Why a cloud computing degree makes sense

Cloud computing degrees are popping up everywhere. The good news is that most people can earn these degrees debt free

Why a cloud computing degree makes sense

I used to teach computer science as an adjunct at Northern Virginia Community College back in my 20s. I learned more teaching others than I ever did being taught. My focus was on the pragmatic—what students could sell in the labor marketplace. 

Recently the governor of Virginia, my home state, announced a cloud computing associate degree that will be offered at NVCC. This is in conjunction with AWS and expected to be offered at other state-run colleges as well.

This is nothing new. We’ve reported on other colleges that have gone all-in with cloud computing, with specific degree offerings as part of their school of computer science.

Community colleges are typically ahead of the game, since they respond quickly to the needs of the community (get it?). Indeed, you’ll find that many people attending community colleges already have some sort of degree. My students certainly did.

As somebody who depends on colleges and universities producing sound cloud computing talent, I could not be happier with this move. The more cloud-skilled people we have out there, the more likely organizations will be successful with cloud computing.

Right now, we’re converting IT professionals who spent their college days learning to write compilers and program in machine languages how to understand cloud-based platforms, machine learning, and cloud-native databases. Seems it would benefit everyone if people had the cloud skills out of the gate.

I learned how to write compilers in college and have never done so as part of my career. Also, I’ve still not found a use for my year of calculus.

What’s even better about this opportunity is that community college degrees are affordable; most people will not need to go into debt to earn a cloud computing degree. Moreover, that degree means at least $60,000 to $80,000 per year, entry level.

Indeed, someone who goes into a cloud computing degree program could find that they are earning six figures at age 22, two years after graduating with an associate degree in cloud computing. Most of those graduating from a four-year college or university wouldn’t be able to reach that level until several more years out of school and will do so with $30,000 to $80,000 in debt. 

Of course, those who don’t agree with me will point out that an education should teach you to understand different aspects of the world. Maybe. That’s why I watch the Discovery Channel while I push workloads into the cloud—a well-rounded education in my book.

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