SUNNYVALE, Calif. —
November 25, 2013
Cynthia Stoddard, Chief Information Officer, NetApp
“Today, organizations are faced with the challenge of harnessing data to make strategic decisions that accelerate innovation and enable business success. New challenges in data management have created high demand for qualified professionals, but today’s IT skills gap prevents many organizations from finding the right people for the job. NetApp is focused on delivering industry-leading training programs that enable our customers, partners, and the academic community to develop the critical skills necessary to address today’s and tomorrow’s storage and data management needs.”
NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced the general availability of the industry-recognized NetApp Certified Storage Associate (NCSA) program. An accelerated entry-level certification credential, the NCSA program is designed to familiarize participants with storage technology and terminology, NetApp® products and solutions, and the skills to manage systems that utilize the NetApp Data ONTAP® architecture, the world’s #1 branded storage OS. 
The ongoing explosion in the amount of data that must be stored and managed means that the demand for storage capacity and storage requirements will only continue to grow. For example, “Many Gartner clients that intelligently deploy storage efficiency technologies in their infrastructure still reported an 80% increase in their storage requirements in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.”
Despite the healthy demand for IT professionals who can help manage this data growth, finding the type of talent that is needed is a challenge because of the IT knowledge gap that exists today. Insufficient staffing and training for storage and data management positions are top concerns for business technology professionals this year.  The NCSA program addresses these concerns by providing academic institutions, IT professionals, customers, and partners with the foundational training necessary to store, manage, and protect data while enabling businesses to hire the talent necessary by expanding the pool of industry-validated applicants. 
NetApp University provides individuals who have varying degrees of experience, access to a
hierarchy of industry-leading trainings that equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. The NCSA program is accessible through the
NetApp University website and is offered to academic institutions as part of the Academic Alliances Program, an innovative industry-academic partnership. Through the Academic Alliances program, qualified academic institutions can offer the NCSA program as a supplement to a degree program or integrate it into their curriculum free of charge. The NCSA program consists of convenient web-based training classes coupled with virtual lab activities that are accessible anywhere in the world at any time, and they require less than 30 hours of coursework. Certification requires the successful completion of a proctored exam given by a third-party testing organization.
As the #1 storage provider to the U.S. government,
NetApp supports the  Joining Forces Initiative and donated 500 NCSA certifications to the White House IT Training and Certification Initiative last spring. The application-based White House IT Training and Certification Initiative is a pilot training and credentialing program that helps eligible active-duty military personnel gain training and IT certifications to assist them in finding jobs as they make the transition to civilian life. This initiative stems from the Department of Defense’s Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, which focuses on industries that have an identified need for more skilled workers and stand to benefit from personnel with military expertise and training.
Educating Tomorrow’s IT Professionals Today
Dr. David Hua, Ball State University
“The goal of the Computer Technology program is to develop students who are solution providers. In a time of declining budgets in higher education, the NetApp Academic Alliances program enables my students to access industry-leading resources that are used by NetApp’s engineers. I have been using NetApp resources for over two years, and this fall I integrated the NCSA program into the curriculum for my Data Storage and Disaster Recovery class. Employers are surprised by my students’ theoretical and applied knowledge of data storage. The NCSA program has added a key dimension to our students’ ability to provide comprehensive IT solutions that address the needs of our digital economy.”
Andrew Marsh, First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps
“After four years in the Marine Corps, I’ve transitioned from the military to civilian life. I wanted to find a job that would allow me to leverage both my degree in computer science and my military leadership experience. When I researched the job market I quickly realized that having industry-recognized certifications was essential to a successful transition to civilian IT. I pursued and received a scholarship through the White House IT Joining Forces Initiative, and chose to take the NCSA program to establish and validate my storage and data management skills to potential employers. The knowledge I gained through the program proved invaluable to my career because it enabled me to secure a job as a storage and virtualization consultant.”
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About NetApp NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. Our commitment to living our core values and consistently being recognized as a great place to work around the world are fundamental to our long-term growth and success, as well as the success of our pathway partners and customers. Discover our passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at www.netapp.com.
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Source:  IDC Names NetApp Data ONTAP as the #1 Branded Storage Operating System
Gartner, "Market Trends: Evolving HDD and SSD Storage Landscapes,” October 30, 2013
InformationWeek, February 2013, “2013 State of Storage Survey,”
GovWin Consulting Analysis of FPDS-NG, October 2012