IBM offers free 'hot tech' classes online

Looking to improve the supply of graduates with marketable IT skills, IBM is providing online training resources in a range of in-demand areas.

The materials fall into six areas: Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME), Database Technology, Situational Applications and Web 2.0, Web Server Technology, Team-Based Development, and Enterprise Systems.

The nature of the materials varies by subject. While the SSME content is primarily case studies, the Enterprise Systems content includes mainframe-focussed games in Second Life.

Database Technology, Web Server Technology and Team-Based Development are all backed with free downloads of software such as DB2, WebSphere and Rational Team Concert.

In some circumstances, students can obtain a 50 percent discount on IBM certification exams. Successful students may post their resumes on the company's Student Opportunity System database where they are visible to IBM customers and business partners globally.

IBM customer MIB has welcomed the scheme. The company provides fraud protection services to insurance companies.

"IBM is demonstrating leadership by providing supplemental Web 2.0 learning resources where students play - the Internet," said Alexander Klevitsky, director of architecture and enterprise software at MIB. At the same time, by working closely with universities to deliver those relevant skills, we're confident we'll have the talent pool we need to succeed."