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NIU Develops Cloud Class to Meet Demand

March 24th, 2014

Cloud PhotoThe Cloud is all around us.

A swirl of data, program suites and virtual store fronts, such as Amazon, iTunes and Google Drive, are revolutionizing the way that we use and store information. This revolution will provide great opportunities for experts who understand Cloud computing. Research from Microsoft shows that public and private Cloud services will generate an estimated 14 million jobs worldwide in the coming year.

In response to the demand for well-trained information technology experts, Northern Illinois University is offering a Cloud Genius Certification course at NIU-Naperville.

Cloud Genius is a Cloud computing training institution founded by computing industry experts. In partnership with universities nationwide, Cloud Genius provides cutting-edge, hands-on Cloud DevOps training, which helps students learn to assist businesses transitioning to Cloud computing.

NIU’s course will consist of online learning and face-to-face sessions with certified Cloud Genius instructors. The course is designed in a flipped classroom format, meaning that students will review video lectures prior to each class and then work through hands-on exercises under the supervision of an expert instructor during class. Organizers say that the flipped classroom format allows students to receive more direct feedback and instruction from experts as they develop real-life computing solutions for local businesses

Raimund Ege

Raimund Ege

Raimund Ege will lead the course. Ege is an associate professor of computer science at NIU with more than 25 years of experience working with businesses and universities on information security solutions. He is also the creator of NIU’s cyber security graduate certificate program.

Cloud computing is one of the fastest growing segments of the information technology market, Ege said.

“Research from International Data Corporation estimates that revenue from cloud services will reach $72.9 billion by 2015 – which is four times the projected growth for the worldwide information technology market altogether,” he said. “The industry needs well-trained experts who can manage the movement of data in a secure and responsible way.”

Luanne Mayorga, who coordinates NIU’s Springboard web portal for businesses, was instrumental in bringing the Cloud Genius program to the region.

“What drew us to this program was the fact that you don’t have to be an IT expert going in. The program is perfect for tech-savvy people with any educational background who want to work hard and take their career to the next level,” Mayorga said.

This program is a great way for learners to expand their professional networks, she added.

“Your teachers will be veteran industry practitioners and your classmates will be self-motivated professionals,” Mayorga said. “The certification program is designed as a flipped classroom so that each student can take full advantage of the staff’s expertise while working on a project for an existing local business.”

At the end of the course, students will submit their functional cloud projects to the Cloud Genius team. If a student’s project meets course requirements, he or she will be certified as a Cloud Genius and will receive a digital badge to display on websites and social media platforms.

The first cohort is forming now and classes will begin in Naperville as soon as registration is filled. Organizers say they may expand to additional locations to meet the demands of learners throughout the region. Learn more and register for NIU’s Cloud Genius Certification courses at niu.edu/springboard.

For more information, call (815)753-6927 or email lmayorga@niu.edu.