Valencia Adds New IT Concentration To Help Prepare Students For The 21st Century

Shot of a programmer working on a computer code at night

ORLANDO – In fall 2023, Valencia College will offer a new concentration for students interested in the IT field: Cloud computing.

The additional concentration is a part of Valencia College’s Bachelor of Applied Science in computing technology and software development program.

Lisa Macon, program chair of the bachelor’s program, says the decision to add the cloud computing concentration stems from the need to provide students with additional focus areas to expand their knowledge of the field.

“The cloud concentration contains courses and learning objectives that will prepare students to work in the fastest growing field in the technology industry,” says Macon. “The cloud concentration also provides the background necessary for a student to manage cloud systems, which are used by every single company worldwide.”

Jerry Hensel, program cloud specialist, says he aims to help students earn jobs in the local Orlando market after graduation.

Hensel says the average salary for jobs in cloud computing is $131,000 a year.

The program allows students to connect with industry partners such as Lockheed Martin, AdventHealth, Orlando Health and Universal Orlando Resort.

All the course materials are free to students, and the concentration includes course content from Amazon Web Services, the leader in the cloud-computing field.

All the courses in the cloud computing concentration will be offered online – as are all the courses in the bachelor’s program for computing technology and software development.

Since the bachelor’s degree program in computing technology and software development launched in 2019, the program has grown from 39 students to more than 500 students a year.

While state universities charge more than $200 per credit hour, Florida residents in Valencia’s bachelor-degree programs pay $112.19 per credit hour and non-Florida residents pay $427.59 per credit hour for 3000- and 4000-level courses.

Not only is the bachelor’s degree program affordable compared to state universities, but if students earned an associate degree with all the proper prerequisites and decide to enroll full time, they can finish their bachelor’s degree in only four semesters.

Macon says the computing technology and software development program plans to expand to include a concentration in cybersecurity, though no timelines for the expansion have been determined.

Not only is the program seeing significant growth in enrollment, but the program has awarded 154 degrees since the summer of 2020, and more than 390 students signed up as computing technology and software development majors in 2023.

Many graduates have gone on to work for companies such as NASA, Blue Origin, Disney and Amazon.

The program is expecting more than 50 new students for fall 2023 when the new cloud concentration goes online.

Macon emphasizes that students who graduate with a cloud computing concentration will be more marketable to employers.

For more details about the program, please visit: Computing Technology and Software Development Overview.