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DeVry University's RFID Course Launches in July

Yesterday DeVry University held an Executive Briefing at its Arlington, Virginia, location to present details about its new initiative to offer RFID training and education.
Jun 29, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

June 29, 2005—Yesterday DeVry University held an Executive Briefing at its Arlington, Virginia, location to present details about its new initiative to offer RFID training and education. The program is a three-way effort between DeVry, RFID Technical Institute (RTI), who is contracted to develop coursework and material, and the International RFID Business Association (RFIDba), who will be providing content, quality advisement, and promotional services.

The first RFID courses will run in pilot mode through the end of this year. There will be a handful spread across locations around the United States, including Virginia, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York. The first course, entitled RFID Technology & Business Fundamentals, begins on July 11th in Virginia. The course lasts five days, running from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and costs $4,950. Material covered includes standards, RF science, system performance and design, tags and printers, middleware, ERP integration, data synchronization, security and privacy, building a business case, and undertaking an RFID pilot. DeVry and RTI will expand the offering next year, with the expectation that eventually advanced and vertically-focused courses will be introduced.

One of the points the presenters repeatedly stressed yesterday was the distinction between this coursework and alternative RFID training found in the marketplace today. According to founder and CEO of the RFIDba, Harry P. Pappas, the DeVry program offers rigor, lab facilities, and resources that many competing training programs do not. Someone from the audience noted that many technology training programs demand mere attendance, offering only dubious educational value. Pappas responded that the DeVry program would be far more demanding, saying, "This won't be a situation where students go back to their hotel rooms after class and watch TV all night. They'll have work to do to prepare for the next day's class." Ann Grackin, RTI President, cited a conversation she had with someone in industry involved in an RFID implementation who, in trying to gauge the rigor and value of the course, asked if the program would fail students; she responded that indeed non-performance could mean a student does not pass.

The DeVry initiative is but the latest sign that there is strong and growing demand for RFID professionals. The cooling hype notwithstanding, it seems that there is industry-wide agreement that current levels of RFID expertise cannot meet the rising demand. For-profit training programs are popping up around the U.S. and world, and a handful of universities have added RFID classes or curricula. While elsewhere in the industry things might momentarily quiet, the education side is only heating up.
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