‘Cloud’ postgrad course a world first

IRELAND’S bid to become a global software hub received a massive boost with news that Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) is to offer the world’s first degree in cloud computing.

The move is expected to increase the country’s profile in the digital sector worldwide and to substantially aid the push for job creation in the growth sector of cloud computing.

Cloud computing involves on-demand provision of data or software via a computer network rather than from a local computer.

The potential for growth in this sector was illustrated earlier this year when cloud computing and data management specialists Quest Software announced the creation of 150 jobs in Cork.

Speaking yesterday as leading Silicon Valley firm Marketo announced it had selected Dublin for its European computing hub, Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton highlighted a recent report that predicted that, by 2014, the cloud computing industry in Ireland could employ 8,600 people and be worth €9.5 billion.

Staff at CIT, who have been working on the development of the course for the past 12 months, said they are excited about the development and what it could mean for the region’s profile.

Tim Horgan, of CIT’s Department of Computing, said the course was unique in that it was created in consultation with top companies in the sector, including EMC, VMware, Cisco and Microsoft, and with regard to what skills those companies felt were required from workers.

Mr Horgan revealed there was input from experts as far away as San Jose in California on the programme’s development, and people from across the globe had already expressed substantial interest in taking part in the course.

“There’s a lot of hype about cloud computing at the moment and this course will increase the profile of Cork in this area,” he said.

“We designed this course from the ground up and researched what was needed in the industry.”

The development of the course was funded by CIT. It will be taught remotely on either a part-time or full-time basis, with students allowed to trade time worked on cloud computing projects for course credits.

The course will begin in September and will initially take on 20 masters students.

It will be launched today in Dublin by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.

Cork is becoming a location of choice for many software companies. The newly appointed president of the Cork Chamber and chief executive of Bord Gáis, John Mullins, is expected to push hard in relation to developing Cork as a software and services centre.

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