IBM Further Supports the Mainframe by Creating the Mainframe Skills Council to Help the Next Generation of Developers

IBM debuted the Mainframe Skills Council during this week's SHARE conference in Orlando, providing a forum where global organizations will foster a skilled, diverse, sustainable workforce for the mainframe platform.

In addition to IBM, the council includes organizations spanning IBM clients, IBM partners, academia, user groups, non-profits, and open communities that will collaborate to implement mainframe skills development solutions.

Initial members include Academic Mainframe Consortium, Albany State University, Broadcom, DNB Bank, HOGENT, M&T Bank, Northern Illinois University, Rocket Software, SHARE, and 21CS.

"As the SHARE Premier Education and Technology Platform Provider in 2024, IBM is well-positioned to address today's technology skills challenges, something that every organization is grappling with as new innovation is unveiled," said Meredith Stowell, vice president, IBM Z Ecosystem. "The mainframe community has been working to close the mainframe generational skills gap and we've seen substantial progress. The Mainframe Skills Council represents an exciting opportunity to build on these advancements and ignite the community to share experiences and create mainframe talent solutions that can grow with the platform."

IBM Z, as a key part of many clients' hybrid cloud environments, provides a resilient and agile IT platform to help drive clients' digital transformations. Mainframe skills will be particularly critical for the success of many businesses as they implement AI, modernize their applications, and focus on digital transformation, according to IBM.

To help encourage growth in the mainframe industry and improve access to skills, IBM and many other industry vendors are working with universities, mainframe employers, online learning platforms, training providers, and workforce as well as community organizations to offer additional learning opportunities to help clients support their mainframe platform with a vibrant technical community.

"There is a significant and growing demand for skills training, apprenticeships, and networking opportunities in the tech space," says Kate Holterhoff, a senior analyst with RedMonk who specializes in IT and developer upskilling. "IBM's Mainframe Skills Council expands the range of options for individuals looking to reskill into a career as a mainframe professional."

The Mainframe Skills Council brings together organizations to share experiences and collaboratively implement solutions to build a strong global workforce for the mainframe platform.

The council will include working groups focused on career awareness, competency frameworks, learning paths, as well as professional development.

Council goals include:

  • Showcase a vibrant mainframe talent pool
  • Align on common industry competency frameworks
  • Share ideas and practices to enhance professional development
  • Share education, training tools, and related resources to optimize overall mainframe career experience for professionals and leaders
  • Increase mainframe employer adoption of proven skill initiatives and practices

Additionally, IBM is introducing the IBM Z Mainframe Skills Depot, a comprehensive platform for accessing mainframe skills training.

Learners can choose from specialized tracks tailored to roles such as system administrator, application developer, or modernization architect and access over a thousand of hours of self-paced, no-charge, hands-on learning to earn industry-recognized digital badges, according to the company.

IBM offers additional non-traditional skills programs and resources beyond the classroom including the IBM Z Global Skills Accelerator and Apprenticeship program.

In addition, the IBM Z Student Ambassador program provides leadership opportunities for students and supports mainframe student clubs on campuses at more than 95 universities worldwide.

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