MIKE TODD
IBM Academic Initiative System z advisor

Company—
IBM

Years in IT—
10

My first mainframe job—
I started out as a technical writer for z/OS base elements, documenting various components to help System z users understand new functions and features. I majored in computer science at Penn State, but my English minor caught the attention of an IBM recruiter, perhaps making me the first person to land a job because of an English minor.

My favorite mainframe attribute—
My favorite attribute is its ability to create employment opportunities across a wide variety of industries and interest areas. After working on the IBM Academic Initiative System z for eight years, I’ve seen many students embarking on mainframe careers because their schools had the foresight to teach enterprise-computing concepts that prepare students to be productive in some of the world’s largest data centers.

Earlier this year, I got an email from a student who had taken part in our most recent IBM Master the Mainframe Contest, which drew 3,936 students from more than 500 schools across the U.S. and Canada. It read: "So I just got a job offer from a financial company because I put 'Master the Mainframe' on my resume, and they want to train me to become a mainframe developer. It's a 2x raise over what I'm making now, and they're going to send me through mainframe bootcamp.”

I never get tired of hearing stories like that.
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