Published on November 20, 2023, 4:37 pm

Amazon’S “Ai Ready” Initiative: Bridging The Talent Gap In Tech With Free Ai Courses

Amazon has recently announced a new initiative called “AI Ready,” which aims to provide free courses in artificial intelligence (AI) skills. The goal of this program is to educate workers and bridge the talent gap in the competitive tech landscape. With rivals like Microsoft and OpenAI actively recruiting, Amazon recognizes the need to equip individuals with AI expertise.

The company has set an ambitious target of reaching as many as 2 million people by 2025 through the “AI Ready” initiative. It consists of eight courses that cater to both business and non-technical audiences, as well as professional developers. Some of the topics covered include “Introduction to Generative Artificial Intelligence,” “Foundations of Prompt Engineering,” and “Low-code Machine Learning on AWS,” which is Amazon’s cloud-computing arm known as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Amazon acknowledges the growing demand for AI talent, with employers willing to pay significantly higher salaries for individuals trained in this field. According to an AWS study, employers are even willing to offer up to 47% more in salaries for those with AI skills. The courses offered through the “AI Ready” initiative are strategically designed not only to meet this demand but also to promote Amazon’s own AI products.

Among its offerings, Amazon provides “nontechnical” learning on generative AI fundamentals, project planning related to AI implementation, and guidance on utilizing Amazon’s CodeWhisperer AI code generator. The company’s intention behind launching AI Ready is clear: it wants to help individuals who are interested in learning about AI seize the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead.

To attract learners, Amazon emphasizes that there is a scarcity of qualified professionals in the field of AI. In fact, 73% of employers prioritize hiring individuals skilled in AI but face difficulties finding qualified candidates. With its “democratization” approach, Amazon aims to make generative AI education accessible not only for its own employees but also for enterprise customers searching for workers with essential AI skills.

If you’re interested in taking these courses, they are accessible through the AWS Educate site. The initial training focuses on generative AI and provides an introduction to CodeWhisperer. Additional courses, covering topics such as Amazon’s Transcribe speech-to-text generator, can be found on the AWS Skill Builder site.

As part of the “AI Ready” initiative, Amazon plans to offer Udacity scholarships worth over $12 million to more than 50,000 high school and university students from underserved and underrepresented communities worldwide. These scholarships, offered through the AWS Generative AI Scholarship, aim to empower students with foundational generative AI concepts and provide them with a certificate upon successful completion.

Jenni Troutman, Director of Products and Services at AWS Training and Certification, emphasizes the transformative power of skills training and certification. She states that “AI Ready” reflects Amazon’s commitment to making AI and machine learning (ML) skills training accessible to everyone by offering free courses, programs, and scholarships for those eager to learn.

As AI continues to reshape industries, it is expected that workers will need additional skills and training to adapt to these changes. The scarcity of highly skilled AI talent has prompted top tech companies like Amazon to enhance salaries and benefits in order to retain employees in a competitive job market. In fact, Amazon increased its base pay limit for corporate employees to $350,000 earlier this year.

In conclusion, Amazon’s “AI Ready” program is a significant step towards democratizing AI education and addressing the talent gap in the tech industry. By offering free courses and scholarships, Amazon aims to equip individuals with essential AI skills while promoting its own AI products. As technology advances further into the realm of AI, it becomes increasingly important for workers across various sectors to acquire these skills in order to stay competitive in the job market.


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