SUSE Partners with Udacity to Address the Skills Gap Affecting Recent College Graduates

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SUSE, a global leader in innovative, reliable and enterprise-grade open source solutions, and Udacity, the global online learning platform, have introduced the Cloud Native Application Architecture Nanodegree program in an effort to combat the technical skills gap affecting current students and recent higher education graduates.

The Technology Skills Gap Explained

A skill gap is the difference between what employers need their people to be able to do, and what those employees can actually do on day one. As the technology enterprise companies rely on becomes more advanced, the technical knowledge and skills required to develop, manage, and operate these applications is increasingly specialized. Thus, it has become difficult to equip traditional students with the skills companies need – making it harder for organizations to fill entry to mid-level technical roles with the precise qualifications they are looking for.

According to the SHRM Skills Gap Report (2019), organizations are struggling to recruit candidates due to a lack of skills — and the education system is not adapting fast enough. They found that 75 percent of organizations believe that the skills shortage among applicants is the primary cause for the difficulty in hiring.

Companies are awake to the problems facing recent graduates and many have recently stepped in to offer students faster, more efficient and affordable ways of mastering the skills they demand. According to the World Economic Forum, Closing the Skills Gap, “there is a growing need for education ecosystems to address the growing skills gap and industry collaboration, to understand new trends and skill demands, will be integral to helping students access in-demand jobs across all industries.”

The Skills Gap Also Presents a Unique Opportunity

Developers and operators with practical experience in cloud native technologies are currently in high demand. According to David Bartoletti, vice President, principal analyst at Forrester, “Cloud-native tech demand will spike as serverless and containers heat up. Prior to the pandemic, about 20 percent of developers regularly used container and serverless functions to build new apps and modernize old ones. We predict 25 percent of developers will use serverless and nearly 30 percent will use containers regularly by the end of 2021.”

This demand presents a unique career accelerating opportunity for students. Aspiring technologists with cloud native skills, including current college and university students, have a competitive advantage in the job market and can embark on careers in the technology field with confidence.

In early 2020, SUSE recognized this opportunity and, through partnership with Udacity, set out to offer students with a more efficient and affordable way of gaining the skills that companies demand.

SUSE Cloud Native Application Architecture Nanodegree

With a Udacity Nanodegree, students quickly master the skills they need to become highly employable and productive in the workforce. The SUSE Cloud Native Application Architecture Nanodegree program equips students with the skills required to run and manage scalable applications in a cloud native environment and use production-ready tools in a way that addresses business requirements and solves real problems. Rather than another theoretical course, learners use the technology and get practice with the software their future jobs will depend on.

The four-course nanodegree program begins with a challenge course (course one): , “Cloud Native Foundations.” In this, students learn to structure, package and release an application to a Kubernetes cluster, while using an automated CI/CD pipeline.

The second course dives into message passing, with students learning how to refactor microservice capabilities from a monolithic architecture and employ different forms of message passing in microservices.

The third course covers the fundamentals of observability in distributed systems and will teach students how to collect system performance data using Prometheus, how to collect application tracing data using Jaeger and how to visualize the results in a dashboard using Grafana.

Course four takes an in-dept look at microservices security, with students learning how to harden a Docker and Kubernetes microservices architecture.

The curriculum finishes with a capstone project where students will demonstrate their newly acquired skills in a realistic scenario.

The interactive Udacity classroom experience includes:

  • Real-world projects with personalized feedback
  • Customized study plans
  • Student progress tracker
  • Technical guidance and mentorship
  • Career services: resume, GitHub, and LinkedIn profile review

You can read the full curriculum in the syllabus.

Cloud Native Foundations Scholarship Program Details

To provide highly quality education affordably, SUSE is sponsoring 300 scholarships to provide aspiring technologists with free access to this premier cloud native education program. SUSE and Udacity will grant these scholarships across a diverse range of course participants, including top performers who are also women from underrepresented racial or cultural backgrounds in technology fields. “Industry succeeds when participants at all levels – innovators, customers, employees and partners – are diverse and inclusive. This is about providing opportunity to everyone, especially the next generation of technologists, to learn the skills they need to land a great job and embark on a rewarding career,” said Sarah Whitlock, vice president of SUSE & Rancher Community.

Learners must be 18 years old to apply to the SUSE Cloud Native Foundations Scholarship Program. A well-prepared learner should meet the following prerequisites:

  • Understand the basics of HTTP (such as client, server and internet requests).
  • Basic Python (data types, functions, REST requests, web development).
  • Ability to use Git, Linux machines and Linux command Line.
  • Familiarity with web application development in any language.
  • Familiarity with Docker and exposure to a CI/CD pipeline is not required for success in this program but is a useful skill to have.

Applications for scholarships will be accepted until May 25, 2021. It’s easy to apply!

  1. Apply online here.
  2. Complete the Cloud Native Foundations Course (free!) by August 2, 2021.

Upon successful completion of the course, applicants’ performance will be reviewed, and scholarships will be awarded.

SUSE looks forward to celebrating the dedication and positive achievements of all who complete the free Cloud Native Foundations course. We will be especially delighted to recognize and support SUSE scholarship recipients. If you are ready to hone your cloud development skills, we encourage you to apply today.

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Brendan Bulmer
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