Front Range Community College Blog

What is a Cloud Computing and Virtualization Degree?

Every time you pay for something on Square, ApplePay, or even use your Starbucks app, you are relying on “the cloud.” Every time you check or use your Gmail account, it’s in the cloud.

Cloud Computing is what removes the need and expense businesses incur by having physical equipment. That equipment – servers and other hardware, for instance, likely delivered over the internet – is “the cloud.” It can be better, cheaper, and faster for small- and medium-size businesses and industry to have someone else provide and host the bits and bytes they need today and maintain the large IT staff needed to keep everything operating. Large companies may set up their own private clouds.

Virtualization is how the information from the cloud is delivered. It’s not just a server/desktop environment any more. You have laptops and iPads, iPhones and Androids.

What will I learn?

You will gain the skills required to install, configure, and/or manage the cloud infrastructure. The skills you will learn involve keeping the current business operation going while transitioning to the cloud. In addition to a two-year associate degree, a one-semester certificate is available to prepare you for entry-level employment.

The technical classes in the Cloud Computing and Virtualization A.A.S. degree are designed to be 50% lecture and 50% lab.

Interested in computers but not in programming?

This field offers a lot of opportunity for someone interested in computers but not in programming. This is a great career for anyone who likes working with people, can communicate well, or is a current or future system administrator who wants a new skill to stand out. If you have people skills, we can teach you the technical skills. Your value shines through in the business environment. You will be dealing with the business executives as much as the technical administrators.

What are the job prospects for this degree?

You could be a system administrator who is knowledgeable about cloud services or virtual services. You could be a business analyst who makes the technical and business cases for a transfer to the cloud.

Here’s what you will see on the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website for cybersecurity-related occupations:

Job Title Entry Wage Openings/year
Network and Computer Systems Administrators $54,786 435
Computer Systems Analyst $60,393 623

A challenging field full of opportunity.

Companies large and small are realizing that cloud services and virtualization can be a cheaper, better, and faster way to deliver the computer-related services they need. They all will need help in transitioning to the cloud. That spells opportunity for someone with an A.A.S. degree in Cloud Computing and Virtualization.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Tom Augustine is a faculty member at Front Range Community College's Westminster Campus. He joined the faculty with 25 years experience in the Air Force, including managing the networks of the Air Force Satellite Control System and providing network security to the entire U.S Government at the National Security Agency (NSA) and United States Cyber Command.