First cloud degrees designed for a new type of ICT worker

1 Jun 2011

The first Masters and undergraduate degrees in cloud computing to be developed in Ireland have been developed for a new type of ICT worker, the general manager of EMC’s 2,500-strong operations in Ireland Bob Savage told

“The future for ICT is going to get very exciting and it will embrace many aspects, from analytics to virtualisation, and all encompassed by the cloud revolution,” Savage explained. “The challenges and complexities of managing big data will require creativity and good technical knowledge.

“This will require a new way of looking at ICT, where a broader experience and range of expertise that includes strategy, humanities and analytics can play a part,” Savage explained.

EMC, which has been in Ireland since 1988, partnered with Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) to develop Ireland’s first Masters and undergraduate degree programmes in cloud computing.

Designed to be delivered remotely or on campus, the one-year courses address future industry skills requirements and strengthen Ireland’s advancement as an international Cloud Computing Centre of Excellence.

Initially, 20 Masters degree places are on offer, commencing in September 2011, with the expectation that enrolment will grow to meet demand in future years.

The MSc degree and BSc (Hons) degree in cloud computing are one-year add-on courses for computer science graduates commencing in September 2011.

The programme was originally developed as part of EMC’s Talent Management strategy. An employee survey identified the need to provide a part-time upskilling programme focused on preparing EMC’s talented workforce to support the journey to the cloud for EMC and its customers. EMC’s long-standing relationship with CIT and the institute’s strong credentials in the area of cloud computing best positioned them to address this strategic initiative.

Content development commenced in 2009 by CIT in consultation with a consortium of industry leaders, including EMC, Cisco, VMware, RSA, SpringSource, and Greenplum, and 30 EMC and VMware employees took part in the pilot programme from 2010, graduating in 2012.

They aim to provide graduates with the advanced conceptual understanding, detailed factual knowledge and specialist technical skills required for successfully delivering cloud computing. It will also equip them to meet the challenges associated with the rapidly changing IT industry.

Graduates can study either full or part-time and the programme is delivered using a combination of blended and face-to-face sessions. Online synchronous and asynchronous learning environments will be used throughout the course to enable learning to take place anywhere at any time.

These systems enable each student to achieve the measurable learning outcomes of each module in the most flexible way possible.

Graduates can get details of the courses and information on how to apply via the website or by contacting the CIT Department of Computing.

The new ICT worker class

“This government has already identified cloud computing as a key driver for growth and jobs,” Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, TD, said.

“Cloud computing is the future of technology and is likely to revolutionise the operation of businesses in Ireland if we grasp its potential. This announcement by EMC and Cork Institute of Technology is very timely as the students who sign up for these degrees will be in a position to lead Ireland’s development as an international Cloud Computing Centre of Excellence. The programmes being launched today are a model of best practice of the kind of engagement and innovative delivery that the new National Strategy for Higher Education demands.”

Savage said the ongoing evolution of the internet and the uptake of cloud computing by organisations requires new ways of thinking about commanding ICT resources, from storage and servers to real-time analytics, of any dimension of a company’s performance.

“This will require versatile problem solvers and innovators who can deploy new resources and technologies on demand,” Savage explained, adding that EMC’s acquisitions of major players like VMware, RSA and Greenplum inspired EMC to foster a new academic standard that brings cohesion to the cloud revolution and its future workers.

The creation of the degree is the latest development in EMC’s increasing investment in its Cork workforce and the capabilities of its operations in Ireland. Two years ago, the company created 50 new software development roles and last month the company revealed plans to locate a global R&D operation in Cork to deal with the complexities facing a world of big data and mass consumerisation of IT in the enterprise world.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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