Minister meets CIT’s first cloud computing masters students

15 Sep 2011

Education Minister Ruari Quinn

Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn, TD, today in Cork met the first students starting an industry-led master’s degree programme in cloud computing which was jointly developed by Cork Institute of Technology and global technology company EMC.

EMC, which employs 2,500 people in Ireland, is a global leader in cloud computing. This morning, its sister company VMware announced the creation of 250 new cloud jobs in Cork.

The MSc in cloud computing will be delivered remotely over 18 months or three semesters, with students taking virtual lectures anywhere at any time through the most up-to-date and advanced cloud-based access technologies.

CIT will provide a unique and innovative learning environment, giving remote students the same access to lectures and labs that full-time day students enjoy on campus.

World’s first industry-led cloud Master’s degree

The world-first industry-led programme gives computer science graduates and students with recognised prior learning advanced conceptual understanding, detailed factual knowledge and specialist technical skills required to deliver cloud computing.

Next week, 64 master’s degree students will start the cloud programme and, of those, 28 are EMC employees.

CIT also runs a bachelor’s degree in cloud computing, with 22 students enrolled for the one-year add-on programme this year.

Cloud computing is now recognised as the most important breakthrough in the global information technology (IT) industry since the internet.

Essentially, cloud involves a shift from hardware and software that individuals, businesses and governments buy and then maintain themselves, to low-cost, maintenance-free services that are based on the internet and run by private companies. 

According to the research firm Gartner, cloud computing will be a $149bn industry by 2015.

Speaking in EMC’s Centre of Excellence (COE) in Ovens, Co Cork, where he met four of the 64 students starting the master’s programme next week, Quinn described the programme as “important in seizing the opportunity to position Ireland as a global hub for cloud computing”.

“The Government has identified cloud computing as a key driver for economic recovery and job creation.

“The new students will play a key role in that effort, taking their places as the IT leaders of the future and helping to deliver new levels of productivity, competitiveness and innovation for private and public-sector organisations.

“I want to pay tribute to EMC vice-president Bob Savage and CIT president Brendan Murphy, and other industry partners, for collaborating to produce and deliver the new cloud programmes,” said Quinn.

Savage said both the master’s and undergraduate degree programmes evolved from EMC’s long-term relationship with CIT and industry partners. 

“A dedicated team has worked tirelessly to create content that meets high education accreditation standards and the needs of a global IT industry that is pushing the boundaries of cloud computing.

“Through innovative products and services, EMC is accelerating the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyse their most valuable asset – information – in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way.

‘We are delighted to play our part in placing Ireland at the forefront of the global cloud revolution and educating tomorrow’s IT and business leaders,” said Savage.

Murphy said he was delighted to welcome the first cohort of students pursuing cloud computing courses in CIT.

“This is truly an international cohort, with students from the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Russia, not to mention here in Ireland.

“I wish them well as they embark on a journey that will see them explore and master the very latest knowledge and skills in the exciting field of cloud computing. 

“Today also marks the beginning of another exciting journey which will ultimately result in Ireland, and Cork in particular, becoming an internationally recognised centre of excellence for cloud computing research and development.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years