Why Apple Is Returning to Community College

Aug 25, 2017

Community college students may have a lot more Apple-related course work during the new school year.

The technology giant said Friday that its education curriculum related to its Swift programming language would be offered at 30 community colleges throughout the U.S.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the curriculum rollout at a press conference in Austin, Tex. with the city’s mayor, Steve Adler. Several community colleges in Austin will begin teaching the Apple-sanctioned curriculum, which Apple said would reach 74,000 students this fall.

Apple (aapl) said that the other community colleges that would teach its courses include Northeast Mississippi Community College, Northwest Kansas Technical College, and schools in the Alabama Community College System.

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“We’ve seen firsthand how Apple’s app ecosystem has transformed the global economy, creating entire new industries and supporting millions of jobs,” Cook said in a statement. “We believe passionately that same opportunity should be extended to everyone, and community colleges have a powerful reach into communities where education becomes the great equalizer.”

Apple debuted its Swift programming in 2014 as its preferred method for third-party developers to build apps for devices like the iPhone and MacBook computers.

The company released its Swift school curriculum for high school and community college students in May. At the time, Apple said six community colleges would offer courses based on the curriculum this coming fall, including schools in Alabama, Houston, and San Mateo, Calif.

Apple isn’t the only big tech company spreading its influence at U.S. schools.

Amazon (amzn), for example, said last week that it would give 1,600 of its web-connected Echo Dot speakers to Arizona State University engineering students. The speakers are to be handed out as part of some new Arizona State coding classes for students to learn how to build voice skills, or apps, for Amazon’s Alexa voice-activated digital assistant.

Big tech companies are using their school-related programs to try to influence a new generation of software developers. If these big companies can convince schools to teach courses specifically related to their preferred technologies, they can guarantee that their future employment pipeline is well stocked with prospective hires and that developers know how to build apps for their products.

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