Tech giants: How the industry is expanding into education

There are so many ways to learn these days. Traditionally, you may find yourself in a loud, bustling classroom environment sharing ideas and getting to the root of real-world problems or surrounded by textbooks in a stagnant classroom with an obnoxious teacher constantly reminding you that you know nothing. Now, there are many avenues to wander down as you’re looking to upskill, develop your pre-existing skills, or learn something for fun. Online courses have become some of the most popular ways to learn a new skill, and there are many ways to do it. We at Cybernews Academy are highlighting tech giants like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft that have broken into the field of education, aiming to inspire people to pick up a new practice. We wanted to analyze these different academies, see what they offer, and how you learn this way.

What are these academies?

The definition of these types of courses may vary depending on which avenue you take. However, there is a common theme among all of these academies. Some academies will provide educators and institutions with the tools necessary to teach the curriculum provided by these big companies. Other academies are strictly online, self-learning programs. Yet, they all have a common goal: equipping students with the tools they need to excel in their professional careers. For example, Amazon “provides higher education institutions with a free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognized certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. Similarly, the IBM Power Skills Academy program is “designed to provide educators and students at degree-granting accredited academic institutions with access to select IBM assets at no charge for teaching and learning.” They also provide materials for non-commercial research purposes at said academic institutions. Online programs provided by Microsoft and Google offer a range of self-paced courses while providing guidance and instruction to those completing certifications. These courses are designed to give students and educators the tools to handle the ever-changing technological industry they will soon enter.

What academies are available?

A wide variety of academies are available to anyone looking to gain new skills in the information technology sector. Some of these institutions integrate their curriculums directly into universities, while many others offer online courses that are either instructor-led or self-paced.

“Build skills that meet the demands of today’s IT environment.”


Power Skills Academy

The owner of the above quotation is IBM, a leading tech giant known for their hardware and software products. The IBM Power Skills Academy states that they “equip educators and students at eligible colleges and universities across the globe with free access to the courses and technology needed to develop in-demand IBM Power Skills. Businesses worldwide rely on IBM Power to run their “most demanding” affairs due to its “superior performance, flexible virtualization, and management features.” But why is learning IBM power so important? Alongside companies' reliance on IBM Power, experience with AIX, IBM i, and Linux on Power creates competitive candidates in the global job market and information technology sector. With IBM Power Skills, the platform provides educators with everything they need to teach one or more virtual courses constructed by IBM. These courses include instructor preparation, allowing lecturers and course leaders to learn as much about the IBM Power Skills Program as possible. IBM provides all the resources needed, including lab setup guides, lab exercises, and student study materials. All courses within the IBM Power Skills program can be instructor-led or self-paced.

Curriculum and courses

The IBM Power Skills program offers AIX, IBM i, and Linux on Power courses. AIX is an open-standards-based UNIX operating system that provides a high level of security alongside various other features. IBM states that AIX is “essential for meeting the demands of today’s information technology environments. This course aims to equip you with a fundamental understanding of this operating system while providing key skills to help students navigate the industry. IBM i is another operating system that allows businesses to run their apps and IT infrastructure across various industries. The IBM i aims to provide students with the technical fundamentals of IBM Power10 processors and servers. However, a range of courses falls under the IBM i program. Linux on Power aims to teach you the basics of the Linux environment, a well-known operating system used for various different reasons. These courses aim to equip students with the necessary knowledge to break into the industry while learning how to handle essential operating systems across all businesses.

AWS Academy

This academy is led by one of the world’s most successful businesses, Amazon. The company claims to be bridging the gap between industry and academia by providing in-house courses conducted by universities across the U.K. The website states that the “AWS Academy provides higher education institutions with a free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognized certifications and in-demand cloud jobs.” This program is all about the cloud, but what is the cloud? According to Cloudflare, “the cloud” concerns servers accessed over the internet, and by using cloud computing, users and companies don’t need to access and maintain physical servers or software applications on their machines. Cloud computing has become an integral part of the tech industry and has helped businesses revolutionize their work. Therefore, more people will need to start understanding how cloud computing works to secure a job in the computer science and information technology field. That’s where AWS Academy comes in.

