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New IT degree focuses on the future

Antony Perry

9 July 2018: Aspiring IT professionals will be able to combine traditional university study with workplace learning under a new program being developed by the University of Canberra and Column 72.

The University has partnered with Column 72, a tertiary education provider specialising in mainframe technology, to develop a program which aims to equip participants with skills to navigate the future world of IT.

The Mainframe Trainee Program will focus predominantly on training people to work with the IBM Z mainframe which is widely considered to be the most advanced hardware platform in the world.

When approved, trainees will undertake a Bachelor of Information and Mainframe Technology at the University over three years. The course, which plans to combine face-to-face and online learning, has been designed specifically for the program.

While they are studying, students will undertake paid work at a company that uses IBM Z. The world's biggest banks and airlines run on IBM Z mainframes.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp said the proposed program would deliver the traditional skills required in the contemporary mainframe environment as well as the skills that will be in demand for the future technologies.

“The University of Canberra is pleased to be partnering with Column 72 to develop this ground-breaking program to ensure IT graduates are equipped to handle challenges of the future,” Professor Klomp said.

“The proposed program is both practical and academically sound to meet industry needs and ensure that graduates will be employable once qualified.

“It is another example of our ongoing commitment to work with industry to provide students with a high-quality learning experience.”

It’s not the first time the University has run a course of this nature. A similar program ran between 2001 and 2011, with many graduates now employed in top IT jobs around the country.

The proposed new Bachelor of Information and Mainframe Technology will focus on Australia’s unique mainframe environment. It is planned that students will learn about traditional and emerging languages and technologies with access to the full complement of System Z software.

Column 72 Director Dr Murray Woods said students would be able to manage complex mainframe environments at the end of their studies.

“I look forward to watching the trainees learn at the University and progress with their sponsoring employers during this dynamic and rapidly evolving time in the IBM Z space,” Dr Woods said.

The program is scheduled to begin later this year. Applicants must have a Diploma of IT from TAFE or be in the first year of an IT degree at an Australian university. Register your interest at or with the University.