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Staff and students feel the power of cloud computing with AWS

Students working on computer

Amazon Web Services (AWS) gives hands-on demonstration  

Academics and students were offered a glimpse of the free online cloud computing tuition that is the first fruits of a collaboration between the University of East London and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

At the first of two launch events, students were told about what would be awaiting them when they signed up for their AWS Educate account.

Christina Cole, AWS Educate program leader, said, "You get access to a series of free courses where you can get micro-credentials in the form of digital certificates and badges that you can add to your CV. In addition to that we offer free access to the AWS cloud computing console.

"We give you AWS credits, which is the virtual currency we use. You can go and start experimenting, building apps, websites, experimenting with some of the really cool facial recognition technology software.

"We've got a whole host of stuff in there – game technology, Internet of Things. We have a programmable video camera and we have a badge on that and we have a badge on Alexa skills that will look good on your CV.

"We've also got a jobs board. On the platform you will be able to see all the live vacancies at Amazon, at AWS, and all the businesses that are using our technology.

And students who hit their free online cloud computing tuition at speed will have a chance of winning a world-wide audience.

Anyone who signs up to AWS Educate and completes a Career Pathway through the course could win a chance to:

  • Be featured on AWS Educate globally in a video or blog post.
  • Be recorded by Amazon Studios.

Students were also told how they could get fast-track access to top tech jobs. Ms Cole said, "Our content team trawls through thousands and thousands of live vacancies across the world so our job families are aligned to market demands so we're hoping to give you the skills and technologies that employers are looking for today."

Later, academics were given a run-through of the resources available to support students through their self-guided journeys. These included virtual classrooms, access to a management console and educator access to the Career Pathways their students would be pursuing. Access to Educator accounts is also available now.

Grant Irons, AWS Educate Faculty Enablement Program Manager, led the taster session showing how self-guided virtual classrooms could harness the power of AWS. He said, "You as an educator can use this content as part of your instruction."

He also explained how AWS Educate came about and why the company was capture the interest of students and academics.

He said, "About five years ago a problem was identified where industry couldn't hire enough people with AWS experience - we couldn't hire enough and our customers and partners couldn't hire enough.

"According to LinkedIn, cloud computing is the No.1 in demand skill and it has been for the past four years.

"We had a choice. We could open up Amazon University and try to do all this training ourselves or we could work with colleges and universities – people who are already doing great things in technology – to help you all to train your students on AWS so they can get jobs in the cloud.

"And we made the right choice to work with universities."

The free online cloud computing tuition is the first fruits of a collaboration between AWS and the University of East London.

This collaboration also includes the creation of a Career Zone and Innovation Loft. It will also see the establishment of an industry research institute with a focus on technology-informed business skills, such as artificial intelligence and will include the launch of a Cloud Associate Degree.