Amazon’s AI Ready initiative, responding to a growing demand for AI talent and the potential for higher salaries in this field, is set to make AI education accessible to a wider audience. According to a new AWS study, workers with AI skills could earn up to 47% more. Recognising the pivotal role of AI in addressing global challenges, Amazon has launched the “AI Ready” programme, aiming to provide free AI skills training to 2 million people globally by 2025. This ambitious goal will be achieved through new initiatives for adults and young learners, as well as the expansion of existing free AI training programmes.
The programme introduces three key initiatives:
- Eight new, free AI and generative AI courses.
- The AWS Generative AI Scholarship, giving over 50,000 high school and university students globally access to a new generative AI course on Udacity.
- A new collaboration with Code.org to educate students about generative AI.
The necessity for AI-trained professionals is urgent. An AWS and Access Partnership study found that 73% of employers prioritise hiring AI-skilled talent, yet three-quarters face challenges in meeting their AI talent needs. Businesses anticipate that AI will be integral in the next five years, with 93% expecting to use AI solutions across their organisations.
The AI Ready initiative is aimed at enabling a broad spectrum of individuals to learn about AI and seize upcoming opportunities. The programme is structured to benefit current workforce members as well as future generations.
Free generative AI training for in-demand jobs
To aid working professionals, Amazon is announcing eight new, free AI and generative AI courses. These cover a range from foundational to advanced levels and are designed for both business leaders and technologists. They complement over 80 free and low-cost AI and generative AI courses already offered through AWS.
Courses for business and nontechnical audiences include:
- “Introduction to Generative Artificial Intelligence” and “Generative AI Learning Plan for Decision Makers” available on AWS Educate and AWS Skill Builder respectively.
- “Introduction to Amazon CodeWhisperer” on AWS Educate.
Courses for developer and technical audiences include:
- “Foundations of Prompt Engineering” and “Low-Code Machine Learning on AWS” available on AWS Skill Builder.
- “Building Language Models on AWS” and “Amazon Transcribe—Getting Started” also on AWS Skill Builder.
- “Building Generative AI Applications Using Amazon Bedrock” on AWS Skill Builder.
$12 million in generative AI scholarships
The AWS Generative AI Scholarship will offer Udacity scholarships, worth over $12 million, to more than 50,000 students. This course, “Introducing Generative AI with AWS,” introduces foundational concepts and includes a hands-on project.
Accessible introduction to generative AI
Amazon is collaborating with Code.org for the Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition. This hour-long coding and AI introduction lets students create a virtual music video. It introduces them to generative AI, large language models, and predictive analytics.
Hour of Code will take place during Computer Science Education Week, 4th – 10th December, engaging kindergarten through 12th-grade students and teachers globally. AWS is also supporting Code.org with up to $8 million in AWS Cloud computing credits.
Cloud skills training investment
Amazon’s AI Ready initiative commitment complements AWS’s existing commitment to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people by 2025. So far, over 21 million people have been trained under this initiative.