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Perspectives

Get a cloud computing college degree?

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

Lately colleges and universities have been focused on cloud computing. The reasons are obvious, those with computing skills that focus on cloud computing can make a ton in the marketplace right now, and thus the training is in demand.

October 18, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Lately colleges and universities have been focused on cloud computing. The reasons are obvious, those with computing skills that focus on cloud computing can make a ton in the marketplace right now, and thus the training is in demand.

Not lost on me. I was an adjunct college professor for 10 years and was frustrated with the courses that where not focused on what the students actually wanted to learn.

Since then colleges have come to be a bit more “customer focused.” This includes really looking at the market and aligning their courses to reflect what’s needed. With the competition from on-line colleges and universities, as well as computer-based training, and independent training organizations, they really have no choice.

For instance, “Purdue University Global announced today it has introduced an innovative bachelor of science degree in cloud computing, the first new degree program offered by Purdue Global since its establishment within the Purdue University system in April.”1

Community colleges have been doing this now as well, with some partnered with the major cloud computing providers. It will be interesting to see these mature over time, and how quickly the degree program will change its course mappings.

There are a few concerns with this college led training that I have, including:

  • The ability for colleges and universities to keep up with the changes in the cloud computing industry. For example, there’s been a shift to serverless over the last few years; how quickly can colleges and universities find both the content and the instructors to teach new technology directions?
  • The culture within many universities and colleges is that of not reacting to market changes, indeed focusing on the fundamentals. Thus, I suspect that some of this will get some pushback internally, and thus could die the death of a thousand cuts as professors work to shut down these trendier programs.
  • The ability to get instructors that know their stuff will be tough. Those that do typically don’t teach. It can be tough to justify not working at high paying job in order to teach full time. Thus, I suspect many of the instructors will be like I was, an adjunct.

This is not to say that these types of programs won’t be successful. With some time and money, I suspect that they will. However, with the wide array of training that’s available to us today, it may be just another training vendor in the minds of the modern cloud computing students. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing.

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