Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, more than 7.5 million people have fled their homes seeking safety and stability in neighboring nations. Ukrainians that sought refuge in other countries and those who remain in the country face challenges most people can only imagine—separation from family, abandoned careers, language barriers, and legal hurdles. From people who had established careers to those who were just getting started in technology, many Ukrainians are seeking training programs to help them begin careers in new countries. Cloud computing is a fast-growing industry and many companies and organizations migrating to the cloud need a cloud-trained workforce.
To help Ukrainians begin or grow a career in technology, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched IT Skills 4U, a free comprehensive workforce-development initiative to provide Ukrainians around the world with AWS Cloud skills training and career support services. IT Skills 4U is accessible via a website, available in Ukrainian, Polish, and English, where learners can find training courses, AWS Certification opportunities, and career support services. The courses and workforce resources are designed for individuals with any level of experience—whether they have little to no tech background or they are experienced information technology (IT) professionals looking for additional certifications, advanced courses, or career placement support. After completing a brief self-assessment of their skills, learners will receive personalized learning plans with recommended training courses.
Ukrainians around the world can choose from a range of AWS-designed courses, based on their level of IT knowledge and learning goals. Course offerings include digital on-demand training that learners can take at their own pace and instructor-led sessions. We offer free AWS Certification exam vouchers, so learners can earn industry-recognized credentials that they can put on their resumes. AWS Certification helps learners build credibility and confidence, and helps employers identify skilled professionals.
The following AWS Training and Certification programs are available through the IT Skills 4U portal:
- AWS Academy empowers higher education institutions to prepare students for careers in the cloud and industry-recognized certifications.
- We work with two Polish universities—Warsaw School of Computer Science and WSB University in Dabrowa Gornicza—to offer the AWS Academy Cloud Foundations course to Ukrainians for free, without enrolling at either university. The course provides a detailed overview of cloud concepts, AWS core services, security, architecture, pricing, and support.
- AWS Educate is a free online, self-paced learning program. New-to-cloud learners can access a large library of self-paced training and resources in Ukrainian as well as 11 other languages.
- Learners can access the AWS Educate Job Board to explore and apply to thousands of in-demand jobs and internships with organizations of all types all over the world.
- AWS GetIT encourages students 12–14 years old, especially girls, to discover career opportunities in technology.
- Participants of the program enter into a variety of curriculum activities, which lead to the AWS GetIT competition. During the competition, students use their newly learned skills to creatively design an app idea aiming to solve a social or environmental issue of their choosing.
- This year, we launched GetIT pilots in Poland and Ukraine. AWS GetIT is offered at a school in Wroclaw, Poland, and through Optima Distant Learning School, a free online educational platform for Ukrainian students.
AWS Instructor-Led Training
- We offer instructor-led training in person in Poland and remotely for other locations. These courses are delivered by AWS Training Partners (ATP) and AWS Authorized Instructors who adapt coursework to the learner’s pace, include various learning modalities, and offer additional support from instructors (e.g., office hours).
- AWS re/Start is a full-time, classroom-based workforce-development training program that prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers. The program connects more than 98% of graduates with job interview opportunities.
- We have begun cohorts in Germany and Poland for Ukrainians, and we will continue to add more cohorts across various countries. A technical background is not required to apply.
AWS Skill Builder
- AWS Skill Builder is a digital learning center available in more than 200 countries and territories, allowing learners to quickly and easily access over 500 free on-demand courses ranging from foundational to advanced.
- AWS Skill Builder offers engaging content to meet different learning goals and styles in more than 15 languages. Individuals can also get course recommendations for learning plans aligned to job roles and technology areas, helping people access the most relevant content for their skill level.
IT Skills 4U is helping connect individuals to cloud jobs through individualized support, job fairs, resources, and notifications regarding relevant jobs. The program also offers resume writing courses, interview preparation sessions, and English and Polish language-learning classes. As a complement to technical training, we’re invested in helping learners develop the soft skills needed for employer meetings and interviews.
We’re delivering this program with the Poland-based, nonprofit organization ZPP, which focuses on helping Central European businesses thrive and is actively involved in helping Ukrainian businesses and Ukrainian citizens resume economic activity during the war.
I liked the organization of the courses and the fact that, in a fairly short period, it was possible to consider such extensive and fundamental topics in detail. The course motivated me to complete the certification and master other technical aspects on AWS, such as DevOps.
Learner from an ATP-led IT Skills 4U pilot cohort preparing for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Associate exam.
More than 30 AWS customers and partners have committed to offering Ukrainian learners permanent jobs, internships, apprenticeships, and traineeships in cloud computing roles, including companies such as ABN AMRO Clearing Bank N.V., Altkom Software & Consulting, Digital Virgo, DXC Technology, EPAM Systems, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Ibexlabs, iTechArt Group, Kyndryl, Labra, OpsWorks Co., Profisea, SoftwareONE Academy, Software Development Association Poland, Spyrosoft, and Storm Reply UKI. AWS is also planning to hire learners from the program, including into the AWS Tech U program and for roles in AWS Professional Services and other teams. Additionally, Amazon recently committed to hiring at least 5,000 refugees in the U.S. by the end of 2024, as part of our ongoing efforts to support people displaced by conflict. These employees will receive tailored support and resources through our Amazon Welcome Door program.
“Around the world, Ukrainians are perceived as a society rich with high-class specialists, unicorn startups, and amazing tech ideas,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister—minister of digital transformation of Ukraine. “We see strong potential in the development of the Ukrainian IT sphere and are doing everything to increase the number of IT specialists. The IT Skills 4U project by AWS will help engage more newcomers in IT and develop careers for experienced professionals. Ukrainians will develop the skills needed to work with cloud tech, which are highly valued in the market now. I believe that the future belongs to cloud-based services. We are grateful to AWS for supporting our vision and for training Ukrainians for jobs in the cloud sector.”
Additional program partners include the Ukrainian and Polish governments; a variety of employers offering internships, apprenticeships, and job placement; educational institutions; nongovernmental organizations supporting Ukrainians; and several ATPs exercising new social impact capability to deliver AWS Training to nontraditional learners. This fall, the government of Ukraine and ZPP plan to reach prospective learners through social media, job search websites, and Polish and Ukrainian popular media.
“I’m humbled to work with government leaders from Ukraine and Poland, and nonprofits like ZPP in providing Ukrainians around the world with free and comprehensive training to help them reenter the workforce,” said Maureen Lonergan, vice president of AWS Training and Certification. “With an increasingly digital world, AWS is responding by democratizing access to cloud skills training. We’re committed to developing programs that reach everyone wherever they are in life and in the world, as they rebuild toward a brighter future.”
To learn more about free AWS Cloud skills training opportunities and career support services, visit the IT Skills 4U portal. For ongoing updates on how Amazon is assisting in Ukraine, visit our community blog.
IT Skills 4U is part of Amazon’s commitment to provide free cloud skills training to 29 million people around the world by 2025. To learn more about our efforts to support education and skills development, read about our newest programs and our commitment to train 29 million people worldwide by 2025.