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AWS Training: Junior Colleges vs Accelerated Courses

If you have been considering options for AWS training, you may be weighing attending a longer program vs an accelerated bootcamp.

Informational technology jobs are anticipated to grow faster than average for at least the next decade. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the dominant leader in market share for cloud computing, and entry-level IT professionals must be able to navigate AWS.

When evaluating training programs for AWS, you should be looking at different factors like curriculum, program depth, length of program, and overall value.

The examples we will look at below reflect the options for AWS training for the local market here in Sacramento, California – though similar options exist in most mid-sized and large cities in the US.

We will look at accelerated programs vs longer accredited AWS programs, and pros and cons of each.

Program Length and Cost

Here in Sacramento, there are numerous AWS accelerated training programs that range from about 15 to 30 hours. Some of these are held on consecutive days (e.g. 3 or 4 day events). Others meet two days a week for three hours, for five weeks.

These accelerated programs cost less than a regular IT training program offered through junior colleges or vocational schools. This type of program is also less than most technology bootcamps, which generally are 3 to 6 months in length. Tech bootcamps usually cost five figures. A 2018 study by Course Report says the average coding bootcamp costs $13,584.

Accelerated AWS programs that are 15 to 30 hours in the Sacramento area in early 2022 ranged from $424 to $3100.

Junior college and vocational school IT programs in the Sacramento area generally cost about five figures, and are longer in length, and cover more material in their curriculum. Because community colleges and vocational colleges are usually regionally accredited, they must follow specific guidelines to have a program approved by the accrediting board.

MTI College has two IT programs that prepare students for AWS certification (more information about these at the end of this article).

The AWS Cloud Solutions Architect program is 24 weeks long, and currently costs $9,395 for tuition. This program is open to students residing in California, with an Associate’s degree or higher. The fully online program prepares students for two AWS certifications.

For students with no previous college credits, that live near Sacramento, the AWS Cloud Administration  program is a mostly online program with minimal on-campus days required. This program is 22 months, and costs $36,273 for tuition (not including books). This is an Associate’s degree program, that prepares students for two AWS certifications and three CompTIA certifications.

Conclusion: AWS training programs at junior colleges will cost more than accelerated training camps, but students will go through an more extensive curriculum, and usually be prepared for more than one IT certification per program.

A Look at Curriculum

Accelerated IT training courses tend to be compartmentalized “a la carte” endeavors. The more advanced courses may have prerequisites for students to take beginner courses in AWS training. Students learn specific things within a 15 to 30 hour mini-camp. These tend to be an overview of general concepts in cloud computing and databases with some hands-on training. In some cases, students may have the opportunity to build an application.

One drawback to this type of accelerated camp is that there is not a lot of time to ask the instructor questions. Students enrolled in these courses may have difficulty retaining the knowledge, and hands-on training time may be limited.

On the other hand, vocational schools and junior colleges that offer AWS or CompTIA training courses tend to give ample time for students to digest and understand the information. Students have more time to consult with faculty, and hands-on training time is substantial.

For an example, the AWS Cloud Administration program at MTI College has 11 different courses, that have extended focus on computing infrastructure, cybersecurity, networking, server management, and AWS cloud administration.

The AWS Cloud Solutions Architect program at MTI College has four courses that teach students about AWS cloud foundations, cloud architecture, architecture frameworks, and certification prep.

Conclusion: Accelerated technology training courses focus on one course at a time, and have a limited and compact scope. Programs offered by junior colleges and vocational schools have programs that have multiple courses, giving students a wider breadth of training in information technology.

Other Factors

AWS Approval. When you invest time and effort into AWS training classes, that you are learning exactly what you need to know to succeed in an IT job. Does the training course or AWS program have the seal of approval from Amazon Web Services? One thing we are proud of at our college is having AWS approval for our curriculum. In fact, MTI College is the only recognized AWS Academy in Sacramento.

Our AWS Academy programs provide AWS-developed curriculum taught by AWS-certified instructors.

Faculty and Instructors. One thing to consider when choosing an accelerated course vs full-scope IT program is who will be teaching the course. Does the instructor(s) have extensive experience in the technology being taught? Are they keeping up with ongoing changes with the core technologies?

Will You Get a Job Afterwards? Job placement rate is another important factor. Colleges must provide adjusted and unadjusted numbers on job placement for graduating students. Short term courses are not obligated to share any data on how many students went on to get IT jobs.

Financial Aid. Lastly, financial aid is a concern for most potential students. Accelerated tech courses generally are not eligible for grants or student loans. Students must pay out of pocket for training. Vocational and junior colleges have accredited programs, and almost always have several options for Federal and state grants, as well as student loans, and scholarships.

There are many things to think about when it comes to your career, and IT training. The bottom line is you should do what is best for your circumstances and for your future.

Want to Start Your Career Working with AWS?

MTI College is an AWS Academy partner and has two diploma programs for students wanting to learn AWS.

AWS Cloud Solutions Architect (Fully Online)

The first one is a fully online, regionally accredited program for California residents. The AWS Cloud Solutions Architect program is 24 weeks long, and if you already have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, you’re eligible to enroll. This 100% online program prepares you for these certifications:

  • Amazon AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  • Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate)

The AWS Solutions Architect program requires the following:

  • An Associate’s or higher degree from an accredited institution
  • Education, certification or work experience in information technology
  • Residency in the state of California
  • Access to a laptop or desktop with broadband internet access

AWS Cloud Administration Associate (OnlinePlus, minimal in-person days)

The second program, the AWS Cloud Administration Associate degree program allows you to complete most of the coursework online, with minimal in-person days required at our Sacramento campus. This program is 96 weeks in length, and prepares you for the following certifications:

  • Amazon AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  • Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate)
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Security+

If you have questions, we have answers. Call at (916) 339-1500 or use the Request Information form today.

Complete the online application and an admissions advisor will walk you through the application process.

We look forward to helping you grow your information technology career.

Want to learn more about MTI’s programs?

Our admissions team will help you find the perfect program to meet your goals. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

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