George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Mason launches cloud computing professional certificate to give employees a competitive advantage

July 29, 2020   /   by Martha Bushong

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a torrent of stormy economic forecasts, but for employees with experience and certification in cloud computing, the coming days look sunny.

Beginning in October, faculty from George Mason University’s Department of Information Sciences & Technology will offer a suite of online courses to working professionals who want to gain a competitive advantage in this high-demand field through the university’s Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) division. The professional certificate provides a solid foundation for cloud services management and for building, deploying, and maintaining various cloud models and applications.

“This certificate elevates the great work our faculty are doing and allows to take advantage of Mason talent,” says Marc Austin, executive director of the Continuing and Professional Education division and academic ventures for the university.

Students completing the professional certificate will have learned some of the core competencies tested when taking  Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) Certification exams, such as the Foundational Certification (AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner), Associate Certifications (e.g. AWS Certified Solutions Architect, AWS Certified Developer), and Specialty Certifications (e.g. AWS Certified Data Analytics, AWS Certified Security). The certificate was designed for a variety of roles, including DevOps Engineer and Cloud Security Architect.

“Building a pipeline of qualified cloud talent is vital for AWS and our industry as a whole,” said Ken Eisner, director of worldwide education programs for AWS and head of AWS Educate. “George Mason University’s five-course cloud offering provides learners with a direct pathway to skill up for cloud careers in growing fields.”

Kammy Sanghera, interim executive director for the Institute of Digital InnovAtion (IDIA), said, “The upskilling, and retraining associated with this new certificate, is one of the many ways that Mason continues to partner with industries, serve the community, and promote economic growth.”

The courses are designed for working professionals who have prior knowledge in the field, who can handle the demanding workload and can balance multiple tasks at the same time.

The professional certificate consists of five courses designed to help students gain specific knowledge and skills at a lower price than a traditional degree. Once they complete the suite of courses, they also earn an employer-recognized digital badge. The badge enables them to highlight their new expertise in resumes or LinkedIn profiles.

The coursework will require students to build, deploy, implement, optimize, test cloud service infrastructure and applications on an actual cloud platform, such as AWS. 

The launch of the new cloud computing certificate follows “[George] Mason’s long history of partnership with industry to deliver high demand knowledge and skills in real-time,” says Liza Wilson Durant, associate dean for strategic initiatives and community engagement. “The new certificate enables us to bring our cloud computing expertise to a broader audience of learners beyond the traditional student and support the expansion of a highly-skilled workforce on a regional and national scale.”

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