Online Learning to Jumpstart Your IT Career
Aside from traditional online college courses, the Internet now offers a host of remote, often free learning opportunities. In this article you’ll find links to online courses on a few burgeoning subjects that all technically inclined job seekers should check out, from OpenStack to self-driving car software.
OpenStack is one of the leading technology innovations built on open source software for creating private and public clouds. Cloud technology controls large storage mechanisms of compute, storage and networking resources throughout a data center–and it currently rules communication and business operations worldwide.
A huge majority of the world’s largest brands rely on OpenStack to run their businesses every day. OpenStack helps businesses reduce costs and move faster. OpenStack has a strong ecosystem, and users seeking commercial support can choose from different OpenStack-powered products and services in the Marketplace.
Now that you know a little about how important OpenStack software has become, you can better understand what you can do with it. Primarily, you can work in a vast array of jobs that develop, manage and use cloud technology.
The Linux Foundation is the leading organization spearheading development of open source technology. That includes the Linux operating system that drives much of current business computing, and the ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption.
The Foundation is a good starting point to find out about the potential of a career in technology. Its annual open source jobs report shows that cloud technologies, including OpenStack, are among the most in-demand skills today.
The Linux Foundation OpenStack MOOC
The Linux Foundation announced on Sept. 14 that its newest massive open online course (MOOC) is available for registration. MOOCs are a relatively new learning strategy that grew out of the Internet; they are different from traditional online courses offered by many colleges as an alternative to attending on-campus classes.
MOOC courses are open to an unlimited number of people on the web. Often, they are free. The Linux Foundation and Udacity are two of many companies offering highly specialized MOOCs. Both companies partner with industry experts to develop innovative and unique content.
The new MOOC developed by The Linux Foundation, LFS152x – Introduction to OpenStack, is offered through edX, the nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The course is free and will go live this October.
This is the third edX MOOC offered by The Linux Foundation. Its first course, Intro to Linux, has reached more than 600,000 students globally and continues to grow in registrations. The second, Intro to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies, became available in June.
OpenStack is growing at an unprecedented rate. It boasts some 65 percent of OpenStack deployments now in production. That is an increase of 33 percent over last year, according to the Linux Foundation.
That growth means an increased demand for individuals to work with and engage the OpenStack cloud platform. According to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report from The Linux Foundation and Dice, 51 percent of hiring managers say experience with OpenStack and other cloud technologies are driving open source hiring decisions.
You can learn more about the Linux Foundation’s training and certification programs here.
Udacity Nanodegree on Self-Driving Car Software
Another approach to journeying towards a career in technology is to zero in on your tech skills by taking nanodegree courses at online Education company, Udacity. Udacity is a unique learning establishment that offers an approach similar to that of the Linux Foundation. The company was founded by Sebastian Thrun, a leader at Google X who’s well known in the automobile innovation industry, in 2011.
Thrun, who teaches some of the technology courses at Udacity, was involved in the early development of the concept of driving “self-driving” or autonomous cars. He led the team at Stanford University that built the autonomous car dubbed Stanley. That entry won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.
On September 13, Udacity announced an innovative online course focused on developing software used in self-driving auto engineering. If interested, sign up as soon as possible. Enrollment is limited to 250 seats. Classes start in mid-October. Even if you miss out on this start-up opportunity, you can get in line for a second round. Udacity will no doubt offer the course again and will likely have similar courses to supplement its existing catalog of online technology learning opportunities.
The goal of Udacity’s nanodegree offering is designed to eventually build a crowdsourced, open source self-driving car. To jumpstart that process, Udacity is partnering with some tech industry heavyweights such as Mercedes-Benz, Nvidia, Otto and Didi Chuxing to ensure that graduates of the program are successful.
The course is divided into three separate 12-week terms. It covers deep learning, computer vision, sensor fusion, localization and controllers. You can find out more about Udacity and the Nanodegree online learning course here. This course costs $800 for each of the three segments. Scholarships are available.
Two things about the Udacity learning experience make the offering unique. One is the opportunity for software students to remotely test the code they’ve developed on Udacity’s own self-driving automobile at the end of the course. The second is the potential for finding rapid employment. Consider a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It estimates that the market for autonomous cars will hit $42 billion in 2025. Its analysis shows that consumer demand is very high for buying either partially autonomous or fully autonomous automobiles.