10-week IoT ‘Bootcamp’ tackles demand for smart devices and workforce to create them

What is the Internet of Things? It’s an umbrella phrase that covers all smart devices—from thermostats to fitness trackers to security systems to manufacturing equipment—that collect data and then share that data over a network with the interest of making everything more efficient (be that energy consumption, your physical health, manufacturing, etc.).

There’s already an epic proliferation of smart devices that constitute the Internet of Things (IoT), but the growth is accelerating and isn’t expected to plateau anytime soon. It’s estimated that there will be one trillion connected devices by 2035, which is more than 100 smart devices for every person on earth.

With the exponential growth, there’s also a surging demand for people who can develop or effectively use connected devices, which is why the Deep Dive Coding programme at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) is launching a 10-week IoT Bootcamp. The first cohort starts Feb. 24.

“The Internet of Things is going to do everything from improve our quality of life to lower the cost of manufacturing, and we want to ensure we’re training a workforce to be ready for these jobs,” says Brian Rashap, Ph.D., the bootcamp instructor.

Manufacturing businesses will need a robust pipeline of well-trained, skilled IoT employees if they’re going to keep up with what is being called Industry 4.0. By connecting smart devices to manufacturing machines, Dr. Rashap says businesses are able to monitor maintenance and production more cost-effectively while improving safety.

The City of Albuquerque already has an IoT initiative to make the city and its services smarter. Dr. Rashap says the possibilities for how all cities might use smart devices are endless. For example, smart devices could be used to dim some city lights and brighten others as a way to effectively direct pedestrian traffic entering or leaving major events. Cities could also use smart devices to improve vehicle traffic, reduce energy costs, better monitor air quality, enhance how tourists explore the city, and the list goes on.

On the software side, Data Science is a fast-growing field directly related to IoT. Businesses and government agencies are realising the need to improve analysis and make more informed decisions based on data (CNM is also offering a Data Science Bootcamp). The data, however, is only useful if it’s being captured efficiently by smartly-designed connected devices.

Students interested in the IoT Bootcamp need some basic high school math and a familiarity with computers, but a background in coding or manufacturing isn’t necessary. Dr. Rashap says anyone looking to leave the hourly workforce and enter a higher-paying tech job is a good candidate. The class also appeals to entrepreneurs, and veterans who are used to working with their hands but want to develop civilian job skills.

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