Amazon helps Kentucky’s CTE to include cyber security
(Ky.) State leaders unveiled a career pathway that will allow Kentucky’s high school students to prepare for careers in cyber security, cloud-based technology and other computer science fields in the coming school year.
The Kentucky Cloud Career Pathways–announced last week by Gov. Matt Bevin was developed as part of the state’s goal to address the massive growth and job opportunities in science, math, technology and engineering fields throughout the country and the rest of the world.
“The technological transformation occurring globally is changing the way we live and work at an unprecedented pace,” Bevin said in a statement. “Kentucky must be a leader in preparing our students and existing workforce to capitalize on the many job opportunities that innovation in technology is creating.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.3 million positions are projected to open in computer and math-related fields by 2022. But results from the eighth Global Information Security Workforce Study released in February project that a current shortage of workers with the necessary skills to fill those positions will expand, ultimately reaching a lack of 1.8 million professionals by the same time.
In light of similar findings published in recent years, many states have begun the process of developing computer science standards in schools, or adopting coding curriculum and developing STEM career pathways.
Kentucky’s new pathway will give K-12 students access to blended learning, online learning, internships, apprenticeships, jobs and other opportunities in the cloud computing field. It was developed in collaboration among state, education, non-profits such as Project Lead the Way, and private sector parties including Amazon.
In addition to creating dual credit opportunities that allow students enrolled in the new program to earn college credit, state education officials are looking to expand cloud, cyber security and computer science curriculum across all of the state’s K-12 schools. Professional development will be provided for K-12 teachers as well as instructors in the state’s Community and Technical College System.
Through Amazon’s Educate program, students will be able to connect with private sector employers, both located in Kentucky and those offering virtual employment opportunities to Kentucky residents, using an online Educate jobs board as well as other programs to find available apprenticeships, internships and job positions.
The program is currently used to connect educators and students to real-world technology in the classroom in order to prepare students to enter the cloud workforce.
“Cloud computing provides not only the opportunity to create new companies with little or no capital needed, but also new career pathways for citizens,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president of Amazon’s Worldwide Public Sector. “We are thrilled to be a part of Kentucky’s drive to develop cloud-enabled workforce, and hope that other states look to this model as an inspiration.”
Students who participate in the cyber engineering pathway will be required to take courses that cover computer and cyber literacy, cyber science and information technology by providing a hands-on, context-based approach to topics including robotics, electricity and security concerns in today’s digital society.
Other information technology pathways that will be offered in Kentucky schools during the 2017-18 school year include computer programming, computer science, digital design and game development, web development, information support and services, network administration and network security.