Cisco To Teach Electricians About The Internet Of Things

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In order to roll out 53 million smart meters, UK will need electrical engineers who understand networking

Cisco Networking Academy, the organisation which helps students in 165 countries develop the foundational ICT skills needed to design, build, and manage networks, has announced a new ‘Internet of Everything’ training programme aimed at electricians.

The free course is already up and running in Germany, and will be offered at Academies across the UK by the end of the year. It will initially focus on smart meters, coinciding with the start of a national rollout that will see thousands of these networked devices deployed every day, all the way until 2020.

The new curriculum is part of Cisco’s pledge to the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Skills– an initiative designed to help the dire shortage of IT professionals in Europe.

Back to school

This week, the UK government has officially kicked off the £11 billion national infrastructure upgrade which aims to switch 80 percent of the country to smart meters over the next six years. In total, 53 million units will be installed, making it one of Europe’s biggest ever IT projects.

Smart Meter LandscapeTo enable smart meter deployments not just in the UK but across Europe, Cisco Networking Academy has designed a course that gives qualified electricians and practitioners in electrical engineering the skills needed to service basic networking equipment. It will also help with any other type of Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure.

“The overarching goal behind IoE is to create a world that is more efficient, clean, productive and sustainable – in other words, smarter,” commented Piotr Pluta, head of Corporate Affairs at Cisco EMEAR. “The IoE Networking Academy Smart Grid curriculum is a practical step to qualify the Smart Grid installers of the future accelerating the impact IoE will have in Europe and around the world.”

IDC and Ericsson predict that the total number of networked devices around the world will hit 50 billion by 2020. Gartner’s estimates are less optimistic – 26 billion devices, although this number doesn’t include tablets, smartphones and PCs.

Cisco says that, as the number of IoT devices increases, new demands will be placed on electricians. This is confirmed by EU research, which predicts that the number of electrical engineering jobs will double across Europe by 2025.

“There are about 26 million people unemployed in Europe, and the European Commission expects there to be up to up to 900,000 unfilled vacancies by 2020”, said David Bevilacqua, vice president for the South Region at Cisco EMEAR.  “We recognised that the Internet of Everything will create further demand for higher-paying, skilled jobs and we are creating a specific curriculum that addresses these opportunities.”

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