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Second edition of the first international postgraduate program on Network Functions Virtualization technologies (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN)
IMDEA Networks Institute

Network functions virtualization and software defined networks, two of the most revolutionary technologies in the ICT sector, are the protagonists of the second edition of the postgraduate courses ‘Master and Specialist in NFV and SDN’ offered by University Carlos III of Madrid in collaboration with Ericsson and IMDEA Networks.

Information and communications technology (ICT) is a field of research and innovation in constant development and a key factor of economic growth. There are therefore great hopes put on ICT to provide solutions to the challenges posed by the networked society. However, leading companies in the industry warn of a current and future shortage of skilled and internationally oriented talents to nurture the needs of this industry.

In this context, University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), sponsored by Ericsson and in collaboration with the research institute IMDEA Networks, is launching the second edition of postgraduate courses in two of the most revolutionary technologies in this sector: Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN), both of which have a leading role to play in future 5G networks

The first 2015/2016 edition concluded successfully with all forty slots available filled, so for the course about to begin that number was increased by 60%, having all been covered two months in advance of the start date. The Master and Specialist in NFV and SDN degrees have been designed in collaboration with leading companies in the industry, and count with lecturers from UC3M as well as from Telefonica, Ericsson, Dell, VMWARE, Telcaria and other companies in the field.

This initiative is thus responding to industry demand for qualified professionals to face a change already under way in the production and operational paradigm, which requires knowledge not yet taught in today's university degrees in Telecommunications, Telematics and Informatics, or in any other official certificate worldwide. SDN technology has already undergone about ten years of experimentation and market deployment, but NFV just two, which explains the absence of official academic programs.

The current specialist labor market requires professionals in constant evolution and training, with a high degree of adaptability in a changing technological environment in the short and long term. It is indeed this competence and preparation of the labor force that largely determines the success of a technological company, since its capacity for innovation will depend largely on the technical training of its employees.

An innovative postgraduate program: Specialist and Master in NFV/SDN

This postgraduate offer consists of Specialist and Master degrees in SDN and NFV, requiring enrolment in a one or a two-year course respectively. These studies offer advanced training in NFV and SDN technologies that will qualify professionals to apply this acquired knowledge to the design and operation of new telecommunications networks and to lead the evolution and innovation in these areas.

In the case of the Specialist degree, the aim is that the student becomes familiar with the technologies of network virtualization, network orchestration and data center networks, which are fundamental to the understanding of NFV and SDN technologies. As well as that the student would acquire detailed knowledge of NFV and SDN through significant practical training. In the case of the Master degree, in addition to the objectives of the Specialist degree, the student is expected to gain advanced knowledge on various aspects of software-based networks - including security, operation and management -, to learn the new business models that enable these technologies, and to delve into their practical application through real use cases, in advanced laboratories. To complete the practical learning each student will be required to submit a final project where NFV and SDN technologies are to be applied to resolve a specific problem.