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Certifying Mainframers

Robert Morris University is among the IBM z Systems Academic Initiative member schools to offer on-site and online certificate and degree programs

3/11/2015 4:00:24 AM | Robert Morris University (RMU) in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, has a long history with the IBM z Systems Academic Initiative. It is one of a number of schools offering Enterprise Systems certificates and degree programs, available to be earned on-ground or online. On-ground courses/certificates/degrees may be offered at RMU’s campus or at other locations mutually agreed upon.

One of the goals for the Academic Initiative is to drive quality z Systems education programs in schools, according to Don Resnik, director, z Systems Academic Initiative.

“I'm noticing increased demand for students educated in Enterprise Computing with z Systems,” Resnik notes. “The pipeline is building, but students with mainframe skills get hired quickly. One real solution is for companies to enroll their new hires in online classes for credit working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree in Enterprise Systems.”

The RMU Enterprise Systems Program includes five Computer and Information Systems courses at either the undergraduate or graduate levels. The courses may be part of one of either an Undergraduate or Graduate Professional Certificate in Enterprise Systems or may be applied toward an on-site or online undergraduate or graduate computing degree. All courses are full-term regular credit courses used by the academic degree programs at RMU.

The objective of the Enterprise Systems program is to supply qualified mainframe Enterprise Systems professionals for the workforce, says John C. Turchek, Computer Information Systems department head, Robert Morris University.

“With the assistance from the Academic Initiative staff, we have created an advisory board comprised of reps from about 20 major corporations who are mainframe users. These companies have partnered with us to help refine the curricula, hire interns and hire our graduates,” he explains.

Because the Enterprise Systems courses/certificates/degrees are also available online, people already in the workforce can take advantage of the certificate or apply it toward a degree. For other universities or businesses that have guaranteed RMU’s minimum number of students, Turchek says the school is able to deliver the online certificates and degrees online along with two required 40-hour residency hands-on forums per course at their location.

Turchek notes that people who complete the Enterprise Systems program are seeing results. He points to one student who recently finished the graduate certificate. The student received a high paying mainframe applications development job at a local bank and, within a short time, received two promotions.
Also, “students who have finished the Enterprise Systems program have been getting well paid starting positions,” Turchek says. “Their salaries are about 40 percent higher than those without the Enterprise Systems coursework.”

Learn more about RMU’s Enterprise Systems Program or other Academic Initiative opportunities.

Valerie Dennis is site editor of Destinationz.org.

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