IoT skills and data-driven decisions

IoT diagram of interconnected devices.

“IoT will generate 10 to 15 years of opportunity and growth.”

Billions of sensors in devices, vehicles, and even people themselves continually report a stream of data, yet industry professionals say real growth for the Internet of Things (IoT) is still ahead.

“IoT is the basis for the proliferation of technology into thousands of areas,” says Cecil Lawson, an information technology manager with the City of Campbell with decades of tech industry experience. 

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Cecil Lawson, IoT Instructor

“It’s a conglomeration of most of the hottest disciplines—networking, data science, data management, cloud technologies, programming, and computer hardware—all wrapped up into one.” Lawson compares the current IoT market to the introduction of the first personal computers. “IoT will generate 10 to 15 years of opportunity and growth.”

Last year, the IoT market was estimated to be more than $190 billion—a number expected to more than triple in five years or grow even more. That translates directly to job opportunities with lots of options—from design, operation, and maintenance to analysis.

Making Better Decisions

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Dan Nobbe, IoT Instructor

IoT data originates by sensing the environment around us—weather, light, sound, and pollution—and from sensing devices, such as factory equipment, healthcare devices, and household appliances. It transmits with unique identifiers from company trucks, health care devices, and street corners. It’s moving through wireless channels and into the cloud, then being analyzed and put into action.

When it’s all working correctly, data is the basis for a great strategy that builds a better world and saves organizations money and resources.

“IoT is all about making better decisions,” says Dan Nobbe, director of IP development at pSemi. Nobbe has 30 years of experience in the wireless industry, including RF integrated circuits and RF systems.

Pulling Profit from Data

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Rudi Hechfellner, IoT Instructor

“We use our eyes and ears to make better decisions about things,” Nobbe says. “We use lots of sensors to make decisions that we can act on, to interpret what’s going on, and to use the data for life improvements.”

Yet, despite the success of the largest data-based companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, most companies still don’t handle their data effectively. Once you can analyze your data, you can systematically create savings. And, this is as true for corporations as it is for personal stock portfolios.

Training the Next Generation for IoT

Lawson, Nobbe, have joined with Jitesh Shah, director of engineering at Integrated Device Technology/Renesas Electronics, and Rudi Hechfellner, director of Sensing and IoT Strategy at IDT Renesas, to bring their many years of tech experience into the classroom.

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Jitesh Shah, IoT and Data Analysis Instructor

They will be teaching a new three-course IoT specialization for UCSC Silicon Valley Extension as part of an exciting new partnership with Microfacturing Institutes, a Silicon Valley public benefit corporation. MI focuses on teaching highly marketable technology skills to students of all ages, quickly and affordably.

The IoT specialization is aimed at the beginner, the seasoned engineer who wants to gain competence in an adjacent area, and the entrepreneur who needs to understand the broad landscape of IoT potential.

Students review the diverse technologies involved in IoT—from sensor to software and hardware, cloud technologies and the data analysis that makes sense and money from it all. The evening courses are taught in real time, online, and can be completed in three months or less.

  • Foundations of IoT provides a high-level overview of the building blocks of IoT—from hardware and software to networking and cloud service providers—and what to expect in an IoT career. Taught by Cecil Lawson, MBA, BS.
    Starts June 2. Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8–9:50 p.m.
  • IoT for Work, Life and Play covers the fundamentals of cloud-connected data acquisition, data transport, and manipulation. Students get to complete their own sensor-connected intelligent lighting system. Taught by Rudi Hechfellner, BS, and Dan Nobbe, MSEE.
    Starts June 2. Meets online. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7–8 p.m.
  • Making Money with Data dives into fundamental data science concepts like cleaning, organizing, and visualizing data, and how to apply a data-driven mentality to their personal lives and business situations. Taught by Jitesh Shah, MBA, MS.
    Starts June 1. Meets online Mondays and Wednesdays, 7–8 p.m.

Upcoming IoT Webinar

All four instructors will be talking about trends in the IoT industry and presenting some highlights from their curriculum in an upcoming free webinar, IoT Job Skills in 3 Months: A New UCSC Extension Specialization on Wednesday, May 20, 6–7:30 p.m. (PST).

Want to learn more about IoT?

You are invited to take one or all of the synchronous classes in the IoT specialization and explore other related UCSC Extension offerings.

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