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Academic Initiative Helps Students Embrace IBM System z

7/1/2011 11:06:45 AM |

For IBM clients, ISVs and Business Partners with an interest in the future of the System z platform, the IBM Academic Initiative System z program offers a wealth of resources for connecting with students who are learning about enterprise computing in labs and classrooms around the world.

In 2003, the IBM Academic Initiative System z began with 23 schools enrolled in the program. Membership has since grown to more than 900 schools worldwide. Educators and students have embraced the System z platform as a key differentiator for students seeking employment in a challenging job market.

To help match mainframe employers with qualified candidates coming out of these schools, the IBM Academic Initiative System z recently sponsored the launch of the new System z Job Board at systemzjobs.com, which allows mainframe employers to post open job opportunities at no cost. Job seekers can set up job alerts and apply directly for these jobs. To date, more than 1,400 employers and job seekers have registered on the System z Job Board, which will continue to play an important role in connecting mainframe talent with opportunity.

University students around the world also show their enthusiasm for enterprise computing by competing in student mainframe contests, which have run in 19 countries since 2005, attracting more than 33,000 students. In the U.S. and Canada, the contest has grown from 750 participants in 2005 to 3,537 participants in 2010, with more than 1,000 high school students signing up in each of the last two years. At least five new countries will also host mainframe contests in 2011, marking another year of growth for a student outreach program that continues to sweep across the globe.

The IBM Destination z community has played an important role in fostering a vibrant academic ecosystem around the mainframe. Since 2008, Destination z has run its annual Enterprise Computing Scholarship to honor and encourage the most promising mainframe students at Destination z member schools, recognizing 19 students to date. The fourth running of the scholarship program will take place in the fall semester of 2011, with more information to be posted soon on the new destinationz.org. If your company is interested is becoming a sponsor, please contact Marc Smith at smarc@us.ibm.com. Sponsors will have their logos prominently displayed in all media related to the scholarship. A special thanks to our 2010 sponsors: Innovation Data Processing, Mainframe Executive, Mainline Information Systems, Rocket Software, Velocity Software, Vicom Infinity, Matter of Fact Software, zJournal, mainframezone.com and IBM.

As the mainframe continues to serve as the backbone for the modern data center, the IBM Academic Initiative System z will keep working with schools worldwide to enable educators to teach enterprise computing concepts, and help students graduate with the knowledge they need to succeed in today’s evolving IT environment. With no-cost access to mainframe hardware, software and courseware, and a network of industry experts available to assist, schools have a tremendous variety of mainframe resources at their disposal. And as the students at these schools become tomorrow’s enterprise computing professionals, they’ll become part of the mainframe community that is helping to build a smarter planet.

In addition to assisting educators and students, IBM has made many of its educational resources available at no charge to System z users to promote a healthy ecosystem of talent. If you have any questions about the IBM Academic Initiative System z program or resources to help your business with System z, please contact IBM at zskills@us.ibm.com.

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