Massive Online Open Classes, or MOOCs for short, are perhaps the most exciting innovation in continuing education.  It used to be that adults who wanted to earn certifications to further their careers, or were interested in expanding their horizons would attend classes at college with other people from their local community.  But now, thanks to the online education revolution, professionals looking to take a continuing education class can join a learning community from around the world.  Not only do they have the opportunity to add skills to their resume, but they gain perspective from seeing course materials and concepts from different viewpoints as classmates in India, Australia, and Taiwan, as well as neighboring towns, share ideas in the virtual classroom.

On March 30th, 2016 NetApp, in partnership with IEEE and edX, is offering its first MOOC for IT professionals seeking a career in the storage industry. The course seeks to provide learners with a basic understanding of enterprise data storage and management technologies including the different types of storage systems and storage networking technologies.  Key concepts related to business continuity, cloud computing, storage security, and storage management will also be explored

Data drives everything in our day-to-day lives from data analytic projects at work, streaming video and photo sharing, to online ticketing and travel reservations.  Professionals with the knowledge and skills to manage massive amounts of data in enterprise and cloud environments are well placed to launch engaging and rewarding careers as enterprise storage architects and administrators.

Mark Conway, Senior Program Lead for NetApp’s Academic Alliances, and one of the designers of the Storage101x course, noted that  thousands of students from over 150 countries have already signed up to take the course.  Interestingly, students will be taking advantage of some of the very data management technologies they are learning about as data is uploaded and stored by the course facilitator, then retrieved and used by students, and as they submit assignments and engage in conversations that will span the globe.  In order to successfully deliver a successful large-scale learning environment, Matt Lawson, Principle Architect at NetApp and an advocate of MOOCs, noted that right infrastructure has to be in place.  For Lawson, a successful MOOC environment has to be cloud-based to ensure that it can scale to accommodate the massive number of students signing on to learn and the teacher’s need to deliver media-rich content to every one of those students no matter when, or where, they are learning.  This is why NetApp has been thrilled with the opportunity to work with edX and IEEE on this course.  The IEEE’s global membership and edX’s MOOC platform and global reach make this a unique world-wide collaboration.

Interested in joining the Storage101x cohort?  You can join the thousands of students from over 150 countries who are ready to learn about data storage, while using it, here…  The course is free, starts on March 30th, 2016 and runs for 4 weeks.