Friday, October 19, 2007

University of Utah to Offer Certification Exams For Credit!

Today we have received official word that the University of Utah will be offering For Credit classes that are official training certification courses for Apple, Cisco, and Linux. Starting this Spring the School of Computing will be offering special topics for the Cisco Network Academy's CCNA Exploration course, Apple Support and Server Essentials, and the Linux Professional Institute courses for level 1 and level 2. INterestingly enough, there has been a lot of interest from the Engineering students on learning Cisco, and and the Business IS students for Linux and Apple.

These classes will be graded (not Pass/Fail for those worried about their GPA), and the courses are electives so anyone can take them from any department. That being said, there will be a hefty special fee to augment the cost of the labs, and the cost of the training materials. You would be surprised how much companies charge for their proprietary training materials.

CCNA Exploration Course
The CCNA course will be the latest course offerings (as of September 2007), and will be a 4 credit hour course. This is because of the large amount of information you need to get through, and need to study up on in your free time. It is not for the faint at heart, so you may want to take a Networking course first to prepare for it. It covers network connections, Frame Relay, Router setup, Switch setup, different routing protocols (RIP, OSCL, IS-IS, ect.), and will even have a wireless section.

Much of the lab will be virtual, and since the virtual environment software is open source you can implement your own test system on your computer at home. ^_^ The instructor is phenomenal, having taught professionally and in the Academic world for years. But, to be ready for any certification exam, you would need to take both semesters. This is similar to the program that Weber State University has in place.

Linux Classes
The Linux classes are being taught with the materials from our good friends at Guru Labs, and are excellent. The first semester is Linux Fundamentals and Enterprise Linux Systems. The books are geared to general Linux distributions, but have specific information for both Red Hat/Fedora and SuSE Linux.

The instructor is currently a programming manager that graduated from Boston University. He is very knowledgeable in Linux, and will also be teaching our non-credit vi class.

Apple Support and Server Essentials
For the first couple of weeks, Support Essentials will have the materials of 10.4, because Apple will not have the 10.5 materials ready until February. That being said, the concepts and contents of Support Essentials (first half of the semester) is almost identical to the 10.5 contents, and as the instructor I will be providing all the necessary 10.5 materials in training. Server Essentials will be all 10.5, and will be almost completely different from the 10.4 materials. There will be focus on Web and Mail (which is currently not covered in 10.4), and the Collaboration software (Wiki, Blog, iChat's Jabber server, and iCal Server).

And, at the end of the class, we will have an open sandbox period to let you play with the server setup that you want, without someone breathing over your shoulder should you accidentally wipe your file server clean. ^_^

If you are interested in any type of technology degree from the University of Utah, and need some additional electives, I would recommend the certification classes. Not just because I teach one, but because I think it's important to have some practical experience with the theoretical concepts that are out there. That, and all the EE students that we told about the CCNA program were excited (they didn't have to do to SLCC to take the courses anymore). ^_^

Hope to see some of you in my class!

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