Note: At launch, the Cloud Technologies degree was known as Emerging Technology & Systems Engineering. Since that time, we’ve revised the program and the degree name to better reflect the growing IT and systems engineering industries.
There’s no doubt about it: we are living inside a technological boom. Innovation is accelerating at exponential rates. Full Sail’s newest on-campus bachelor’s degree in Cloud Technologies is geared toward the cutting edge of what’s happening in the tech industry right now, as well as the future of systems management.
Currently, there’s over one exabyte (equal to one billion gigabytes) of data collected in the cloud. According to a recent article in Forbes, cloud computing is an estimated $13 billion industry. Projections by technology research firm Gartner reveal that number could be as high as $80 billion by 2015.
Every indication points to the cloud-computing trend continuing its meteoric ascent, and for good reason. Moving data storage to the cloud has the potential to increase a company’s return on investment (ROI) via a number of practical considerations. Businesses located in urban centers pay premium prices for square footage, and onsite IT hardware can take up a lot of space and energy resources. Cloud systems allow companies to scale as they grow, rather than constantly having to expand and reconfigure expensive hardware. Reliability is also a factor. Because data centers in most cloud systems tend to be linked, the chance of an entire cloud system experiencing a blackout due to the failure of one component is minimal.
“We’re looking at abstracting the information from the systems,” says Jay Bunner, Cloud Technologies’ Program Director. “We’re no longer tying something to a physical piece of hardware, we’re looking at it more from a software perspective.”
Aside from financial considerations, the departure from physical network-based systems is partially due to the fact that more and more consumers are turning to streaming services for things like music and movies. We’re also taking our data to go. 91% of adults in the US own a cell phone, and over 50% of adults in the US own a smart phone. On a professional level, most of us use the cloud every day as a way to store and share documents and multimedia.
“We’re living in an age of ubiquitous internet access,” says Jay. “It’s fast and reliable and it’s anywhere we go. As a result, we now look at computing as a utility. One computer is as good as the next. If I put my files in the cloud, hardware matters less.”
Jay says the goal of the program is to give students the right tools and enough foundational knowledge to innovate within the field as it grows. Traditional IT programs might include a class or two on cloud technology, but Full Sail’s program has been designed to adapt to an ever-evolving field. Much of the coursework will happen through hardware visualization, a process that allows students to run multiple servers and software on a single physical computer. This will allow students to simulate scenarios involving cloud deployment, data security, and performance. The ideal candidate for the program is someone who likes hands-on projects, enjoys problem solving, and is interested in what makes the web work.
“It’s something that’s always changing,” Jay says. “Continuing education is a big part of this industry.”
Like all Full Sail bachelor’s degrees, this one is accelerated, unfolding over 21 months.
“In [that time frame], we have no idea what the technology will be. I like to say that the things we’re trying to prepare students for—the technology or the software may not even exist at this point. And as a result, the jobs that they’re going to be doing may not be out there yet. 20 months from now, there may be a new type of job that our students are prepared to do because they’ve had all this experience and they now have a background in fundamentals, but that job title itself doesn’t even exist yet.”