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Most higher education institutions seek to prepare their graduates to be “work ready”, so it’s no surprise that many of them have incorporated Linux-related content into their curricular programs. As the popularity of Linux in modern IT has grown, so has the demand for Linux and related skills in the job market. But building these courses so they match the expectations of enterprises, keeping them up-to-date as technology rapidly evolves, and properly supporting them with hands-on labs and exercises can be a complex, difficult, and costly undertaking. This is why we created the Red Hat Academy.

There are many different academic programs offered by major IT vendors. Red Hat Academy is similar in that it provides curriculum to help education institutions keep pace with the demands of industry. The curriculum involves hands-on instruction across platform/Linux, middleware, and cloud technologies built with input from Red Hat’s development, support, and field consulting teams. Unlike generic “distribution agnostic” Linux curriculum, Red Hat’s curriculum is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the leading enterprise Linux platform. Rather than learning theoretical skills, students learn real-world skills based on use cases from thousands of enterprise implementations.

We recently made changes to the program to make it more responsive to global demand. Effective today, the following features are now globally available:

  • Membership to qualifying universities is now free, with easy online program enrollment.

  • Student materials are available in multiple formats: eBook, printed, or online.

  • Academy instructors receive free access to online training courses.

  • Academies now have multiple options for offering lab environments to their students.

  • Simplified access to globally standardized materials, with a new web-based order process.

Aside from the benefits of collaborating with the world’s leader in open source, Red Hat Academy provides universities with access to our most updated curriculum, saving academies the cost of building and maintaining it on their own. We also provide instructor support, labs, and other functions that can make it much easier to successfully teach the technology in a cost-effective way. In addition, the content we offer provides students with highly marketable skills that are in demand in the industry.

We began phasing in these changes in early 2016 in order to support higher growth and scale. In this short period, we’ve seen a 273% increase in the number of academic institutions joining the program. Higher education institutions are responding to more support, accessibility, and flexibility.

Some institutions already teach a version of Linux, but Red Hat Academy students learn the Linux distribution at the center of solutions that are relied upon by more than 90% of the Fortune 500. In addition, they get prepared to earn one of the most sought after certifications in the industry – Red Hat Certified System Administrator. In late 2016, sixty-two percent (62%) of companies using online job boards to recruit for Linux professionals request Red Hat Certified Professionals. By becoming Red Hat certified – which requires passing a performance-based lab exam - students are able to show prospective employers that they have what it takes to be successful in an enterprise environment.

At Red Hat, we believe that closing the technology skills gap today is vitally important to the future of enterprise software, and the opportunity to help in this endeavor should be made available to as many organizations as possible. That’s why we’ve made Red Hat Academy as accessible as possible to qualified academic institutions. Eligibility is for nonprofit, degree, certificate, or diploma granting institutions. To find out more and register your institution, visit the Red Hat Academy page. Join us in helping prepare the next generation of developers and IT professionals for a bright, innovative future.


Ken Goetz is the Global Vice President of Core Services at Red Hat.

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