University of Washington Launches Certificate in Cloud Computing

In an online “blogger” press conference on 5 August, Erik Bansleben, Ph. D., Program Development Director, Academic Programs at the University of Washington outlined a new certificate program offered by the university in Cloud Computing.  The program is directed towards “college level and career professionals” said Bansleben, adding “all courses are practical in approach.”

Using a combination of classroom and online instruction, the certificate program will allow flexibility accommodating remote students in a virtual extension of the residence program.  While not offering formal academic credit for the program, the certificates are “well respected locally by employers, and really tend to help students a fair amount in getting  internships, getting new jobs, or advancing in their current jobs.”

The Certificate in Cloud Computing is broken into three courses, including:

  • Introduction to Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Computing in Action
  • Scalable & Data-Intensive Computing in the Cloud

The courses are taught by instructors from both the business community and the University’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering.  Topics within each course are designed to provide not only an overview of the concepts and value of cloud computing in a business sense, but also includes project work and assignments.

To bring more relevance to students, Bansleben noted “part of the courses will be based on student backgrounds and student interests.”   Dr. Bill Howe, instructor for the “Scalable & Data-Intensive Computing in the Cloud” course added “nobody is starting a company without being in the clouds.”   With the program covering topical areas such as:

  • Cloud computing models: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (laaS) and database as a service
  • Market overview of cloud providers
  • Strategic technology choices and development tools for basic cloud application building
  • Web-scale analytics and frameworks for processing large data sets
  • Database query optimization
  • Fault tolerance and disaster recovery

Students will walk away with a solid background of cloud computing and how it will impact future planning for IT infrastructure.  In addition, each course will invite guest speakers from cloud computing vendors and industry leaders to present actual case studies to further apply context to course theory.  Bansleben reinforced the plan to provide students with specific “use cases for or against using cloud services vs. using your own hosted services.”

Not designed as a simple high level overview of cloud computing concepts, the program does require students to have a  background in IT networks and protocols, as well as familiarity with file manipulation in system environments such as Linux.  Bansleben stated that “some level of programming experience is required” as a prerequisite to participate in the certificate program.

The Certificate in Cloud Computing program starts on 10 October, and will cost students around $2,577 for the entire program.  The program is limited to 40 students, including both resident and online.  For more information on University of Washington certificate programs or the Certificate in Cloud Computing contact:

Erik Bansleben, Program Development Director

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