Curriculum and courses

According to the AWS website, the curriculum “offers courses and learning resources that enable students to develop various skills in the AWS Cloud. Approved educators have access to all AWS Academy courses and AWS Academy Learner Lab.” Furthermore, Amazon claims that its “curriculum helps educators stay at the forefront of AWS Cloud innovation to equip students with the skills they need to get hired in one of the fastest-growing industries.” There are a range of different courses that are open to those institutions who are interested in the AWS Academy programs that encompass an array of other disciplines. These different areas of study can have different durations and completion times. For example, Cloud Foundations will take two semesters to complete with a final exam. In contrast, Cloud Architecting comprises 40 hours of content delivered through hands-on labs, lectures, and project work.

iOS Developer University Program

Apple has created the iOS developer university program for higher education institutions willing to introduce iOS development into their curriculum. This program is predominantly used to create and test applications that can be accessed in the Apple app store. The program provides a “suite of sophisticated and elegant tools” in the paid iOS SDK. If your university participates in this program, you will have access to all you need to develop innovative apps for Apple products. According to Apple’s website, “students can test and debug their applications using Xcode’s graphical debugger, or collect real-time performance data in their instruments timeline view.” Xcode is an “integrated development environment (IDE) that includes everything you need to build and upload apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.” You can share development applications with your team of professors and fellow students through email or by posting them to a private website strictly to present or have your applications graded. This unique opportunity allows students to utilize the tool that created some of the best technologies in the world. This program will enable instructors, professors, and lecturers to initiate a development team including 200 students. That’s a lot of minds.

Microsoft Training

Microsoft is a world-renowned company known for its computer software technologies. The company offers self-paced training programs in a range of different areas. Anyone can, in Microsoft's words, “discover the power of Microsoft products with step-by-step guidance. You can even customize your pathway by selecting which roles you’re interested in. You can deepen your knowledge of any position, from AI Engineer to Developer. There is even an option if you are a higher-education educator looking to develop your skills in IT. You can express what products interest you, whether GitHub or Microsoft Make Code. Those who embark on these programs can learn on their own schedule. You can explore topics in detail through guided instruction or learn how to accomplish specific tasks by undertaking individual modules. Students can learn more about career paths and follow guided training paths to help them get certified and connected to help them reach their career goals. There is even a Student Hub with resources to help you learn technical skills that will inevitably prepare you for future employment. You will also be able to connect with other students and become a part of the developer community. There are hundreds of different modules to choose from, just scroll through or even customize your learning options.

Grow with Google

Google, the best-known web search engine and IT giant has a range of training tools open to the public. Google provides a range of short courses aimed at promoting your professional development. They have CV-building guides, building confidence with self-promotion, getting started with Google Cloud, and a range of other short courses to help you become more technology proficient. Google also offers long-term courses that provide you with certification upon completion. These courses include Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing and E-commerce, and UX Design. Through these programs, you will learn the fundamentals of these disciplines while helping you prepare for a career in this field. You can be a novice or a complete beginner and embark on a Google career certification course. These programs are no experience-required courses that take you through the content one step at a time. There are a plethora of reasons to undertake a Google Certifications course. These programs can help you stand out, are self-paced, and scholarships are available that can help fund your academic development. Once you complete these courses, you will receive exclusive access to career resources. You will also have the opportunity to connect with over 150 U.S. hiring organizations in Google’s Employer Consortium. These courses are conducted through the Coursera website and require a monthly subscription. However, Google has funded 10,000 scholarships for Google Career Certificates across the UK. The Google Careers Certificate courses are conducted entirely online, so you have control over your education.

A range of learning resources are available if you’re curious about learning a new craft or developing pre-existing skills. Some of the largest IT companies in the world are breaking into the education sector to provide high-quality training platforms that will promote the next wave of tech professionals. We at Cybernews Academy hope this overview of global tech giant academies has inspired some of you to learn a new skill and embark on the next stage of your academic and professional journey.