IT students, educators take cloud lessons in AWS event

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Around 800 graduating IT students and 200 educators from various schools in the National Capital Region upgraded their skill-sets with cloud computing competencies via AWS Siklab Pilipinas 2018.

The event was conducted by cloud platform Amazon Web Services (AWS) from June 4 – 7 at the SMX Aura Convention Center in Bonifacio Global City to get the next wave of IT workers ready for jobs created by new technologies such as cloud computing.

The first event of its kind organized in the world by AWS, Siklab Pilipinas 2018 provided participants with 30 hours of learning opportunities via lectures, hands-on lab sessions using AWS Cloud services and AWS Promotional Credits, knowledge checks, and a hackathon where they created their own cloud solutions for real-life scenarios.

“Graduates are graduating with knowledge but not necessarily with the right skills that companies are looking for,” said Vincent Quah, APAC regional head for education, research, and not-for-profit – worldwide public sector of AWS. “And therefore our focus is on ensuring and helping students acquire the real set of skills that companies are looking for.”

One of these skills is cloud computing which, according to Quah was mentioned in a report by LinkedIn as one of the top skills employees look for in job applicants.

Another report, the Gartner Report on Investments, projected that the amount of investments pouring into the cloud environment will jump from $115 billion in 2016 to $243B by 2020, thus setting the jobs generation machine in rapid motion.

Meanwhile, the Philippine IT and business landscapes are poised for change due to these emerging technologies, according to IDC Philippines’ top 10 predictions for the country’s ICT industry in 2018.

IDC further predicted that under this scenario, more local enterprises will upgrade jobs and upskill their employees.

“Obviously employers are looking at graduates with a much higher expectation,” said Quah. “They want you to come in with real skills that you can contribute to the company on Day One. They won’t wait about 90 days before you can become productive. They want you to come in ready to be able to contribute.”

After completing their skills training, Siklab Pilipinas 2018 participants were given certificates, AWS Training on Cloud Practitioner Essentials, AWS Educate accounts, digital badges which they may attach to their e-resumes, among others. The winners of the hackathon also received prizes.

Told that many of the participants might just end up going abroad to work after graduation instead of using the skills they gained right here in the Philippines to help grow local enterprises, Quad said they cannot control the decision of the students.

However, he believes that many more of these IT graduates will instead choose to stay behind and it is these young Filipinos whom the company wants to focus on. “You can actually start a global business here,” said Quah. “You don’t have to go anywhere. All the students would need is an idea.”

Siklab Pilipinas 2018 also held a job fair for the country’s soon-to-be IT professionals with some of the country’s largest corporations participating. Among them were Meralco, Globe, ABS-CBN, Coins.ph, Titanium Technologies, E Cloud, Unionbank, Voyager, PAL, and BDO.

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