According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cloud computing
is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared
pool for configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released
with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. With increasing demand
for cloud employees, Columbus State and Northern Virginia community colleges aim to
provide an academic gateway for the next generation of IT and cloud professionals.
Industry Trends and Job Growth
Technology is a key industrial sector in the Central Ohio region. According to Columbus
2020, the regional economic development agency, the area hosts more than 2,100 technology-focused
businesses and nearly 60,000 individuals are employed in the technology sector. The
state’s economic-development agency, JobsOhio, identified information technology as
a targeted industry for continued growth (JobsOhio, 2016). Columbus was ranked the
third-best city statewide for technology job prospects and is the eighth-fastest-growing
technology job market in the United States.
Northern Virginia has a large, established IT sector with over 13,000 technology-focused
businesses and approximately 221,000 employed IT professionals throughout the region
(JobsEQ, 2017). Between September 2016 and August 2017, there were over 97,000 job
postings for IT professionals in the Northern Virginia region, equaling almost half
of the active IT workforce (Burning Glass, 2017).
Cloud Advisory Board
The Columbus State Community College’s Department of Computer Science and the CLOUD
project team engaged with the department’s Advisory Board to collect feedback from
industry on the most important skills and competencies in cloud computing, informing
the team on the specific skills they prefer graduates to possess.
Feedback from the meeting informed updates to the Software Developer AAS with a cloud
specialization, along with several course revisions for the program. A second meeting
was held to report back on the progress of the curriculum, provide updates on the
approach of the curriculum design, and to solicit feedback on the proposed updates
to the degree and courses. Future engagement with the Advisory Board will continue
as the project team works towards the development of the final curriculum.