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IBM Prepares Students in Asia to Meet Global Software Skills Demand


China, India, Singapore and Vietnam First to Take Advantage of Discounted Online Certification Testing for Rational Software Tools

SINGAPORE - May 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new program to help university students in Asia enhance their skills to compete in a global market. The new program will allow students at more than 2,100 institutions in India, China, Singapore and Vietnam to enhance their credentials and better compete for the growing number of technology positions available in the region.

Year-to-year demand for IBM software certification has surged because certifications help the industry locate and hire top software developers by creating an industry-leading method of building and validating skills. Giving students access to online exams will help increase the number of qualified, skilled software developers available to meet a growing opportunity for software innovation worldwide.

According to online employment resource, 1.5 million skilled IT experts will be needed by 2012 -- a trend that is fueling major opportunities for innovation and career growth for IT students especially in India, China and Southeast Asia.

For a discounted rate of $30, students at universities across these four countries now have access to 25 Web-based exams covering IBM’s Rational software delivery portfolio. Twenty-two different certifications are available in emerging technology job areas such as architecture management, change and release management, process and portfolio management, and quality management.

IBM plans to offer this discounted certification testing to students worldwide starting in the second half of 2008.

“Our customers and partners have told us how invaluable IBM’s certification offer is in cultivating their skilled workforce,” said Jim Corgel, general manager of IBM’s ISV and Developer Relations. “In Asian countries such as Vietnam, the IT industry is anticipated to be a key driver of the local economy. By expanding this program to the region, we are developing a loyal community of highly skilled certified professionals who continue to innovate around open standards and collaborative technologies.”

In India and China alone, the number of certifications has increased an average of 5 percent. Interest for certifications in Vietnam and Singapore is expected to rise at a similar pace as these emerging markets continue to attract global IBM customers.

At Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) in Singapore, more than 157 students have attained IBM certifications with 60 certified on Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software.

“We are constantly reminded that the IT workforce is very competitive. To stay ahead, we need to continually increase our credibility and distinguish ourselves. Achieving the IBM certification has increased my self-confidence and competency, and the greatest reward was in gaining employment in Standard Chartered Bank as a software developer,” said Miss Lin XinZhen, a graduate in Diploma in Information Technology at Nanyang Polytechnic who has been certified in Rational Application Developer V6.0. “I am very grateful to NYP, especially to my dedicated lecturers, for providing guidance and encouragement to attain the IBM certification.”

In China, IBM offers Rational curriculum support to more than 50 partner universities, covering 20,000 students each year. In 2007, 163 students passed IBM Rational Application Developer global certification. With 22 Rational software products available to students at a minimal cost, the number of students who attend Rational credit courses and obtain Rational certifications will grow.

“IBM’s certification program has become an essential part in the curriculum and skill training both for undergraduate and graduate students,” said Professor Zhang Jiawan, Vice Dean of Software Studies at Tianjin University who teaches J2EE Application Development courses to over 100 students a year. “It helps our students to learn the latest in industry-leading software engineering techniques, tools and the software development process. It enriches our students’ engineering experiences by promoting their practical skills and specialty standardization, and also broadens options for career planning.”

Certification exams are administered by IBM proctors at a participating university’s computer lab or on IBM-supplied computers at a designated testing site. The proctors ensure that tests are successfully taken via the Prometric Prime system in a secure, closed-book environment.

The new program offers convenient testing and complements the existing Test Center network available through Prometric, which delivers certification testing for 19 different IBM software and hardware products.

IBM also recently announced its DB2 Certified Professional Program which offers DB2 9 Fundamentals certification exams free of charge and provides a 50 percent discount on all IBM WebSphere, SOA and XML certification exams.

IBM’s Academic Initiative provides courseware, software, instructor preparation, discounts on certification testing, and a résumé database to increase student exposure to IBM customers and business partners.


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