of study will launch in early 2020 and will be rolled out in further education institutions and universities across the UK.

The exciting partnership was announced today at the AWS Worldwide Public Sector Summit in Washington DC, which was attended by over 10,000 public sector delegates. Digital Director of the Career Colleges Trust, Julia Von Klonowski spoke at the event, in a session entitled: ‘The Future of Work’ is in the Cloud: Thinking Big about Workforce development.

The new qualification is being led and designed in collaboration with the Career Colleges Trust, further education college curriculum leaders, universities, and AWS. Through the UK’s network of digital Career Colleges, the course will be developed as a pre-university qualification that will prepare students for entry-level technology jobs in cloud computing, including software development, cloud architecture, data science, networking and DevOps. It will also provide the option to accrue credits which students can put towards a full bachelor’s degree in the future.

The development of this course coincides with the UK government’s desire to provide accredited pre-university and industry recognised qualifications, particularly in technology, for post 18-year-olds. The course will be delivered initially at Barking & Dagenham College, a Digital Career College, which has also been selected as one of 12 Institutes of Technology by the UK government. The new cloud computing course will be taught in Barking & Dagenham College’s new Institute of Technology which will open later this year.

The course will then roll out to other Digital Career Colleges across the UK, as well as universities, and Career Colleges will support the institutions in delivering the course and the employability skills needed for students to be successful in their careers.

Increasingly, both large enterprises and small businesses are relying less on building their own data centers, and instead are choosing to move to the cloud to store and manage information more efficiently, securely, and cost-effectively. This shift is driving demand for cloud skills, with LinkedIn reporting cloud computing as the number one in-demand skill for the last four years running.

In the UK, the digital skills gap is expanding, and industry reports are predicting that the lack of skilled talent could cost the UK £141 billion a year in growth. At the same time, local demand for cloud skills – and knowledge of AWS, in particular – has increased. In the past two years, preference for AWS cloud proficiency in job postings has nearly doubled.

Bev Jones, CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, said:

“We are committed to supporting young people into great careers, within industries that have huge demand for skilled employees.

“Having worked with AWS over the past three years, we together identified the need for high quality cloud-based training. We are delighted to now be rolling out this exciting and much needed qualification across both our own Digital Career Colleges – and much wider into other universities and colleges – across the UK.”

Ken Eisner, Director, Worldwide Education Programs and Head of AWS Educate, Amazon Web Services, added:

“Building a cloud-ready workforce is an urgent challenge and an unprecedented opportunity. Through the commitment of the Career Colleges Trust and their innovative member institutions, we are excited to take our cloud computing academic programme to the UK. It is the first time the programme has been delivered outside of the US.

“The speed, the scale, and reach of this program can serve as a model for opening career pathways in technology for diverse populations across the UK and beyond.”

AWS Educate is AWS’s global initiative to provide students and educators with the resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning. With a focus on real-world, applied learning experiences, AWS Educate offers learners access to self-paced content designed to introduce cloud computing technologies that drive innovation in fields such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, voice and facial recognition, gaming, Internet of Things and more.

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