California’s leading transfer college to the University of California and a top provider of affordable career education in Los Angeles—has created a cloud computing certificate, which incorporates content from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide students and educators with the resources needed to accelerate cloud-related learning.

Cloud computing—which delivers vast data capacity to organizations of all shapes and sizes without requiring expensive on-site servers—is widely considered the biggest growth arena in technology today. It is also set to open a world of opportunity for Santa Monica College students, in one of the highest paying IT fields.

In just 15 units, SMC’s Cloud Computing Certificate gets students ready to pursue a career in cloud computing and introduces students to AWS technologies. AWS courses cover programming, database management, security, and other essentials

Students from Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles at Santa Monica College’s Center for Media and Design.

Students from Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles at Santa Monica College’s Center for Media and Design on Stewart Street. They are part of a cohort taking classes in cloud computing. (Photo Credit: Amy Gaskin)

Three students in a computer lab at SMC's Center for Media and Design during a cloud computing class.

(left to right) Jose Castro, David Aguilar, Estefania De Luna, and Abel Guillen in a computer lab at SMC’s Center for Media and Design during a cloud computing class. (Photo Credit: Amy Gaskin)

A computer science instructor at SMC, teaching Computer Science 79A: Introduction to Cloud Computing.

Koda Kol, a computer science instructor at SMC, teaching Computer Science 79A: Introduction to Cloud Computing. (Photo Credit: Amy Gaskin)



Amazon Web Services Courses

CS 79A: Introduction to Cloud Computing

This course introduces cloud computing which shifts information systems from on-premises computing infrastructure to highly scalable internet architectures. The course provides a solid foundation of cloud computing technologies and provides students with the understanding required to effectively evaluate and assess the business and technical benefits of cloud computing and cloud applications. Students analyze a variety of cloud services (storage, servers and software applications) and cloud providers. Case studies will be used to examine various industry cloud practices and applications. The course also surveys cloud careers and discusses industry demand for cloud skills. ​

Course Objectives

  • ​Describe the cloud computing model
  • Describe examples of infrastructure as a service
  • Describe examples of platform as a service
  • Describe examples of software as a service
  • Identify and mitigate security concerns associated with cloud computing
  • Identify and mitigate legal concerns associated with cloud computing
  • Use current cloud services from leading service providers

CS 79B: Database Essentials in Amazon Web Services

This course addresses cloud database management which supports a number of different approaches for storing data.  In the course, students define, operate and scale both SQL and noSQL data storage solutions.  This course considers factors that should be balanced during the design of a storage solution. Principles are applied by performing exercises using Amazon RDS and SQL to create and fill tables, retrieve and manipulate data. Object-based APIs are used to serialize objects to Amazon DynamoDB for noSQL solutions. Topics include automated backups, transaction logs, restoration and retention.

Course Objectives

  • Describe how SQL and noSQL database web services can be used to store data
  • Describe redundancies and their adverse effects
  • Identify operations such as restrict, project, union, intersection, difference, divide, and join
  • Design small databases with primary and foreign keys and other constraints to be enforced by the database management system (DBMS)
  • Design databases by employing normalization rules, including supertypes and subtypes to reduce nulls and other rules to reduce redundancies
  • Design and document databases by using connectivity, cardinality, entity relationship diagrams, relational schemas, and data dictionaries
  • Interact with object APIs to store and retrieve data in noSQL database web services

CS 79C: Computing Engines in Amazon Web Services

In this course, students explore how cloud computing systems are built using a common set of core technologies, algorithms, and design principles centered around distributed systems. Students will use the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Management Console to provision, load-balance and scale their applications using the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and the AWS Elastic Beanstalk. The course discusses, from a developer perspective, the most important reasons for using AWS and examines the underlying design principles of scalable cloud applications.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the architectural approach used by AWS
  • Navigate the AWS Management Console
  • Describe the architectural approach used by AWS' Elastic Beanstalk
  • Deploy and manage Elastic Beanstalk applications
  • Scale and Load-Balance cloud application using AWS tools
  • Deploy EC2 Servers and work with various Amazon Machine Images

CS 79D: Security in Amazon Web Services

This course focuses on protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computing systems and data.Students learn how Amazon Web Service (AWS) uses redundant and layered controls, continuous validation and testing, and a substantial amount of automation to ensure the underlying infrastructure is continuously monitored and protected. Students examine the AWS Shared Responsibility Model and access the AWS Management Console to learn more about security tools and features provided by the AWS platform.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the AWS Shared Responsibility Model.
  • Describe security best practices employed with AWS applications.
  • Manage security groups, access control lists, users, roles and permissions.
  • Create secure websites using SSL/TLS certificates.
  • Support multi-factor authentication in their AWS applications.
  • Monitor and log security events using AWS tools.

CS 79E: Best Practices in Amazon Web Services

In this advanced course, students will learn how to use the AWS Well-Architected framework that has been developed as a guideline to cloud architects to implement the most secure, high-performing, resilient and efficient infrastructure possible for their applications.  Using case studies and class projects, students will apply the five pillars of operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency and cost optimization on AWS architected infrastructures.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the AWS Well-Architected Framework
  • Describe design principles and apply the best practices of Operational Excellence in AWS
  • Describe design principles and apply the best practices of Security in AWS
  • Describe design principles and apply the best practices of Reliability in AWS
  • Describe design principles and apply the best practices of Cost Optimization in AWS
  • Describe design principles and apply the best practices of Performance Efficiency in AWS

CS 79F: Machine Learning on AWS

This course will cover how business decisions can be made into machine learning problems for deeper business insight. We will cover the terms and concepts required to help you learn and build a good foundational understanding of machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning. You will learn the various Amazon Web Services Machine Learning stack, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning services, using application use cases, frameworks and infrastructure that will allow us to build, train, and deploy learning models at scale. Data is a vital part of machine learning, we will cover how business data is stored, moved and processed throughout the machine learning pipeline.

Course Objectives

  • List and describe the basics of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning.
  • Describe the terms and processes to build a machine learning model using the Amazon Web Services platform.
  • Describe the fundamental concepts of how a business challenge can be modeled in a machine learning model.
  • Perform mass storage of business data to be used in machine learning model.
  • Describe how business data can be moved and processed through the machine learning pipeline.
  • Evaluate a machine learning trained model and predictions.

Cloud Computing Certificate

Students must complete all the following:

Required CoreUnits
CS 79A - Introduction to Cloud Computing3
CS 79B - Databases Essentials for Amazon Web Services3
CS 79C - Compute Engines for Amazon Web Services3
CS 79D - Security in Amazon Web Services3
Select ONE from these electives: CS 52, CS 79E, CS 79F, CS 82, CS 83R, or CS 87A​
3
Total Units for Area of Emphasis:​15

Certificate Application

Cloud Computing Certificate Application