Women working with Amazon have the opportunity to gain useful technology skills through Machine Learning University

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Amazonians can upskill through Machine Learning University

Amazonians can upskill through Machine Learning University

 February 04, 2020

At Amazon, technical employees have the opportunity to gain skills through Machine Learning University. Here’s a taste of what employees such as data scientist Lizzy Soto Hernandez are able to learn through the program.

Before working for Amazon in the U.S., Lizzy worked for the company in her native Costa Rica. Part of what brought Hernandez 3,400 miles north to Amazon's Seattle headquarters was the opportunity to continue her education and further her interest in math. She wanted to be a student at Amazon’s Machine Learning University (MLU).

"I always loved to count everyone and organize everything," said Lizzy.

Lizzy joined a group of Amazon employees who have taken MLU courses and returned to their teams with graduate-school-level knowledge. They learn from some of the biggest experts in the Amazon workforce, many of whom have doctoral degrees in machine learning. These Ph.D.s want to help solve a problem for Amazon: the company can't hire machine-learning specialists fast enough to keep up with all the opportunities to make machine learning a core part of its voice, vision, data, robotics, and decision systems.

Upskilling employees for the future

The MLU courses are designed to offer Amazon technical employees like Lizzy a way to gain machine-learning skills. The skills learnt help Amazonians use machine learning to provide benefits like faster delivery times, more relevant product search results, a greater likelihood that items will be in stock, and personalized recommendations that do a better job with tasks like steering customers to a particular book, TV show, or music playlist.

While enrolled at MLU, Amazon employees are excused from one day per week of their regular work. Amazonians never pay for classes, and MLU is part of a growing list of programs the company is offering in order to upskill 100,000 employees by 2025, backed by a $700 million investment.

Preparing the workforce for the next tech wave

MLU has generated excitement among Amazonians - partly because it clears away obstacles that can stop mid-career professionals from taking graduate school classes, such as the cost of tuition, a day job that won't slow down, the hassle of finding time to get to and from a university campus, and a fear that the curriculum won't actually deliver skills students can use in the real world.

"What we're doing is helping prepare our workforce for the next wave of technology that Amazon is investing in," said Bree Al-Rashid, who manages the MLU team.

Try an MLU course for yourself

Three MLU courses are available to the public though Amazon web services: Math for Machine Learning, The Elements of Data Science and Linear and Logistic Regression.

Read more about MLU on the Amazon blog.

Join an employer offering training and progression

Machine Learning University is just one of many examples of how Amazon offers its employees opportunities to learn and develop new skills.

If you want to join an employer that's preparing for the future, search and apply for Amazon jobs without delay.


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