WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — People searching for a first career or a new career have a new option through WSU Tech.

The school announced Thursday it is launching a cloud computing program designed to fast-track students straight into a high-demand, high-wage career in as little as 16 weeks. Classes begin on Jan. 31.

WSU Tech said there is a need in the Wichita metro area for educated software developers with an emphasis in cloud computing.

“This is due to the growing number of employers who have come to us expressing a need for an educated workforce in IT,” Dr. Sheree Utash, WSU Tech president, said.

She said the need is even more significant because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Microsoft, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet, or “the cloud,” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.

Experts believe cloud services will grow three times more than overall IT services this year.

The initial 16-weeks, one semester, of the Cloud Computing and Cloud Application Development Associates Degree program at WSU Tech is offered in a boot camp-style or accelerated hybrid format.

The boot camp is designed for people who may have no background or understanding of programming. Students will complete most of their coursework online and attend four hours of flexible, facilitated lab time at Groover Labs in Wichita’s historic Old Town.

Groover Labs is a collaborative working environment where entrepreneurs and tech pros can get support and share ideas.

“This partnership with WSU Tech, Kansas startup SnapIT and key industry employers will be a significant and tangible spark,” said Curt Gridley, co-founder of Groover Labs. “We can’t wait to engage with this new generation of technology professionals.”

The curriculum for the boot camp was developed in partnership with SnapIT Solutions, a tech solutions company.

Students who complete the boot camp will become certified in several programming languages, including Python, C#, and others, and will be job-ready for a position in IT – for example, a junior software developer.

Local IT companies, such as Keycentrix, have already pledged to offer guaranteed job interviews to the students.

“If you are a prospective student looking for a new opportunity in software or cloud computing, or if you are a business breaking open new capabilities or offerings powered by software or cloud computing, then I encourage you to engage with WSU Tech on this program,” Luis Rodriguez, president of Keycentrix, said.

Students can complete the remaining classes to earn an associates degree, fully online or hybrid, in just a few more semesters.

Classes for the Cloud Computing and Cloud Application Development program begin January 31. Click here to learn more or to sign up for the program.