With billions of dollars already invested into Internet of Things infrastructure, tech-giant Cisco is now beefing up its investment in the human resources critical to run it all. The Internet of Things program, launched in collaboration with Northwestern University-Silicon Valley, will combine hands-on, experiential learning opportunities with essential coursework to prepare workers for the demands of IoT technology.
While many of today’s IT, software, and hardware engineers have skillsets that touch upon aspects of IoT technology, there is still a $6 trillion demand for specific IoT skills needed for the next phase of connectivity. And, IoT has opened up a wide demand in a variety of engineering and design disciplines. According to Gartner, there’s simply not enough talent with the right skills to manage and execute on IoT projects. Insufficient staffing and lack of expertise is the top-cited barrier for organizations currently looking to implement and benefit from IoT, says the research firm.
“We’re predicting that the next wave of technology will require a different skill set than that of traditional networking, computer science, software, hardware, network and data communication engineers, and Big Data professionals,” said PK Agarwal, regional dean and CEO of Northeastern University-Silicon Valley. “To meet the requirements of these careers, we are working with an industry leader that is dedicated to cultivating talent and leadership for the emerging IoT industry.”
“In collaborating with Northeastern University-Silicon Valley, we plan to build upon our past successes to create a financially sustainable and operationally scalable program for developing highly employable IoT professionals,” said Gary Coman, Learning Engineering and Business Development Director for Cisco Corporate Affairs.
The new program will leverage Northeastern’s robust research enterprise and Cisco’s leadership in technology to prepare students for the next chapter in an interconnected world—a world that requires a strong foundation in hardware and software, knowledge of the entire technology stack, data analysis and communications, and cyber security. The pool of today’s more application-focused skilled workers aren’t likely to have the extensive background in infrastructure for ingesting, storing, and analyzing data from different devices at high-speeds, writing embedded code to transport sensor data, knowledge of microprocessors, microcontrollers, and SoCs, and more in a way that will contribute to the value of IoT implementations.
The program is designed for working professionals who already have a strong background in the foundational subjects required for future success in IoT. Courses will be delivered in a part-time, hybrid format to accommodate the schedules of busy professionals. Most of the lecture-oriented instruction will be offered online for easy access. However, because of the importance of the connected nature and collaborative spirit of IoT, cohorts will come together for lab work hack-a-thons, and other professional skills trainings, and experiential opportunities.