As companies contemplate a future that includes fully remote teams, cloud computing is more important than ever. This growing field presents opportunities for students throughout the ICT-DM sector, with more than 80,000 job openings in Los Angeles and Orange County alone.
Charlotte Augenstein, ICT-DM Regional Director in Los Angeles, and her team are leading the way in the sector when it comes to the Cloud. The team recently published two reports as part of the Career Ladders Project and presented an ICT Educator Webinar on California’s Cloud workforce.
In collaboration with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, Santa Monica College created a four-course cloud computing certificate that is now available at 17 of the 19 community colleges in the Los Angeles region. The certification includes AWS and Azure certifications and hands-on activities like boot camps to maximize student engagement and ensure that course content meets industry needs.
A pilot project grew into the California Cloud Workforce Project, which includes a faculty community of practice, events to connect students with industry, and many other opportunities. As the project grew, Augenstein and the implementation team made sure to keep a sense of community front and center.
The project team did not push out content from a top-down approach for colleges to implement. Rather, it brought faculty and administrators into conversations about how they could apply the framework on their campus and helped clear roadblocks when they arose.
“We worked with individual colleges at their own pace while consistently hosting meetings and events to maintain engagement in the community of practice. This model engendered trust in each other and created space for collegiality to develop,” said California Cloud Workforce Project Manager Salomón Dávila.
Additionally, the team worked with industry partners to create professional development opportunities for faculty and incentive structures for them to promote the program to their students, understanding that faculty buy-in is essential to gaining student buy-in.
With these structures in place, Augenstein sees a bright future ahead for the program as it expands throughout the Los Angeles region and beyond. Moving forward, the team hopes to implement virtual internships and building more connections with cloud providers.
“We are all a team, and as they all start to get their wings, become comfortable, and expand their curriculum, it’s just a win-win for the students and for the employers,” Augenstein said.
For more information about the California Cloud Workforce Project, visit cacloudworkforce.com.
Watch Augenstein’s ICT Educator Webinar and view the reports here: ictdmsector.org/cloud-curriculum-pathways-and-updates-in-the-la-orange-region/