NOVA Program Taps AWS to Train Marines in Data Intelligence


Northern Virginia Community College is working with the U.S. Marine Corps and Amazon Web Services to develop a set of courses focused on data intelligence. The new courses will cover cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) topics.
To complete the program, Marines take 31 credits at NOVA as well as a course offered by the Marine Corps focused on military-specific components. Participants can then go on to obtain an associate applied science degree in information systems technology at NOVA.
The courses were developed with help from the Amazon Web Services Educate program. Coursework in ML and AI will utilize AWS Educate’s Machine Learning Pathway, which includes access to Amazon SageMaker, a tool for building, training and deploying ML models. NOVA’s course of study will also prepare Marines to obtain a certificate to become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.
“We have worked side-by-side with the [Marine Corps] while utilizing the AWS console and having access to AWS Educate resources, to design AI and ML coursework to meet the needs of both the USMC and our industry community. Even more exciting is that we see this as a first step to what could be many additional cutting-edge programs of study to support our U.S. Armed Forces,” said Chad Knights, NOVA’s provost for information and engineering technology.
The new set of courses at NOVA is expected to launch this fall. The Marine Corps is also exploring opportunities to expand the NOVA partnership to other IT and cyber occupational fields.
This new offering is the latest collaboration between NOVA and AWS. In June, NOVA and AWS announced a new program that will allow students to earn an associate degree in cloud computing at NOVA and transfer to George Mason University to complete a bachelor’s degree.
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