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Barnsley College opens UK’s first-ever Extreme Academy for networking training

Barnsley College opens UK’s first-ever Extreme Academy for networking training

Barnsley College has been selected to open the first ‘Extreme Academy’ in the UK in partnership with Extreme Networks – a leader in cloud networking – to provide students with hands on experience and skills that will prepare them for a future career in the networking industry.

Barnsley College joins existing Extreme Academies across the world in offering a range of programmes designed to help students gain skills in networking basics, wireless network design, cloud networking, and security. Advanced topics studied within Extreme Academy include network analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.

The academy allows students to learn from experts in their field, gain industry certifications including an ‘Extreme Networks associate-level qualification’, and work on live projects with well-known businesses and brands such as Leeds United.

Barnsley College students learn in a dedicated space that mimics a real-world working environment and have opportunities to meet employers through connections made as a result of the collaboration with Extreme Networks and Leeds-based IT managed service provider, NETProtocol.

A launch event, held at the College’s Sci-Tech Digital Innovation Centre earlier this month, saw both businesses explain the sector-wide importance of developing more network engineers and the need to present networking as an exciting and viable career path to inspire the next generation.

Rohan Abey, Director of Training and Enablement at Extreme Networks, said:

“There is a continued shortage of skilled IT professionals, particularly when it comes to areas like networking analytics and cloud management. Extreme Academy helps address the increased need for networking expertise, while creating a community of networking experts versed in modern infrastructure and best practices. By augmenting traditional higher education curriculums with real-world training at no cost, we can help accelerate professional career development and readiness, enabling us to both narrow the digital divide and build a stronger IT workforce.”

Matt Widdowson, Commercial Director at NETprotocol, added:

“We have partnered up with Barnsley College to give students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of IT and to better equip them in the future job market. I ultimately hope the Academy will help College students find careers in the subject they love and help to inspire others to develop their digital skills.”

Azhar Iqbal, Director of IT at Barnsley College, said:

“Extreme Academy is an excellent program for any student interested in a career in network engineering or IT, as it provides the foundational skills necessary for them to get started without any prerequisites. Extreme has supported us throughout this process and has provided course materials that will enable our students to build high-demand skills in areas including cloud management and network analytics. It provides students at Barnsley College with both significant value and a competitive advantage for when they graduate.”

Teddy Salt, Digital T Level (technical qualification) student, is taking part in the Extreme Academy programme and added:

“My favourite part about coming to College is the Extreme Academy! I find the work very interesting and believe it’s perfect for me as I hope to either study a networking course at university or work in the networking industry.”

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