Oracle is claiming a breakthrough in IT industry and university cooperation by providing direct training as part of a higher degree course at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).
The database giant, through its educational arm, will provide post-graduates undertaking the MSc in IT and Management, which starts in October, with full Oracle Certified Professional training, something which Steve Gold, Oracle Education's core technology business manager describes as "unique in the UK." He explains; "the uniqueness here is that the people delivering Oracle training will be Oracle staff."
The Oracle part of the nine month course, will focus on bringing students up to Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) standard in database administration, or developer, skills and status. Students will have to pass the OCP element, which will occupy 25 full days of the course, to obtain the MSc. The training will relate to the most up-to-date Oracle technology, and will initially be based on the Oracle 8i. Some businessmen at last week's launch of course questioned the appropriateness of 8i as many were still using version 7.
The first course will cost £9,000 though this may rise to £11,000, but SHU is hopeful that employers may sponsor existing IT staff who wish to enrol, or may offer the course as part of a deal to attract new staff. The degree may also be offered on a part-time basis. Gold says the cost of the OCP module is about £8,000 if booked directly through Oracle.
Dr Geoff Curtts, head of postgraduate programmes at SHU's graduate school of computing and management science, says a similar deal is in the offing. Although he wouldn't confirm details it is believed to be with software house SAS Institute, which will probably see SHU offering a degree including software engineering training provided by SAS. The university already runs a post graduate IT management skills course which includes sponsorship and input from SAP.