Today many organizations are moving applications and infrastructure from their virtualized, on-premise data centers to Public Cloud Service Providers (CSP) such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud. In this rapidly growing Cloud era, how important is it for our students to have virtualization skills and certifications? And, what virtualization certifications are most important today for student job placement? In this article I want to examine these questions more closely and hopefully start a discussion as to how curriculums can be best adapted to increase student employment opportunities in this burgeoning Cloud environment.
To start with I feel virtualization skills and basic virtualization certification can be important to student employment for the following two major reasons:
First, as I have described in previous blog articles, Public Cloud Services (CSP) are part of a larger IT trend called Digital Business Transformation (DBT). As shown in the following diagram, other important technologies of DBT include virtualization, hyperconvergence, resource pooling, and cyber security.
Secondly, as organizations move more applications and data to the cloud, knowledge of Virtualization and Hyperconvergence can be helpful to effectively manage and work with these Cloud systems. I recently read an article by Brian Kirsch - Milwaukee Area Technical College entitled “Is it worth it to renew or upgrade your VMware certification?” (https://searchvmware.techtarget.com/tip/Why-a-VMware-certification-is-still-a-valuable-asset). One of the points I feel Brian makes in his article is how virtualization knowledge is valuable to implementing and supporting Cloud environments, just as computer hardware knowledge is important to data center support. For example, not long ago, in order to pass the A+ exam, it was important for students to have detailed knowledge of CPU, memory, and disk drives in order to t computer systems in the data center. Today the ability to build or repair in-house computer systems is no longer a high priority job skill for most organizations and that is . However, students still need to understand the basics of CPU, memory, and secondary storage devices in order to spec out and configure host computers for the data center. In a similar way, having a background in DBT technologies, including Virtualization and Hyperconvergence, is important for students to effectively configure and work in today’s Cloud enabled data centers. Please use the following link to view my 10-minute Introduction to Digital Business Transformation presentation:
Given that virtualization is still an important element of IT education, I am sometimes asked what virtualization certifications would be best to help students prepare for? My answer to this question is that VMware’s Digital Business Transformation certification (see below) is a good starting point which enables students to pursue other more advanced certifications in the future.
As you can see from the VMware Certification chart, VMware’s Digital Business Transformation (DBT) certification is the base for other more advanced certifications such as Data Center Virtualization, Network Virtualization (NSX), and Cloud Management. It also provides the virtualization background needed for CompTIA’s Cloud+ certifications. While Our recent Hands-on Virtual Computing textbook and associated MindTap products can be used to teach Digital Business Transformation objectives including Virtualization, Hyperconvergence, Virtual Desktops, and basic Cloud concepts. After completing the Hands-on Virtual Computing course materials students who want to pursue Digital Business Transformation certification can take a boot camp training course or obtain self-study materials to further prepare them for the exams. For more information on how you can use our Hands-on Virtual Computing book and MindTap modules in your curriculum, use the following like to view my presentation on Teaching Digital Business Transformation using our Hands-on Virtual Computing materials.
In summary I feel job opportunities for students entering tomorrow’s cloud-based IT environments will benefit from having a solid background in Digital Business Transformation technologies including Virtualization and Cloud computing. If you have questions or would like more information on using Hands-on Virtual Computing materials in your curriculum please email me "Ted.Simpson@UWC.edu".
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