February 2017
Masters prepares IT workers for cloud nine

As cloud computing becomes more important in the information technology (IT) industry, Charles Sturt University (CSU) has joined IT Masters to create Australia’s first Masters degree focused on cloud computing and virtualisation.

Designed for computing professionals, CSU’s Master of Cloud Computing and Virtualisation will give students the theory, technical capabilities and communication skills to design and manage complex computing architectures hosted in the cloud.

Mr James Hale, CEO of IT Masters, said that the rapid advance of cloud technology and the willingness of IT organisations to offer IT infrastructure as a service has not been matched by the development of IT professionals with the skills necessary to manage these environments.

“We developed the Master of Cloud Computing and Virtualisation to address this stampede to the cloud,” Hale said. “For example, one leading solutions vendor in this space – VMware – recently predicted that by 2021 over half of all computer workload will be in the cloud.”

According to research undertaken by US-based RightScale, IT businesses are challenged by the lack of expertise and resources.

“Many IT departments see value in cloud computing but feel their internal capabilities are not mature enough to effectively manage off-site infrastructure,” Mr Hale said.

“Furthermore, some organisations don't appreciate the complex expertise required and end up with failed migrations or incomplete systems, resulting in an unfortunate foray into the 'as-a-service' world.

"While not all IT workloads are shifting to public cloud and infrastructure remains in-house, many of the techniques, tools and mindsets popularised in the cloud are being used in-house.

“As the charge towards the cloud gathers momentum, the discrepancy between the skills required to manage it and the skills available is stopping organisations embracing the business value of this strategy.”

This was supported in an article in NASDAQ business news service, where Synergy Research Group reported that the worldwide cloud computing market grew 21 per cent to $110 billion in 2015, and that the average company uses 738 cloud-based services.

Head of CSU’s School of Computing and Mathematics, Dr Irfan Altas, said the new Masters degree was aimed at IT workers such as systems administrators looking to develop professionally as technology transitions from in-house management to the cloud.

“Many IT professionals see the change happening all around them and want to advance their careers their skills in line with the latest trends. This course helps future-proof their careers and ensure that their skills and experience meet the needs of industry,” Dr Altas said.

“The degree offers innovative subjects such as ‘Architecting Cloud Solutions’, ‘Containers and Virtualisation’, and ‘Cloud Privacy and Security’, together with existing units that use contemporary cloud-based content.”

IT Masters’ Hale said feedback from CSU alumni, students and candidates stimulated the creation of the course, as they discussed changes happening in their workplace.

“We have embedded cloud computing as a central feature in this course rather than adding-on as the demand for cloud computing skills has significantly increased,” Mr Hale said.

Media note:

The CSU Masters in Cloud Computing and Virtualisation will use the interactive online platform that has seen Charles Sturt University become Australia’s largest postgraduate study institution. Enrolments close on 28 February 2017.

The course, commencing in March 2017, is designed for part-time study for students with busy working lives.

For more information about this announcement or interviews, contact CSU Media, or Mr James Hale at IT Masters on 0402 911 913

IT Masters is an industry-based training organisation that has partnered with Charles Sturt University to:

• Promote Charles Sturt University’s unique range of industry-based Masters degrees to the IT industry,
• Support students studying their industry certification-based subjects, and
• Research and identify opportunities to further expand the range of Masters programs.

Their first combined Master degree was launched in 2002. Since 2009 Charles Sturt University has had the largest number postgraduate IT students of any Australian university.