CityU Student Balances Education and Amazon Career

CityU Student and Amazon Employee Marvin Gold

Marvin Gold lives to learn and grow.  After serving six years in the Army, Marvin earned his Undergraduate Certificate in Web Systems Development at City University of Seattle (CityU), and is now studying for his Doctor of Information of Technology (DIT) at CityU. He also works full-time at Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a systems development engineer and even finds time to teach at CityU. “The solid tech base I got from CityU is really powerful to build on,” says Marvin.  “Compared to what I got in a few months versus my peers, compared to four-year Computer Science degrees, I don’t feel behind. I actually feel quite ahead.”

Marvin loves to apply what he’s learning to his current role with Amazon. “CityU brings current, relevant information that I use every day,” said Marvin.  His eventual goal is to be promoted at AWS to software development manager, and eventually a director, and Marvin believes his CityU education will provide the pathway to his promotion goals. “CityU taught me ‘here are applicable skills hot on the market, now apply those how you see fit,’” Marvin said.  “This is in conjunction with what you learn from the class. For example, taking a PM (project management) class, we used hands-on tools. You can learn with a current tool to learn how to directly apply the skill to your work.”

The CityU DIT program and Amazon have a similar pattern. “You encounter a problem, research, synthesize the response, and immediately go to implementation,” said Marvin.  “Amazon is data-driven. Being right is important but knowing ‘Why you are right’ is more important.”

Marvin wants to inspire others like him, veterans, and people of color, to try technology careers.  He believes you can take a first step by taking a course to see what you like.  CityU has entry-level technology certificates that stack into undergrad and graduate degrees that allow you to learn what you like about technology.  “Discipline and grit are a potent traits that set veterans apart from others,” said Marvin.  “I joined the military because I wanted to serve the country along with many of my family members.  I wanted a new level of challenges and wanted to learn some new skills.” Amazon has also committed more than $700 million to upskill 100,000 of its own employees by 2025 to prepare them for in-demand jobs – veterans and military spouses are a big part of that focus.

Marvin got to travel in the Army, see different countries, and learn new languages and plenty of new skills.  Those were just extensions of Marvin’s diverse education.  In addition to CityU, Marvin earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Pacific Lutheran University. After that, he joined the Army and attended the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, CA. Marvin also graduated with an A.A. in Chinese Language and a Master of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management in 2017.  Now working on the DIT has Marvin poised for additional career opportunities at Amazon.

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about CityU’s  technology programs, visit or call 888.422.2898 to speak to an advisor.

As part of the City University of Seattle partnership, Amazon employees are eligible for a 25% tuition reduction on most CityU programs. You can learn more about the Amazon Advancement program at If you have any questions regarding this partnership, please contact Tanishia Norman at

Published May 27, 2021



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