These Courses Will Sharpen Your Knowledge on 6 Emerging Technologies

They cover data privacy, Wi-Fi 6, and IoT

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squares of different types of energy supply
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This year is shaping up to be an active one for new and developing technologies that are expected to impact how engineers work in the areas of data privacy, IoT security, Wi-Fi 6, and more.

It’s crucial, therefore, for engineers to stay informed, be proactive, and invest in their career development to ensure that they can bring the most current information and best engineering practices to their workplace.

Here are some of this year’s top technologies, along with the accompanying educational programs from IEEE.

Data Privacy

About two-thirds of U.S. adults surveyed about their views on data privacy had “little to no understanding of what companies do with the data they collect,” and 81 percent reported being concerned about how the data is being used, according to the results from a Pew Research Center survey conducted last year. With companies buying and selling our personal data, protecting privacy and securing the data remain important.

IEEE Educational Activities in collaboration with the IEEE Digital Privacy Initiative, developed the four-course Protecting Privacy in the Digital Age program. It provides a framework for how to operationalize privacy in an organizational context, how to make the framework more helpful for end users, and how to address the technical challenges.

Internet of Things Security

Internet-enabled devices including connected lighting fixtures, voice-activated virtual assistants, doorbell cameras, and smart appliances “all serve as data-transferring endpoints in a system known as the Internet of Things,” expert Brooke Becher said in her article about the importance of IoT security.

With 15 billion devices now connected to the IoT worldwide—and the number forecast to double by 2030—the need to protect cloud-based, Internet-connected hardware and associated networks has never been greater.

The All About IoT Security six-course program covers malware and botnets, network monitoring, setting up testbeds, and applying blockchain technology. The courses were developed by IEEE Educational Activities with support from the IEEE Internet of Things Technical Community.

Energy Efficiency/Sustainability

Experts agree that the continued development of sustainable electricity sources will not only help with energy efficiency but also ensure greater accessibility to energy worldwide.

“The fast-emerging category of energy networking, which combines the capabilities of software-defined networking and an electric power system made up of direct-current microgrids, will contribute to energy efficiency [and optimize] power usage, distribution, transmission, and storage,” Liz Centoni said in a Technology article about the year’s top 10 technology trends. Centoni is Cisco’s chief strategy officer and general manager of applications.

“As more Wi-Fi 6–certified devices hit the market, from routers to laptops and more, it’s a good time for businesses to consider how their networks can accommodate Wi-Fi 6.—Shaun Carlson, Arvig

The development of sustainable energy is critical for the estimated 800 million people worldwide who have no access to electricity. Two-thirds of this population live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Minigrids offer a reliable, affordable solution to bring power to remote communities. The grids are designed to distribute electricity generated by solar panels, wind turbines, battery storage, hydropower, diesel generators, and other renewable sources.

To help learners better understand the technologies, the four-course Minigrids in Africa program explores the context and roles that the grids play in Africa. The program covers maintenance, sustainability, and operational considerations for connecting the minigrids to national grids, as well as regulatory and public-policy concerns.

High-Performance Computing

Thanks to the variety of mission-critical applications for high-performance computing—including weather forecasting, health care, and drug development—quantum mechanics experts predict there will be an ongoing need for the utilization of computing power to process data and operations at high speeds.

The five-course High Performance Computing Technologies, Solutions to Exascale Systems, and Beyond program developed by IEEE Educational Activities in partnership with IEEE Future Directions, focuses on how HPC can help provide solutions in the exascale era. The course identifies how to accelerate application performance while highlighting the anticipated software and hardware components and systems that will be prevalent in the near future. The program also dives into how artificial intelligence is likely to impact exascale-systems development.

High-Efficiency Wi-Fi

In a 2022 article about the advantages of Wi-Fi 6, telecom expert Shaun Carlson said the sixth generation of Wi-Fi networks—dubbed Wi-Fi 6 and technically known as IEEE 802.11ax promises “major improvements in the capacity and capability of wireless networks.” Carlson heads Arvig’s research and development.

Benefits of Wi-Fi 6 include up to 40 percent faster connectivity and speed for supported devices, increased network capacity through the use of multiuser, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) technology, and greater efficiency that conserves battery power.

“As more Wi-Fi 6–certified devices hit the market, from routers to laptops and more,” Carlson wrote, “it’s a good time for businesses to consider how their networks can accommodate Wi-Fi 6.”

The two-course IEEE 802.11ax: An Overview of High-Efficiency Wi-Fi program provides an overview of the features introduced by Wi-Fi 6 to the physical and medium access control layers, which led to faster Wi-Fi.

Configuration Management

The threat of cyberattacks involving ransomware, malware, and computer worms continues to increase. An attack now occurs every 39 seconds. Experts report that 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches are the result of human error by users who unknowingly interact with nefarious websites that expose their system to malicious code. As a result, configuration management is becoming an increasingly standard approach that companies use to reduce their cyberthreat vulnerability. The process establishes configuration standards for each asset in a company’s network and automatically sends alerts about corrective actions that need to be taken, such as updates, patches, or reconfiguration.

The five-course Software and Hardware Configuration Management in Systems Engineering program covers core concepts for building reliable software, best practices, and emerging applications.

Display Your Knowledge

Those who complete one of the course programs will receive an IEEE digital badge that can be shared on social media. Learners also earn continuing education credits. You can learn more on the IEEE Learning Network.

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