AI Ready - Certification From Amazon
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Amazon aims to provide free AI skills training to 2 million people  by 2025 with its new ‘AI Ready’ commitment. Building on its existing scholarship program with Udacity, next year Amazon is offering 50,000 scholarships to high school and university students from under-served and under-represented communities globally.

At the same time as announcing details of "AI Ready", Amazon shared findings of a survey of  3,297 employees and 1,340 organizations in the US.

It revealed that 92% of the organizations surveyed plan to use AI-powered solutions by 2028 and that the most significant benefits for their organizations were:

  • automating employees’ tasks (64%)
  • improving workflows and outcomes (58%)
  • enhancing communications (54%)
  • helping their employees learn new skills (50%)

Most employers (92%) believe their IT departments will be the biggest beneficiary of AI with sales and marketing (85%) and human resources (78%) also being seen as deriving significant benefit  will derive significant value from it as well.

Generative AI is expected to become mainstream quickly with 93% of businesses expecting they will be using AI solutions across their organizations in the next five years.

The survey also points to higher wages for those with AI skills. Again this is most pronounced for IT workers who can expect an  an average of 47% more but employers are also willing to pay a premium to those with AI skills to personnel in other departments - sales and marketing (43%) finance (42%); business operations (41%); legal, regulatory, and compliance (37%); and human resources (35%).   

On the other hand while 73% of surveyed employers consider hiring talent with AI skills and experience a priority but 75% of them say that they can’t find the talent they need.

To address the skills gaps AWS has a three-pronged strategy.

The first is the introduction of eight new, free AI and generative AI courses open to anyone and aligned to in-demand jobs. According to Amazon, there is something for everyone with courses ranging from foundational to advanced and for business leaders as well as technologists.  

Five of the courses being added to AWS Skill Builder are targeted at a developer/technical audience:

  • Foundations of Prompt Engineering
  • Low-Code Machine Learning on AWS
  • Building Language Models on AWS
  • Amazon Transcribe—Getting Started
  • Building Generative AI Applications Using Amazon Bedrock 

Secondly, Through the AWS Generative AI Scholarship, AWS will provide Udacity scholarships, valued at more than $12 million, to more than 50,000 high school and university students from under-served and under-represented communities globally. We covered the forerunner of this scheme when it was introduced in April 2022. Students need first signup to Amazon DeepRacer in order to complete two application prerequisites. Then they can take a new Udacity course Introducing Generative AI with AWS for free. Designed by AI experts at AWS and running for the first time in early 2024, this course will introduce students to foundational generative AI concepts and guide them through a hands-on project. Upon successful course completion, students will earn a certificate from Udacity to showcase their knowledge to future employers.

In addition 2,000 students will be awarded  a 3-month virtual nanodegree scholarship ($4,000 USD value) enabling them to persue the AI Programming with Python Nanodegree, which is at beginner level. The top 500 students will be offered a further 5-month scholarship to the AWS Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree at intermediate level. Both these Nanodegree programs are already up and running and available to Udacity subscribers.

The third strand of the AI Ready initiative is a collaboration between Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon's program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for students from under-served and under-represented communities, and Code.org. This is kicked off with Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition in this year's line up of hour-long activities introducing Coding - which this year has as Generative AI as its focus.

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More Information

AWS AI & ML Scholarship program (AWS)

AWS AI & ML Scholarship Program (Udacity)

AWS DeepRacer Student 

AI Programming with Python Nanodegree

AWS Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree 

Related Articles

AWS AI & ML Scholarship Program

AI At All Levels From Udacity

2023 Hour Of Code Announced

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 November 2023 )