School is back in session -- Light Reading's Upskill U will launch its new spring curriculum next Friday with fresh courses on Analytics for service providers and enterprise decision-makers navigating the sweeping changes happening in the communications industry.
In the coming weeks, Upskill U will deliver a four-part, online series on Analytics with speakers from Princeton University, AT&T and more. Returning speaker Nick Feamster, professor of Computer Science and deputy director at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, kicks off the series on April 7 at 1:00 p.m. ET with a lecture on "Predictive Analytics 101." (Register for Predictive Analytics 101.)
In the transition to virtualized networks, mastering predictive analytics is becoming an even greater necessity for service providers. By utilizing predictive analytics and data mining techniques, operators can attain critical business intelligence that can be applied in planning and strategizing for future trends in automation, SDN, NFV, machine-to-machine learning (M2M) and more. During the Predictive Analytics 101 course, Prof. Feamster will examine different modeling techniques telcos use for predictive analytics, and how the move toward network virtualization and 5G is shaping approaches to predictive analytics. Feamster has previously presented courses on virtualization; security and open source software; and the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics at Upskill U -- courses which are available to listeners on-demand. (See Virtualization: Network Design & Infrastructure, Big Data Analytics & IoT and Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software.)
Setting aside time for continuing educational opportunities like Upskill U can be a challenge for communications professionals, but is essential to staying ahead of the learning curve as the industry moves rapidly toward a virtualized ecosystem.
Upskill U caught up with John Palmer, senior vice president and chief learning officer for AT&T, via email to hear more about how communications professionals can set realistic, attainable goals to reskill on a regular basis. Palmer currently oversees AT&T University along with Talent Acquisition, and Upskill U also connected with Palmer last fall to hear more about AT&T's Workforce 2020 training program, which was launched in 2014 to support current employees' ability to reskill and adapt to rapid changes in the industry. (See AT&T's Palmer on Minding the Skills Gap.)
Consistently dedicating time to building new skillsets requires the right mindset, and employees should focus on learning technical skills by utilizing programs within their companies, but should also look for flexible, cost-efficient external educational opportunities, says Palmer.
"Make a commitment, this year and every year, to make time to continue to learn," says Palmer. "The rate of advances in technology and changes in the business environment seems to increase every year, so it’s critical for all of us to continue to make an effort to learn new skills and stay current. Consider it an investment in yourself and your career."
Next up at Upskill U
Following Prof. Feamster's course, Sarah Obermayer, associate director of Technology at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), will present the session "Building a Centralized Analytics Team" on April 19. During this course, listeners will learn about a case study on the restructuring of one operator's advanced analytics team, the cultural and technical challenges they faced in making the transformation and their tactics to enable users with data self-service. (Register for Building a Centralized Analytics Team.)
All Upskill U courses are delivered live at 1:00 p.m. ET, and on-demand versions of the programs are available immediately after the 45-minute presentation. Listeners are encouraged to post questions for presenters and chat amongst themselves via the real-time chat board. Lecturers typically respond to a few questions throughout the lecture in addition to a dedicated Q&A portion at the end of the course. On-demand courses on topics such as virtualization, SDN, MANO, gigabit, 5G, video, open source and more can be accessed anytime and tackle the technical challenges and business impacts of new and emerging technologies. (See Upskill U Curriculum Calendar.)
See you on the chat boards!
— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, Upskill U