Open Cloud Academy Now Accepts GI Bill for Tuition

Rackspace training program encourages veterans to enroll in its System Administration or Cybersecurity courses.

Open Cloud Academy students can work towards certifications in either systems administration or cybersecurity.

I’m thrilled to announce that Open Cloud Academy, which offers students the skills necessary to enter the IT workforce, now accepts GI Bill funds for tuition.

For 75 years, the GI Bill has helped millions of veterans pay for college, graduate school and other training programs. Qualifying veterans and their family members can use the money to cover all or some of the costs for school or training.

This benefit is part of Rackspace’s ongoing commitment to veterans, and to increase the pipeline of entry-level IT workers in San Antonio. Rackspace founded Open Cloud Academy in 2013 to fill a skills gap and to help seed the city of San Antonio with technical-talent. Today, OCA graduates are eligible for hire at Rackspace as well as many other local companies.

Open Cloud Academy offers two main programs, each 13 weeks long: System Administration and Cybersecurity. Each program is designed around a technical job profile and prepares students for multiple industry recognized certifications.

To apply for enrollment to OCA, you need to complete an application and pass a non-technical aptitude test. While our System Administration program requires no previous IT experience, in order to qualify for Cyber Security, students must have their CompTIA Network+ certification or equivalent.

Thanks to our partnership with Project Quest, a local non-profit and nationally recognized workforce training program we can help candidates achieve their technical prerequisite through free week-long boot camps held at OCA. For students who may not qualify for GI Bill funding, Project Quest can also assist with tuition assistance for both the System Administration and Cybersecurity programs.

Students attending Open Cloud Academy will not only get technical training, but professional and soft-skills development to advance their opportunities for employment upon graduation.

After completion of our program, Open Cloud Academy, along with Project Quest, will work to put job opportunities in front of students including employer tours, meet and greets and LinkedIn and resume building workshops.

Both programs show real world application of technologies; our Cybersecurity program aligns particularly well with the military population. Having some IT experience or background in security is a plus, as well as having security clearances, which certain cybersecurity jobs will require.

We reached out to the U.S. Veterans Administration last year to begin the process that would allow veterans to use the GI Bill for tuition; in December, VA officials came to San Antonio for a site visit, the final step before approval.

This week, we learned that approval has been granted. We’ve created a page for vets on our website with specifics on how to get started. Got questions? Email us at opencloudacademy@rackspace.com or visit Open Cloud Academy.

Our next classes begin March 11, 2019 — join us!

Marcus Benavidez is the Academy Director of Open Cloud Academy, a unique hands-on learning academy that provides students the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to enter into the IT workforce. Marcus has held numerous roles since he began his career at Rackspace in 2007, including positions in sales, account management and operations. Marcus holds a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and in January 2019 welcomed the birth of his son, Ace.

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