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IBM and Georgetown University Develop Curricula to Address IT Skills Shortage


Collaboration With the College of Charleston and George Mason University to Advance Service Oriented Architecture in the Workplace and the Classroom

WASHINGTON, DC - 14 Sep 2006: At an event today attended by hundreds of business leaders and educators, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Georgetown University announced two new curricula to address the growing demand for information technology (IT) skills that can empower an organization to more rapidly respond to changing marketplace conditions.

Both of the new programs -- one for IT professionals and one for undergraduates and graduates -- are designed to teach all students about service oriented architectures (SOA). SOA is a way of reusing a company’s existing technology to more closely align with business goals helping to result in greater efficiencies, cost savings and productivity.

Experience and knowledge of the SOA approach is a valuable asset for professionals and students that want to enhance their marketable IT industry skills while also honing business acumen.

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that IT is among the fastest growing sectors in the economy, it also finds that America suffers from a shortage of qualified IT workers with flexible skills who can readily adapt and respond to ever-changing IT demands. Meanwhile, the business value of SOA continues to gain momentum as industry analysts from Aberdeen Group recently found that nine of every 10 companies are adopting or have adopted SOA and will exit 2006 with SOA planning, design and programming experience.*

As the nation’s first collaborative SOA Curricula for IT professionals and academics, the programs will provide IT professionals with an intensive, three day workshop that focuses on real world SOA skills that can be immediately used in the workplace. For students, the SOA Curricula will provide an opportunity to take courses as part of a Computer Science major to learn the basics of SOA while earning credits and gaining additional, immediately employable IT skills upon graduation.

Additional academic partners that are helping design the SOA Curricula include Dr. Paul Buhler from the College of Charleston’s Department of Computer Science and Drs. Arun Sood and Alexander Levis from George Mason University.

The SOA Curricula is expected to start in the spring 2007 semester and will include courses covering both IT and business skills to help support participants’ career goals. Additionally, speakers from real-world SOA implementations will share experiences and students will tackle hands-on assignments using the leading SOA tools and techniques.

The SOA Curricula courses will use the industry leading IBM WebSphere integration middleware, which is the foundation for more than 2,500 successful SOAs worldwide. Since IBM WebSphere is based on open standards, students will develop skills that will enable them to easily transfer knowledge to almost any computing environment. In addition, parts of the new SOA Curricula will also be available to members of the IBM Academic Initiative, which includes a network of 1,900 universities worldwide. Today, nearly 400 Business Integration courses, which leverage fundamental SOA techniques, are being taught worldwide at 145 different institutions.

“Working as an SOA educator as well as an SOA consultant provides me with a unique opportunity to fully understand the business and IT needs of organizations today as well as in the future,” said M. Brian Blake, Ph.D., associate professor of Computer Science, Georgetown University. “The SOA curricula will provide professors, students and IT professionals with an innovative, collaborative forum to extend the classroom learning experience and develop crucial IT skills that are in high demand.”

Based on the continued, anticipated growth of SOA, Georgetown is actively seeking additional members to participate in the development of the SOA Curricula and will create an online workspace for all participants to share valuable insights as this segment of the marketplace continues to offer lucrative, long-term career opportunities. To register, please visit:

“As the SOA momentum continues to grow, IBM is committed to helping provide IT professionals and students with the skills to more effectively compete in today’s marketplace,” said Sandy Carter, vice president of SOA and WebSphere strategy, IBM. “We look forward to our continued work supporting the SOA Curricula and empowering the next generation of IT professionals and students.”

About IBM
For more information about IBM, please visit:

About Georgetown University
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit University in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown today is a major student-centered, international, research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs on its three campuses. For more information about Georgetown University, visit

1 * Aberdeen Group Benchmark Study: Enterprise Service Bus and SOA Middleware (July 2006)


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