Developing NetApp’s Next Generation of Customers and Employees

By Mark Conway, Sr Program Lead, NetApp Academic Alliances Program


Once the cap is tossed at the long awaited graduation ceremony and the confetti is swept from the auditorium floor, then what? Students work to gain the necessary skills to set their résumés apart from the competing candidates vying for a coveted position. Do not worry…NetApp is here to help.


Technology companies like NetApp are always seeking experienced and skilled employees who understand storage and its important role in data infrastructure. Additionally, our customers and partners are also looking for candidates with similar skills.


Two years ago, NetApp launched the Academic Alliances Program to build a formal industry-academic partnership program to support faculty members interested in infusing storage and data management content into their courses. The program has several goals:

  • Grow NetApp’s brand and awareness with the academic community;
  • Educate faculty in IT-related departments about the importance of including storage in their curriculum;
  • Support the State, Local, and Education (SLED) sales teams to add value and differentiate NetApp to our higher education customers; and,
  • Grow a pipeline of storage-savvy college graduates to support the NetApp ecosystem.


Hundreds of students have now logged thousands of training hours learning the role storage and data management play in virtual shared infrastructures (the cloud). Also, NetApp University has just launched the NetApp Certified Storage Associate (NCSA)—an entry-level certification designed for college students. Many two-year and technical schools build their IT program around various industry certifications, and the NCSA gives NetApp a focused, packaged curriculum that aligns with schools’ interests. We are working to develop students with the technical knowledge and skills to deploy and manage solutions. The end result is a rich curriculum, a strong workforce, and a robust NetApp environment.


To learn more about the Academic Alliances Program and/or the new NCSA certification check out: