An exclusive ‘Mainframe Career Day’ for high school students. Does that sound interesting?
Mainframe industry leader, IBM organized this event on October 4th, 2011 at the System z Technical University Conference at Miami, USA. The event gave students an opportunity to learn more about Mainframes and the IBM. By organizing this Student Career Day on Mainframe, IBM is spreading the message that they are looking for the future generation of Mainframe professionals from the student community. The participants were also encouraged to sign up for IBM’s seventh ‘Master the Mainframe Contest 2011’. This is another creative talent acquisition programme by IBM for college- school students across 17 global countries.
Mainframe’s popularity as an efficient computing platform is growing with the introduction of zEnterprise 196, z114 etc. New workloads, diverse platforms etc are being converged in to the newly released Z Enterprise Mainframes. This opens up new opportunities for organisations attracting more customer base to the Mainframe platform. As the business demands increases, industry would require new generation of Mainframe experts to manage the Big Iron systems. Mainframe Academic Initiative (MAI) for college/ high school students is one of IBM’s strategies to address this new resource demand. The ‘Student Mainframe Career Day’ and ‘Master the Mainframe Contest’ were part of the activities by MAI. The contest aims at equipping students with basic Mainframe skills to make them more competitive for jobs in the high tech computing industry. No prior Mainframe experience is required for enrolling to “Master the Mainframe contest”.
These academic initiatives from IBM are worth appreciation at a time when Mainframe industry talks about the potential skills gap crisis with baby boomer retiring.
Another major player in the Mainframe industry, CA Technology takes initiative to build Mainframe skills among IT professionals. CA offers core-programming skills training with their academic initiative – “Mainframe Academy” and “MASEP” (Mainframe Associate Software Engineering Program). Extending their academic initiatives to student community, CA recently announced one million worth scholarship programmes for finding young Mainframe talents.
In the global scenario, Mainframe skills gap issue is being addressed more effectively as major players in the industry like IBM and CA are introducing their own academic initiatives to nurture Mainframe skills. However, in the Indian context, Mainframe academic initiatives are still at the premature stage. Students, professionals and corporate rely heavily on in-house Mainframe training options. Institutes like ProEd Training Centre (a subsidiary of Maintec Technologies, Bangalore) have been offering comprehensive Mainframe training to IT professionals for the last more than 13 years. The parent organization Maintec also offers Mainframe skill enhancement programs like Hire, Train and Deploy for Mainframe Computer Science graduates and Mainframe professionals.
Mainframe industry continues to earn the global acceptance as a stable and secure large-scale computing platform for the last 45 + years. The industry has expanded its global reach to diverse geographical destinations. Countries like India have now matured in delivering core Mainframe services for global organisations. This would mean a definite increase in demand for quality professionals for Mainframe based services in the near future. Indian government, organizations, academic institutions etc have to work closely for building up resourceful professionals in Mainframe platform. Proactive approaches and academic initiatives have to be introduced in University curricula, highlighting the importance of Mainframe education. Future professionals in Indian Universities and schools should get an opportunity to learn the career prospects of Mainframes. Such a combined move is required to make up the current disparities in demand-supply ratio of Mainframe professionals. It is the need of the hour to nurture Mainframe professionals from the high school days itself. A lot still needs to be done.