IT Career JumpStart

Nov 1 2013   8:05PM GMT

Preparing for the “Internet of Things”

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for a while now, the phrase “Internet of things”  (sometimes abbreviated as IoT) is bound to have hit your eyeballs at least once in the past few months. Its frequency of appearance seems to be increasing, and I’m starting to see some impingement even on the IT certification world of late. On Wednesday, in fact, Cisco pushed out a press release entitled “Cisco Empowers Current and Next Generation of IoT Scientists, Engineers, and Innovators,” that alludes to “an upcoming Cisco Specialist Certification to advance skills development in industrial networking.” The idea is that because the information and communication technologies (ICT, a popular European acronym for what we in the USA often call IT) sector is growing so rapidly, that there could be as many as 2 million jobs that need to be filled by 2022. The release projects a shortfall of 8.2% (164,000 jobs) in this arena by that time. It also calls for technical schools, colleges, and universities to up their graduation rates for ICT qualified personnel by 220,000 per year for the period from 2014 to 2022. Cisco, of course, wants to help and is building “a new portfolio consisting of IoT curricula, assessments, and an upcoming Cisco Specialist Certification to advance skills development in industrial networking.”

shutterstock_148298537

Imagine a world where most things that you interact with are on the Internet, so you can query and instruct them online.
[Image credit: Shutterstock 148298537]

In this press release, Cisco indicates that it is working to help develop individuals with strong skills in IP networking, “with a focus in automation, manufacturing and engery, and future expansion to include equally transformative industries.” I’m not 100% sure what all this means, though I do understand that a new cadre of talented technical people will be needed to design the hardware and interfaces to hook appliances, controls, and other objects into the Internet, and to build the software that collects and presents data about such Internet-connected things to human users for monitoring, management, instructions, and controls.

To that end, Cisco is doing more than creating a soon-to-be announced Specialist credential. They are also beefing up their Cisco Networking Academy offerings to include IoT elements and coverage. I’m sure this means other IoT related credentials will be in the offing in the more distant (but not too distant) future. I plan to contact the folks at Cisco Training and Certifications to find out more, and to get more details on the upcoming Specialist cert offering, along with some inklings as to what else might lie in the years to come. Stay tuned!

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