It's only fitting here on the eve of my first trip to Beijing that I mention some key investments IBM is making to help build software skills in the Asia-Pacific region.
IBM announced earlier today a new program that will help university students in Asia enhance their skills to compete in a global market, allowing those at more than 2,100 institutions in India, China, Singapore, and Vietnam to enhance their credentials and better compete for the growing number of tech positions available in the region.
Online employment resource Monster.Com estimates that 1.5 million skilled IT experts will be needed by 2012, which is fueling the opportunity for innovation and career growth in Asia.
The new certification programs offer students at universities in the aforementioned countries access to 25 Web-based exams covering IBM's Rational software delivery portfolio at a discounted rate of $30 U.S.
Twenty-two different certifications are available, including areas like architecture management, change and release management, quality management, and others.
In China specifically, where I'll be heading first in my AP swing, IBM already offers curriculum support for Rational to more than 50 partner universities, which cover 20,000 students per year!
IBM also offers 22 Rational software products to students at a minimal cost.
Click here to learn more about IBM's Academic Initiative.
And check back here on the Turbo blog soon for an update from Beijing!