In preparing for the impending shortage of technical professionals, many of whom plan to retire during the next several years, IBM and NEON Enterprise Software, Inc. are partnering with academic institutions and enterprise companies to develop curriculum that addresses the needs of the IT sector and provide hands-on training through internship programs.
A group of academic leaders and companies, including representatives from ExxonMobil Corporation, Bank of America and Texas Instruments, recently met in Houston to discuss what courses and training graduates need to support the IT needs of Fortune 1000 companies. As a result of the discussion, Houston Community College plans to offer an Enterprise Mainframe System Certificate program in the fall of 2006. Many of the participating companies have agreed to provide guest instructors, internship programs and job placement opportunities to support the initiative.
"Many of our transactions are processed on mainframes, for which we have significant support staff for the various mainframe products, such as zOS, IMS, DB2, CICS and MQ," said Ed Hammerbacher, vice president of technology and operations for IMS Systems, Bank of America. 'It's important to our business and the customers we serve to ensure the next generation of IT professionals include well-trained technical professionals who are familiar with the mainframe systems we use. We have and will continue to work with IBM and academic institutions around the world to develop curriculum that is applicable to the jobs these students will have once they graduate."
"The IT industry is predicting a shortage of employees with large system expertise in the near future, and to further compound this problem, there are very few educational programs available to train the next generation of mainframe technical staff," said Don Pate, CEO, NESI. "Like many of the companies supporting IBM's academic initiative, we rely on expert mainframe professionals to lead our IMS managed services program, which our customers rely on for services and support, and to develop new mainframe products. We hope that by working with IBM and local universities and colleges to provide hands-on training through internships and job placement services, we can help fill the workforce gap that is approaching during the coming years."
Additional roundtable discussions are planned throughout the year. Companies interested in becoming involved may contact Don Odom at NEON Enterprise Software at (281) 207-4900 for more information.
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