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Huawei launches virtual AI Academy to train and upskill IT professionals

By Ken Wong - on 24 Jun 2020, 2:06pm

Huawei launches virtual AI Academy to train and upskill IT professionals

Check out the virtual academy

To address the shortage of badly needed AI and IT skills, Huawei established a 5G powered AI lab at its Changi offices at the end of 2019. Huawei International chief executive Nicholas Ma said at the time that the lab, which cost US$10 million to set up, was to address the AI tech talent crunch in Singapore.

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As Covid-19 hit and the Circuit Breaker was announced, as a measure to deal with the increasing number of WFH students and IT professionals, Huawei announced a new Virtual AI Academy with more than 140 free online courses to accelerate and continue the training of AI skilled IT professionals.

Huawei said that plans were always in place to move the AI training online but that the pandemic just accelerated their timeline.

It is hoped that more local SMBs will be able to take advantage of the move online as the courses will be more accessible to staff. At the start of Singapore’s Circuit Breaker measures in April, Huawei has partnered with local firms to enroll and certify over 300 local ICT professionals at its Virtual AI Academy for upskill training as a trial run. Around 150 actually completed the course and were Associate level certified which is the entry-level certification in the three-level certification process.

Huawei says that all of the current 140 free online courses are for associate-level which are only open to anyone who wants to learn by themselves from laptops or a mobile device. Each course takes around ten to 30 hours to complete, with more than 2,000 hours needed to finish all 140 courses. Online courses for Expert and Professional level certification aren’t free however and range in cost from S$5,000 to S$7,000 per course. These are also conducted offline and can range in duration from ten to fifteen days. Those interested can check out the courses on offer here

While the company has been working closely with local Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), the designers and trainers of the online courses are Huawei and their staff.

Huawei International chief executive Nicholas Ma said:

“With our 5G-powered AI Lab and the new Virtual AI Academy, we will continue to double our efforts to facilitate upskilling ICT talents as well as work with SMB’s on digitalization. We believe that these efforts will help the ecosystem, as well as open up new business opportunities and emerge stronger together.”