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Google Offers Computer Science Students Free Access To Cloud Platform

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Google will give students enrolled in computer science and related courses at accredited U.S. colleges and universities free access to all of its Cloud Platform applications

Google has launched a new program to give students in computer science and related courses at accredited U.S. universities free access to all of the company’s Cloud Platform products.

The new Google Cloud Platform Education Grants program will give college students an opportunity to use the same tools and infrastructure available to enterprises, to build and test cloud applications.

Google’s computer science grant program is currently available only within the United States. But Google says it will soon become available to students in other parts of the world as well.

In order to participate in the program, Google wants computer science faculty from U.S. colleges to apply for Education Grants for their students. Institutions that are approved will be given a certain number of credits for distribution to their students.

Students can use their credits to access and use any Google Cloud Platform product relevant to their area of study. For example, students in mobile development courses will be able to code their apps using Google App Engine. Those interested in machine learning will be able to use the company’s Vision API and Translate API while those intending to pursue opportunities around data analysts can use BigQuery and BigTable, according to Google.

Familiar with cloud

Giving students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with cloud technologies makes them more competitive in the job market, Google’s vice president of marketing Alison Wagonfeld said in a blog post announcing the program this week.

“Students that have access to public cloud infrastructure gain valuable experience with the software and infrastructure used by today’s employers,” Wagonfeld said. Student projects can also benefit from the sheer scale and scope of the infrastructure and tools that will be available under the grants program.

openstackcloudGoogle’s effort to get more students up to speed on cloud technologies—albeit its own—are reminiscent of efforts by other technology vendors to spur availability of skilled workers amid a deepening talent shortage.

One example is Cisco, which recently launched a $10 million scholarship program to train students for careers in cyber-security.  Under the Cisco Global Cybersecurity Scholarship program, the company will provide free cyber-security lessons to qualified individuals in areas such as security system monitoring, breach detection, breach analysis and incident response.

Students who complete the program will be certified by Cisco as being qualified to assume an entry-level cyber-security analyst job. Cisco has said that it hopes to train at least 10,000 individuals under the scholarship program.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is another technology vendor that offers scholarships for cyber-security related courses. But the program is available only to women who want to pursue a career in information security. Qualified individuals studying information security courses at the undergraduate or graduate level can receive up to $10,000 in scholarships under Hewlett-Packard Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security program.

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Originally published on eWeek.