TSTC starts new advanced program

New Cloud Computing certificate to be offered this fall

Staff report
Texas State Technical College will begin offering an online Advanced Technical Certificate in Cloud Computing statewide starting this fall.

RED OAK — Texas State Technical College will offer a new online Advanced Technical Certificate in Cloud Computing starting this fall.

Students earning the online Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration will be able to move into the Cloud Computing program.

“It follows the Amazon Web Services (AWS) curriculum,” said Renee Blackshear, an instructor in TSTC’s Computer Networking and Systems Administration program. “You have an AWS Cloud Practitioner certification, which is going to be in the new Advanced Linux class. That gives you the basis of AWS and starts introducing you to the AWS microservices.”

The CNSA and Cloud Computing programs will be taught in a performance-based education format, in which students will advance at their own pace to meet knowledge benchmarks as they make progress.

“It is still the high quality we have always offered, just streamlined and more of a checklist,” Blackshear said. “Once the students complete competencies and master those, they keep moving forward and get done and out in the workforce.”

Cloud Computing students will be able to finish the two-semester program in one semester following the performance-based education method, Blackshear said.

According to Indeed.com, in the last two weeks more than 400 full-time jobs related to cloud computing were posted in Texas, including a Plano company seeking a cloud project manager and paying at least $65 an hour, and a Dallas company seeking cloud development and operations developers and paying $115,000 a year.

“People want cloud-proficient graduates now,” Blackshear said. “The sooner they can get in and get going and graduate, the better. The market wants them, and they are paying high dollars for them.”

Students will need a reliable Wi-Fi connection and a computer that meets the CNSA program’s requirements. Students will do work through AWS, Canvas LMS, the Cisco Networking Academy and Python, a programming language. 

Blackshear said students in the proximity of any TSTC campus statewide can use the college’s computer labs. She said faculty will have increased availability through virtual office hours.

Registration continues for the fall, and scholarships are available. For more information, go to tstc.edu.