River Parishes Community College is now offering a new two-year program to prepare students for lucrative careers in information technology.
The Associate of Applied Science degree in Systems Administration will have a concentration in cloud computing. Upon graduation, students will have the necessary training and education to work as entry-level systems administrators, with the ability to earn more credentials and advance in the field.
“This will help students prepare for entry-level employment in a variety of sectors,” said RPCC Interim Chancellor, Dr. Jim Carlson. “Cloud computing is the new way to save information, as opposed to only on servers. We see it in many areas, including hospitals and health care. We’ve seen students from other colleges in our system with a similar program get hired at large technology companies and start-up companies as well.”
The coursework will include time in the classroom, labs and work-based settings to ensure RPCC students learn all industry standards. Students will also be able to earn cloud certifications with Amazon Web Services and become eligible for industry-based certifications that are often required by employers.
Carlson said the new program came about after the Louisiana Community and Technical College System partnered with Amazon Web Services to create the first statewide cloud computing program for each college in the system. Each individual college was tasked with developing an academic program that would focus on cloud computing and address the specific needs of their student populations.
“We’ve been working on it for quite a while and now it’s time for us to hit the launch button for it at RPCC,” Carlson said. “I think it is good timing because after the last year, people have realized that you can have so many careers working from home, and IT is definitely work that can be done from anywhere.”
Carlson said the program would be well-suited for both recent high school graduates who want to work in IT or those who have experience in the field but may not have much formal training or certifications. In fact, Carlson said that at a recent RPCC open house, the mother of a prospective student became interested in the program herself as a way to advance her own career.
“You have a lot of students coming out of high school who want to work in technology, and then you also have a lot of people underemployed in IT who want formal training to move to that next level,” Carlson said. “This program is really designed to meet all of those needs.”
The first classes for the new program begin in August. Carlson said he expects about 20 to 30 students to enroll in the first semester. Financial aid is available, including a free three-hour course for the first cohort of students who apply to RPCC, choose System Administration as their major, and sign up for six or more credit hours. The “buy one class, get one free” offer is only available to the first cohort of students.
For more information about the AAS degree in Systems Administration with a concentration in cloud computing, contact Dr. Emily Campbell at email@example.com.