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Where To Learn IoT

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By: Michael Cunningham

August 31, 2020

Welcome to my fourth blog dealing with the Internet of Things. It is terrific to see you have shown such an interest in IoT. Well, now, we explore an essential area: Where to learn IoT. Let us break it down into a few things to explore.

Online vs. Brick and Mortar. The first question is simple: how much time each night does one have for class and study? If one can set aside ten to twenty hours a week, one may be able to fit in, say, one or two types of classes a week at a local community college. For both types of classes - online and classroom - one must consider travel time, prep time, and study time. It all counts. If one has less than ten hours a week or your hours fluctuate, it is advised to look into an online course. Online can give individuals more of choice about what hours you can use to study.

Cost. While some community and four-year colleges do have free courses, one will find very few in the IT field. The lowest cost I have seen is $150 per credit hour. Yes, it is pricey, but in most cases, it is incredibly useful. Oh, I am not trying to scare you away from college. I have an AA degree from a college and am immensely proud to have it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Remember, IoT covers three fields within IT: Networking, computer support, and security. So studying requires lots of classes and lots of credits. Most online courses are low cost and have flexible schedules. I do not know your situation, but since I am neither rich nor have an extra 30 hours a week, both low cost and flexibility are important to me.

Where do I get the material? Books, lab manuals, and added content for brick and mortar schools are usually bought (yes, that dirty word again) at the school bookstore - they do not just give it to you. With online schools, most everything is supplied to you. So study materials are another factor in deciding where you want to take classes.

What type of support do I get? In smaller colleges, one may or may not have Teacher Assistants or Tutors. One may only have a busy Instructor. With online classes, one usually has access to Mentors, TAs, and maybe even Tutors. I am great when it comes to computer hardware, but when it comes to software and code, I depended on my TAs. One can also count on that lovely family of yours for support (though maybe not with the teaching part).

To finish up. IoT is exploding. The four things I’ve discussed here were just a few of the essential questions you may have. In my future blogs, I will try to address more. Now is the time for you to take the next step. IoT manufacturers are looking for people like you.

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