The IT Academy at the University College of the Cayman Islands is gaining momentum and adding additional courses to its spring offerings. The growth is part of what Selgin Amador believes will one day make the academy a significant tech industry training centre for the Cayman Islands.
“We’re in the early stages of becoming something huge,” said Amador, the academy’s programme leader.
In addition, scholarships are being offered that will cover half the tuition cost.
New classes at the academy include courses in Cybersecurity, networking and programming.
Just a year ago, Cisco vice president Shari Slate came to UCCI and presented President and CEO Stacy McAfee with a $60,000 grant from the company, which helped establish the Cisco NetAcad of UCCI’s IT Academy.
In addition, the IT Academy also has a Microsoft Imagine Academy. Each academy offers certifications specific to the software giants. Because those certifications are widely recognized, Amador said they will open new doors in Cayman students' tech industry.
Cisco, a leading California-based technology company, has helped establish a global network of NetAcad centres for students pursuing studies in computer-related technology. More than 9.2 million people have joined the academy and since 1997. Today, there are just over 2 million users enroled in countries spanning the globe.
Those users can tap into a broad palate of courses and connect with a network of 12,000 academies in 180 countries utilizing nearly 27,000 instructors.
McAfee said that becoming a part of this system marks an important step in UCCI’s 45-year history, bringing globally-recognized high-tech training to Cayman.
“Our partnership with Cisco lifts the calibre of digital-oriented education that UCCI can offer,” McAfee said. “By doing that, we can more effectively network with tech companies here in Cayman, providing locally trained candidates to fill the industry’s needs.”
Amador said as Cayman instructors become certified in the various course offerings, the selections open to students will multiply.
“Now that we have seen the importance of technology,” Amador said, referring to distance work and learning that went into effect with Covid-19 restrictions, “it will indeed boost the demand.”
That demand, said interim Vice President and Provost J.D. Mosley-Matchett, could provide more opportunities for students.
“Technology is the great equalizer in today's world,” Mosley-Matchett said. “If someone has a great idea and can bring it to life through computer-based technologies, the world won't care whether that great idea came from a tiny island nation. The opportunities offered through the NetAcad system can produce the next great pillar of income for Cayman and our citizens--with UCCI as the gateway.”
The primary goal of the academy is to train students by providing hands-on practical experiences in Cisco products and services and enabling them to attain technical certifications.
“That certification will boost the confidence of organizations in Cayman who are looking to hire IT or tech-oriented employees,” Amador said.
Courses in the NetAcad platform run the gamut, from essentials of networking to programming, to building networks, to Cybersecurity. UCCI plans to eventually offer up to 29 courses through the academy.
Among the courses being offered this spring are the following:
Offerings also include a course on the internet of things and additional classes in Cybersecurity. Students can sign up to the complete list of IT Academy offerings at https://connect.ucci.edu.ky/register/shortcourses or visit us from January 6 – 12 for in-person registration.
Key dates for the upcoming semester include the following:
The UCCI IT Academy is not just open for students wanting to learn new IT skills; it also opens the doors to IT-skilled professionals who have the desire to become IT certified instructors. If you wish to join the UCCI NetAcad as a part-time instructor or as a student, contact Mr. Amador at 345-623-0575.