Illinois Sets Out to Build Digital-Ready, IoT-Trained Workforce

By Ken Briodagh April 27, 2017

The State of Illinois is partnering with the IoT Talent Consortium, an organization enabling the workforce of the future and showing the value that IoT and digitization have to offer. Its members include Cisco, General Electric, Global Knowledge, Rockwell Automation, Microsoft, MIT Sloan School of Management, Pearson Workforce Readiness, New York Academy of Sciences, and now the the State of Illinois. Under the partnership, the IoT Talent Consortium will offer data science training to Illinois workers and learners, with cybersecurity training up next in the plans.

“Illinois' partnership with the IoT Talent Consortium supports our commitment to building and growing a strong digital economy,” said Leslie Munger, Deputy Governor, Illinois. “These courses will help train our workforce to prepare them for jobs of the future and bring jobs back to Illinois.”

The planned education curricula are being designed to further Illinois’ goal of transforming into a “smart state” by using advanced technologies to deliver services better and more efficiently. This new collaboration will provide an affordable, state-of-the-art option for individuals interested in working in the IT industry, beginning with the growing field of data analytics, and provide a mechanism for employers to ensure a pipeline of talent in Illinois. For more information, click here.

Working with the State of Illinois, the Consortium will provide a prescriptive curriculum for data science skills based on the Microsoft Professional Program for data scientists, followed by cybersecurity specialists and others in the future, to help the state meet its needs. Graduates from the data science track of the Microsoft Professional Program must successfully master eight core data science skills. Students apply these skills in a final capstone project that requires them to explore and cleanse a dataset, build a machine learning model to analyze the data, and publish it as a Web service that will be tested and scored to determine the accuracy of the model. This capstone project acts as tangible proof of the graduate's ability to employ these skills in a real-world data science scenario.

“With the rise of smart states comes a rising expectation of how state services will be delivered,” said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, president, IoT Talent Consortium, VP and GM, Cisco Services. “Fortunately, the increase in digitized infrastructure, supported by IoT technology, is providing new ways to deliver services and improve quality of life. However, orchestrating transformative change on a massive scale requires more than just people who know how to install and maintain technology; there's a pressing need for innovation, business savvy, and the ability to analyze and create cross-platform solutions that improve the way we work, live, play and learn. We are thrilled to welcome Illinois into our ecosystem to help share best practices and drive organizational transformation with building talent and skills needed for digitization jobs of the future.”

Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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