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Amazon partners with L.A. community colleges for cloud computing program

Amazon partners with L.A. community colleges for cloud computing program
Los Angeles Trade Technical College is one of 19 regional community colleges that will offer a cloud computing certificate as part of a partnership with Amazon Web Services. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Starting as early as this fall, students around Los Angeles will have the opportunity to learn to code in one of the biggest software growth areas: cloud computing, an increasingly popular online-based technology that is used for data analytics and file storage.

That’s due to a partnership announced Thursday between Amazon and a group of community colleges across the region.

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Amazon Web Services, a leader in providing cloud services, and the California Cloud Workforce project, composed of Los Angeles-area community colleges and partner high schools, have established a 15-credit certificate program at the 19 colleges.

This is the first certificate partnership between Amazon Web Services and a regional community college group, and it will offer participating students experience in the high-demand field of cloud computing.

Cloud-based software and hardware is the foundation of such popular services as Google Drive and iCloud. And it has even helped fuel the growth of services such as music-streaming giant Spotify, which makes millions of song files available to its users at the swipe of a touchscreen.

The community college program will start out as 15 credits, but the plan is to turn it into a two-year associate degree and expand it statewide.

“This program will prepare L.A.’s residents for sustainable and high-wage careers in one of the most important fields that is transforming business practices in private and public sectors,” said Francisco Rodriguez, the chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, in a statement.

The program curriculum was developed by the educational arm of Amazon Web Services and Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica College offered a pilot program last year, with students from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights participating. East Los Angeles College will be the second to offer the program, which will gradually expand to all of the affiliated colleges, said project spokesman Lawren Markle.

The Los Angeles partnership is the latest in Amazon Web Services’ collaborations with educational institutions. Though it’s the first regional-level partnership for the company, the Amazon subsidiary has offered smaller-scale partnerships, most recently with Northern Virginia Community College, which offers an associate degree with a specialization in cloud computing.

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