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RMU to Become First Amazon Web Services' AWS Academy Member in Pennsylvania

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Robert Morris University is the first member of Amazon Web Services’ AWS Academy program in the state of Pennsylvania, which will allow RMU to teach its students AWS Academy Cloud Computing Architecture and prepare students for certification in AWS technology.

The AWS Academy curriculum is designed to develop technical expertise in cloud computing and prepare students for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification exam. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is one of the most in-demand and lucrative IT certifications worldwide, according to the Global Knowledge 2017 Skills and Salary Survey. Employees with an AWS certification earn an average salary of more than $125,000.

The AWS Academy will be open to RMU students as well as IT professionals who wish to earn AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification.

Two RMU professors — Natalya Goreva, assistant professor of computer and information systems, and Jameela Al-Jaroodi, associate professor of software engineering — will undergo 60 hours of required instruction by Amazon Web Services to become AWS Academy Accredited Instructors. Goreva and Al-Jaroodi were highly recommended by deans and academic department heads in the School of Communications and Information Systems and the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, respectively, said Derya Jacobs, RMU vice president for corporate relations and senior vice provost.

“AWS Academy speaks to our commitment to help employers eliminate a skills gap in the local workforce. More importantly, it will give our own students valuable skills and knowledge to advance their own careers,” said Jacobs.

Last year’s “Inflection Point” study by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development noted a shortage of IT professionals in the Pittsburgh region, predicting job growth of 11 percent over the next decade. RMU is seeing a growing demand for graduates of its own bachelor’s and master’s programs in IT-related fields, including cyber security, data analytics, and computer and information systems. In May, the university signed a series of agreements with Community College of Beaver County to allow CCBC students to easily transfer into one of several IT-related bachelor’s degree programs at RMU.

“Pittsburgh is a model of economic rejuvenation and has become one of the most dynamic regions in the nation, but our momentum will sputter without more workers in these high-demand fields,” said RMU President Chris Howard, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the Allegheny Conference.

“An integral part of RMU’s mission since its founding has been to develop the professional workforce in the Pittsburgh region, and becoming an AWS Academy member bolsters that mission,” said Howard.