The Maricopa Community Colleges and Intel Launch First Artificial Intelligence Associate Degree Program

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Make AI Happen

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has partnered with Intel and the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) to create Arizona’s first Artificial Intelligence certificate and degree program. This program enables thousands of students to land careers in healthcare, automotive, industrial and aerospace fields. The Maricopa Community Colleges will be the first in the U.S. to train workers for the region’s driving demands in Artificial Intelligence technology, allowing access for more students to master skills valuable across many occupations and industry sectors and ultimately improving the nation’s workforce, economy, and community. Students are able to complete this degree or certificate program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Estrella Mountain Community College.

“I am pleased to announce our partnership with Intel,” said Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, MCCCD Interim Chancellor. “This program will train our students for a competitive workforce, strengthen Arizona’s economy as well as help close the opportunity gap we see across the state and be a model for Educational Institutions across the nation.”

Looking at the broader occupational forecast, Arizona and Phoenix are projected to see 21,535 AI employment opportunities in 2020, which is six percent above the national average. The local demand for AI talent is increasing in Maricopa County, and careers are projected to grow faster than the average rate for all employment over the next decade. Research done by MCCCD Workforce and Economic Development Office estimates an increase of 22.4 percent for these roles by 2029 according to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.

“We strongly believe AI technology should be shaped by many voices representing different experiences and backgrounds,” said Gregory Bryant, Intel’s executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group. “Community colleges offer the opportunity to expand and diversify AI since they attract a diverse array of students with a variety of backgrounds and expertise. Intel is committed to partnering with educational institutions to expand access to technology skills needed for current and future jobs “

The program enables students to develop traditional skills such as data collection, AI model training, coding, and exploring the societal impact of AI technology. Occupations currently requesting AI skills include business analyst, java developer, data engineer, marketing manager, health manager, engineer, product manager, developer, front end developer, architect, etc. Top employers requesting these skills include Intel, IBM, Wells Fargo, Deloitte, American Express and others.

As the state’s leading economic development organization, the Arizona Commerce Authority recognizes a workforce with artificial intelligence skills is critical to support the state's targeted and emerging industries. The ACA will be providing marketing and workforce connectivity strategies to support the development and growth of the program.

“Arizona has become a hub for innovation and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, and this initiative will enhance our state’s competitiveness in the global market,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO. “Ensuring companies have access to talent with AI skills is key to Arizona’s continued economic success. We’re proud to partner with the Maricopa County Community College District and Intel to launch this new program.”

To learn more about the AI program at CGCC, visit