RMU first PA university in Amazon Web Services’ Academy program


Katey Ladika

Photo credit: Katey Ladika

Brittany Mayer , News Manager

Robert Morris University has become the first member of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Academy program in Pennsylvania.


AWS Academy is a program which will allow RMU to give courses on AWS Academy Cloud Computing Architecture and prepare students of the program for certification in AWS technology. Amazon is one of the world’s largest providers of cloud services with over 70 different services, according to Natalya Goreva, assistant professor of computer and information systems, and one of the professors who will take 60 hours worth of AWS training.


“It feels exciting and challenging at the same time. I believe that staying current, especially in IT, is a key and feel that this training will help me learn a cutting edge technology,” said Goreva in an email interview.


Goreva, along with Jameela Al-Jaroodi, associate professor of software engineering, is planning to take 60 hours of required instruction by AWS to become Academy Accredited Instructors, according to a press release sent out by RMU. Goreva and Al-Jaroodi were highly recommended to participate in this program by deans in the School of Communications and Information Systems as well as the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science.


“AWS Academy speaks to our commitment to help employers eliminate a skills gap in the local workforce,” said Derya Jacobs, RMU vice president for corporate relations and senior vice provost, in the press release. “More importantly, it will give our own students valuable skills and knowledge to advance their own careers.”


The 60-hour program for Goreva and Al-Jaroodi will proceed in three different stages: be trained, receive the certification, then start teaching according to AWS guidelines. After they complete the course, which they plan to do in the fall semester, they will be able to teach a course at RMU and in home schools. The certification will need to be updated every two years.


“Adding courses like this helps us stay current with technology and give our students skills that will make them more marketable,” said Goreva in an email. “First, it will give the students understanding of the cloud technology in general and Amazon cloud specifically. Second, it will give them a unique opportunity to have a hands-on experience with Amazon Cloud Services.”


In a study done by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, they found that there was a lack of IT professionals in the Pittsburgh area and predict the job growth to be close to 11 percent over the next 10 years. RMU had signed a series of agreements with Community College of Beaver County to allow their students to transfer into several IT programs at RMU, according to the press release.


“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 President Christopher B. Howard in the press release.


RMU will offer an AWS course at least once a year after Goreva and Al-Jaroodi complete their training. When Goreva spoke with an Amazon representative, she found that the understanding of Amazon Cloud could help students learn aspects of other cloud technologies.


“RMU does not have to host the servers and spend its resources maintaining them,” said Goreva in an email interview. “But at the same time, the students get a real life experience designing their databases and web sites. During the past years, I did not have any issues with this type of teaching and am extremely impressed with AWS.”