California State University, Los Angeles Addresses Demand for Big Data Skills Through Cloudera Academic Partnership


Established in 1857, California State University (CSU) is the largest four-year public university system in the U.S. today, with 23 campuses, more than 440,000 students, and 45,000 faculty and staff. As a primary source of the state’s skilled workforce, CSU focuses on providing students with knowledge and experience in highly relevant areas that will drive their success post-graduation.

One emerging area is big data. CSU is addressing the market demand for big data skills with courses taught by experienced professionals like Associate Professor Jongwook Woo, who teaches at CSU Los Angeles (CSULA) within the information systems department of the College of Business and Economics (James A. Goodrich, Dean). Woo led CSULA’s participation in the Cloudera Academic Partnership (CAP) program to incorporate big data into the CSULA curriculum.


Woo uses Cloudera’s courseware to teach Hadoop administrator and development topics in his classroom. Students have access to Cloudera Manager, and engage interactively in the experience of simplified installation, configuration, and performance analysis of their Hadoop clusters. They also use Flume to move data from databases to Hadoop.

“The Cloudera materials are an advantage for the students because they don’t just teach theory. That [hands-on] experience is valuable. It’s what hiring managers are looking for.”

Jongwook Woo, Associate Professor, California State University, Los Angeles

Impact: A Partnership That Addresses Both Interest and Need

Demand for Woo’s class is high. Woo also receives mounting interest from business organizations about his course, which he believes could translate to internships or permanent jobs for his students.

Woo is proud of the part he has played in developing the relationship between CSULA and Cloudera. The powerful partnership is addressing both an interest and a need.

“Learning about big data and gaining experience with the tools in the classroom is a good way to get students positioned to be hired. It’s beginning to shrink the skills gap.”

Jongwook Woo, Associate Professor, California State University, Los Angeles