Hot off the Press: MEA Courses at Belgium Campus

MEA courses

Interested in MEA courses? Belgium Campus hosted IBM specialists who presented internationally recognised MEA courses using new generation technology. Read about it here.

During the first week of September, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) presented three of their MEA University programmes to selected ICESA students and staff. The three academic programmes offered were: Mobile Development, Big Data and Security. At the end of the workshops students and staff were offered the opportunity to write the international exams.

ICESA is one of two Universities in South Africa benefitting from IBM’s MEA initiative. This initiative provides our students and staff the opportunity to work with experts who are at the top of their field using IBM official courses and hands-on laboratories on the most advanced technology. They are trained on next generation technologies and valuable skills for a job in the IT industry. The Belgium Campus staff collaborate with experts and educate students at international standards providing an environment to students for continuous technical improvement aligned with the IT industry’s needs. Students use this training to enhance their technical knowledge and can opt to complete IBM certification following the training.

IBM at Belgium Campus

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), established in 1911, is an information technology company, which provides integrated solutions that leverage information technology and knowledge of business processes. The company operates its business through five segments: Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems & Technology and Global Financing. Forbes ranks IBM the fifth most valuable brand. It has 380.000 employees worldwide and is the fourth largest firm in terms of market capitalization. Its employees have garnered five Nobel Prizes and six Turing Awards.

There is a significant skills shortage in the IT industry across Africa and IBM wants to play a key role in addressing the problem by actively implementing long-term initiatives that will provide Resources, Education and training that cover advanced IT to support the development of local capabilities and economic development in the region.

The IBM Middle East and Africa (MEA) University programme is IBM’s premier training and certification initiative for academia in the MEA region. This 60 Million USD investment in Africa Skills Programme will enable the existing and future workforce to develop new analytics, cloud and data skills crucial to the continent’s economic growth and social development.

The IBM team consisted of Radwa Ghazy, Ismael ElDahshan, Dina Sayed, Jose Espirito Santo, Kevin Kimathi and Jaun Pablo Napoli. The team are experts in various ICT fields and they came from all over the world (Egypt, Portugal, Kenya and Argentina) to give the students a rich and valuable learning experience during their weeklong stay in South Africa. Radwa Ghazy together with Ismael ElDahshan presented the practical section of the Mobile Application Development using the Worklight System. Dina Sayed and Jose Espirito Santo presented the overview of Big Data and Scripting language while Kevin Kimathi trained the students in application security. The project Manager of the MEA initiative, Jaun Pablo Napoli, ensured the smooth running of the project.

What’s in it for students?

The IBM MEA certification programme provides university graduates with critical job skills and technological skills that are high in demand, placing students above other candidates.

  • Students can download a wide variety of IBM and open source products and technologies at no charge.
  • Students have access to a wealth of information to learn about new products and technologies.
  • Students can benefit from a comprehensive view of technology solutions rather than training on a single product.

Feedback from the students was that the course was difficult and great fun, but it was worth all the effort and energy. Students were impressed by the skills and the professionalism of the IBM team. “Looking back at the course, it was an honour and a privilege to have attended such specialised training as a student,” said Miss Charlotte Kruger.

In the Mobile branch students worked with Worklight studio. The Technology in Worklight studio builds on a variety of technologies including; Apache Cordova, Sencha Touch, Dojo Mobile and so much more. The Worklight platform also allows for hybrid application development which permits a developer to simultaneously develop for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Symbian.

Positive Feedback for MEA Courses

The IBM experts had only positive feedback about the ICESA students and staff. They stated that the students were brave to take on the course since it is actually meant for the lecturers. The experts commented that the students are very good at perceiving new concepts. Kevin Kimathi stated that all students were very curious about his course because their Belgium Campus projects would benefit from the new knowledge; he also said that our students possess a solid foundation. The experts were impressed with the students, “They were the best that we have seen in the region” said the experts.

To note: Be sure not to miss out on this! Mr. Sean McLean will be presenting inspirational information on IBM courses hosted at the ICESA during our Open Day, 3 October at 12:00.

EduConnect 2cents

Our 2cents you ask? When those opportunities come around, grab them by the hand and take up as many as you can. Go to a free talk. Do that extra Maths course. Attend a conference. Apply for an internship. Do whatever it takes to feed your brain with new knowledge. You can never learn enough and we suggest you take advantage of these opportunities. Read why education is so unbelievably important.

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