RIM has quietly been piloting a new BlackBerry Academic Program with over 500 students in the US and Canada. They are now ready to announce it to the public at this years DevCon and it will be interesting to see if it takes off.
RIM has developed course material and curriculum for university level classes teaching/training potential BlackBerry developers and administrators. It seems like there will be two different strains with one focusing on Java Development and the second on BlackBerry server administration. I know that many universities offer courses on Windows and Exchange administration and I wonder if this will be as popular.
Any students out there who would be interested in such a program? Check out the full press release after the jump or more information at www.blackberry.com/academic.
RIM Announces BlackBerry Academic Program
Program Provides Colleges and Universities with Curriculum and Course Content
BlackBerry Developer Conference 2009 – San Francisco, CA – Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM, TSX: RIM) today announced the BlackBerry® Academic Program to provide colleges and universities around the world with a curriculum and course content to offer courses in administering and supporting the BlackBerry® solution and developing for the BlackBerry platform.
“Career opportunities in information technology are abundant, and there is increasing demand for people with expertise in managing BlackBerry products and services and developing BlackBerry applications,” said Robert Crow, Vice President, Industry, Government and University Relations at Research In Motion. “Millions of people are using BlackBerry smartphones in more than 170 countries today and the BlackBerry Academic Program will help colleges and universities prepare students for careers in technology and help to meet the growing demand for BlackBerry developers, administrators and technical support professionals in the global marketplace.”
Course content is currently available for mobile application development for BlackBerry® smartphones, administration of BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, and support for BlackBerry smartphones. The curriculum has been developed in collaboration with academic professionals and has been in pilot for over a year.
Mobile Application Development Courses – Students can learn about the tools and techniques for developing applications for BlackBerry smartphones. Courses cover topics such as BlackBerry smartphone features and functionality, user interface design, multimedia application development, mobile web application development and Java® application development.
Administration Courses – Mobile communication and collaboration tools continue to play a large role in boosting the productivity of enterprise workforces, and the need for trained professionals to administer and support mobile solutions has grown with it. There are over 200,000 BlackBerry® Enterprise Server installations globally and trained professionals are needed to maintain and support these deployments.
Administration courses offered through the BlackBerry Academic Program can help prepare students to administer, configure, troubleshoot, and perform essential tasks for managing a BlackBerry Enterprise Server environment.
For example, the “Maintaining a BlackBerry Enterprise Server in a Microsoft Exchange Environment” (BCP-410) course includes information that can help prepare students for the corresponding BlackBerry Certification exam as well as additional information that can help students find opportunities in IT departments of large organizations.
Support Courses – Students are trained to work in technical call centers or IT support environments in support of the BlackBerry solution. The Support courses also include information that can help prepare students for the corresponding BlackBerry Certification exam.
The BlackBerry Academic Program provides an outline of the content for each course, as well as learning materials including student textbooks (with instructor copy), student lab manuals, instructor guides and an academic product suite that covers hardware and software. Course content can be offered over the full length of a semester, or as individual modules that can be integrated into an existing information technology curriculum.
Academic Program Rolls Out
Over 500 students have already taken courses based on the BlackBerry Academic Program as part of a pilot project and several universities in Canada and the US are now in the process of incorporating courses and course content from the program into their course offerings.
For more information:
A special track supporting the BlackBerry Academic Program has also been added to the BlackBerry Developer Conference this year in San Francisco (November 9 – 12, 2009). More information is available at www.blackberrydeveloperconference.com.