CA Issues Mainframe Academy Scholarships

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CA has issued the first five Mainframe Academy scholarships as it seeks to combat the mainframe skills shortage

CA Technologies has issued the first five Mainframe Academy scholarships to help address the mainframe skills shortage.

The CA Mainframe Academy is an accelerated educational curriculum that helps promising young technologists expand their skills and fill potential talent gaps in future mainframe management, the company said.

Skills Shortage

CA announced the scholarship program in March 2011 as part of its workforce education effort, committing more than $1 million (£629m) in grants for recipients to attend the Mainframe Academy through 2016.

Recipients are selected by SHARE representatives, who award scholarships to applicants who demonstrate a desire to master mainframe programming skills. SHARE is a user group for IT professionals interested in mainframe and enterprise technology. SHARE is an independent, volunteer-run association providing IBM customers with user-focused education, professional networking and a forum to influence the information technology industry.

“With the mainframe continuing to play a vital role in their IT strategies, many of our global customers are looking at ways to proactively address the skills gap as senior staff approaches retirement age,” said Dayton Semerjian, general manager for mainframe products at CA, in a statement. “We created the Mainframe Academy to help address this requirement and help some of the best young talent get a jump-start to a career in IT.”

The recipients include an IBM intern based in the United States, a systems analyst for BRQ IT in Brazil, a University of Kentucky graduate interning at General Electric and two system programmers from Garanti Technology in Turkey – all of whom are looking to expand their mainframe knowledge, CA said.

“CA Technologies is providing a great opportunity with its Mainframe Academy scholarship program,” said Janet Sun, president of SHARE, in a statement. “We are pleased to participate in the selection process and to support the growth and development of the next generation of mainframe talent. This aligns with our zNextGen program and is supported by the research we have done regarding the Mainframe Skills Gap.”

Mainframe Classrooms

The Mainframe Academy with CA Technologies is an eight-week, vendor-agnostic, immersion program that blends instructor-led classroom activity with virtual and self-paced learning designed to provide core skills to manage the mainframe environment. Young IT professionals enrolled in high school, undergraduate and graduate university programs, or recent graduates are eligible for the scholarship.

CA Technologies will issue three additional scholarships at the SHARE Conference in August. Applications are being accepted through May 31, 2012, at the program Website.

Scholarships are awarded in the amount of $35,000 (£22,000) per winner and are payable solely as a credit for publicly scheduled Mainframe Academy with CA Technologies education courses.

Back in the mid-2000s, IBM joined forces with SHARE to start zNextGen, a community for new mainframe professionals. IBM and SHARE officials announced the community at the SHARE conference in August 2005, and the first meeting took place in March 2006.

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