In the rapidly evolving world of technology, maintaining a competitive edge is important to ensure student success. Recognizing this, Oracle Academy recently organized an event that aimed to empower students with career-relevant skills as well as bridge the gap between education and industry needs. The event, ‘Oracle Cloud: Elevate your career with Oracle Academy's Cloud & Career Center Day,’ brought together students, educators, and Oracle Kenya staff for a day of learning, motivation, and networking at the Technical University of Kenya.
The event drew over 250 students from eight different universities, including University of Nairobi, Presbyterian University of East Africa, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Machakos University, Zetech University, Riara University, Strathmore University and Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
The university’s Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul M. Shiundu, expressed his gratitude for the partnership with Oracle Academy. He noted that Oracle is not just a technology giant but also a key contributor to education through its investment in skills development and education initiatives. By offering opportunities to educators and students, Oracle is helping institutions like the Technical University of Kenya contribute to an increasingly knowledge-based economy. Also in attendance was Prof. Salesio Kuria, Director, School of Computing and Information Technologies, Ms. Elizabeth Muli, and Mr. Felix.
Prof. Orina, the university’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Technology and Development, extended a warm welcome to the participants and the Oracle Academy team. He encouraged the students to recognize the urgent need to align themselves with industry trends, particularly the ever-evolving technology landscape. By immersing themselves in cutting-edge technologies, he said he believed graduates would be better prepared for the future. He concluded by expressing hope that the ongoing collaboration with Oracle Academy Kenya would generate numerous opportunities, ultimately contributing to the growth of the country’s technical expertise and knowledge base.
Oracle Kenya Country Leader David Bunei, the guest speaker at the event, emphasized the importance of the three ‘Es’: Education, Exposure, and Experience. These elements, he explained, are vital in shaping a successful career in the tech industry. Education provides the foundation, Exposure broadens horizons, and Experience transforms knowledge into expertise. His inspiring speech resonated with the aspiring tech professionals in the audience.
Danny Gooris, Director, Oracle Academy, EMEA, introduced the Oracle Academy Cloud Program, shedding light on how students can leverage Oracle Cloud for their academic and career pursuits. Oracle Academy offers comprehensive curriculum and hands-on labs, enabling educators and students to teach, learn, and explore Oracle technologies like Autonomous Database, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and Compute VM without the need for software downloads or maintenance. Members easily can sign up for Oracle Cloud access via the Oracle Academy Member Hub, and educators can provision student accounts to make cloud-based learning accessible. Both teachers and students enjoy free access to developer tools, including Oracle APEX, SQL Developer Web, SQL Notebooks, Oracle REST Data Services, and Oracle Instant Client for various programming languages. This program allows for quick adoption and learning of cloud-based technologies, saving time and effort in maintenance and setup, and ensuring constant access to Oracle Cloud resources for education and academic research.
Oracle Academy Program Manager Lorna Juma encouraged the students to seize the Oracle University Free Certification offer, which concludes on September 30, 2023. This opportunity offers students an environment to acquire sought-after skills across various domains such as OCI, AI, Machine Learning, OCI multicloud, data management, and applications business processes. Students can study and achieve professional certification in areas like Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle Database Management, and Oracle Cloud Applications. This will lead to accreditation as an Oracle Certified Foundations Associate, Oracle Certified Associate, and Oracle Certified Professional, marking significant milestones in their career journey. She urged them to not miss out on this exceptional opportunity for skill enhancement and professional recognition, and to also take advantage of the wealth of Professional Certification Resources available on the Oracle Academy Member Hub. These resources empower students to differentiate themselves from competition when applying for jobs. It’s not just about acquiring knowledge; it’s also about gaining credentials that matter in the job market.
Loreen Kimathi, Applications Accounts Executive, Oracle, introduced the Generation Oracle (Gen O) program, a career development initiative by Oracle that focuses on nurturing the next generation of tech talent. Loreen's inspiring professional journey from HR to the dynamic world of tech highlighted the significant role played by Gen O. This initiative offers a unique year-long opportunity for exploration, training, and growth, where hands-on experience becomes the accelerator on graduates’ career paths at Oracle.
The key highlight of the event was the Getting Started with Oracle Cloud hands-on session led by Desmond Muriu Maina, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Domain Specialist, Compute Services, EMEA. He guided students through the fundamentals of Oracle Cloud services and solutions. They learned how to navigate the Oracle Cloud platform and interface, set up and manage cloud resources, and even had the chance for hands-on demonstrations of deploying applications on Oracle Cloud. These students, armed with their laptops, had access to the Oracle Cloud Free Tier, ensuring a practical and hands-on learning experience.
Prof. Salesio Kiura, the institution’s Director of the School of Computing and Information Technologies, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Oracle Academy for offering this incredible opportunity to the students. He passionately advised the students to make the most of it by striving to attain at least one Oracle professional certification before graduation.
The workshop was a platform for students to gain practical skills, access valuable resources, and interact with industry professionals. It was also an opportunity for educators to strengthen their curriculum with industry-relevant content. And, above all, it was a testament to Oracle Academy’s commitment to shaping the future of tech talent.
Through its free teaching and learning resources, Oracle Academy’s unwavering dedication to technology education and career advancement paves the way for aspiring tech professionals.