Enhancing Preparation of Students for Technical Careers in Cloud Computing Technologies
Cloud computing is changing the nature of the information technology (IT) industry. Instead of purchasing and maintaining a private computing infrastructure, many businesses are moving to cloud-based computing infrastructures. Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to efficiently and economically scale computing services to fit their needs and the needs of their users. Thus, cloud-based computing is helping businesses save thousands of dollars on computing infrastructure costs and maintenance. The current demand for cloud-capable IT technicians is far outpacing the number of graduates currently entering the workforce with cloud computing skills. The goal of this project is to create an up-to-date cloud infrastructure training program that will prepare more students to work in the high-demand area of cloud computing technology.
This project will deliver professional development for educators via back-to-industry externships intended to enable at least eight community college faculty to upgrade their skills by learning state-of-the-art Cloud Infrastructure technologies. The existing Cloud Infrastructure program at Wake Technical Community College will be improved by enhancing and validating 15 courses and related educational materials through faculty externships, advisory board partners, and resources from the National Convergence Technology Center. The efficacy of the existing program will be assessed using quantitative and qualitative measures such as student interviews and industry feedback. A student internship program will be piloted, with the goal of providing students with opportunities to develop business and entrepreneurial skills in the workplace. A summative evaluation will address how well the project achieved its goals, including production of deliverables (e.g., faculty professional development), increased industry engagement, and project replicability and sustainability.