AWS Offers Free Cloud Training and Certification to Ukrainians

AWS wants to heal the world with free cloud skills training.

To extend its already-extensive IT training and retraining offerings, AWS announced on Oct. 12 that it would launch three specific initiatives. These are aimed directly at Ukrainians displaced and under- or unemployed as a result of the ongoing conflict in their homeland.

This windfall comes, as stated in an article from Maureen Lonergan, VP of AWS Training and Certification, as part of the company’s “commitment to provide 29 million people with free training by 2025.

A Three-Part Extension

The three specific initiatives on offer seek to, in Ms. Lonergan’s words, "open doors to new career possibilities for those who will benefit most." These three initiatives are defined and explained as follows:

IT Skills 4U: Specifically targeted at Ukrainians wherever they may be located, this curriculum is offered in English, Polish, and Ukrainian. It includes free training, AWS certification vouchers, and career services support. Outreach is available globally to Ukrainian nationals wherever they may be located.

Coverage includes everyone from those who are already tech-savvy and seeking to rejoin the tech workforce to those with little or no tech skills and knowledge who are seeking to find their first technology jobs.

AWS re/Start Associate: A multi-week, cohort-based reskilling program. This initiative adds a new track aimed directly at under- or unemployed persons who wish to develop and extend IT skills to find cloud careers in midlevel positions. To learn more about this offering (which is available to anyone who qualifies) visit the AWS re/Start pages.

Through a combination of scenario-based hands-on exercises and ILT in the classroom, students obtain and develop AWS cloud skills in Linux, Python, networking, security, databases, automation, and core AWS concepts, platforms and tools.

AWS Skills Center (Arlington, VA): AWS has opened a second physical training facility at its second headquarters location, with more planned around the world in 2023 and beyond. The company seeks to support local communities with in-person learning that offers free classes to the general public.

My guess is that displaced Ukrainians in the Distict of Columbia (D.C.) metro area will be welcome to participate in what this facility has to offer.

Democratizing Access to Cloud Skills Training

AWS wants to heal the world with free cloud skills training.

Overall, AWS seeks to make cloud skills training and certification available to a broad swath of the population, as it seeks to help develop its own workforce along with the overall working population. I see this very much as a form of “enlightened self-interest,” because AWS will have ample opportunities to cherry-pick the best and brightest of those who participate in its training programs.

Overall, according to Ms. Longergan, AWS provides a "wide range of programs" that include "more than 500 free courses through Amazon Skill Builder, hundreds of hours of self-paced training and labs through AWS Educate" and more.

This is part of a commitment to "investing hundreds of millions of dollars" to bring free cloud computing skills training to up to 29 million people by 2025. So far, AWS has reached more than 13 million participants. It has doubled the number of people it reached in 2021, and remains on track to hit the ultimate 29 million goal.

According to research from Gallup and AWS cited by Ms. Longergan, the following benefits accrue: "(A)dvanced digital skills like cloud architecture and software development add an estimated $6.3 trillion annually to global gross domestic product (GDP).

"Organizations with high levels of digital skill usage report annual revenues that are approximately 168 percent higher than companies that do not use digital skills. And thanks to higher pay, increased job satisfaction, and a strong sense of job security, 98 percent of individuals who have taken digital skills training in the past year say their career has benefitted."

For more information, please consult Ms. Lonergan’s October 12 item “AWS launches 3 free training programs to build tech skills and cloud computing careers.” It’s an interesting read, worth perusing. Cheers!

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About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.