AMA University and Colleges has struck a deal with PC maker HP to allow the computer school to include software testing in the curriculum of its IT degrees.
The new course not only adds another skill set to the credentials of graduates of AMA but also improves their employability, according to Amable C. Aguiluz IX, vice chairman of AMA Education System (AMAES).
?When we noticed that there was an increasing demand for graduates with software testing skills, we decided to add a course to address this need. And we looked for the best way for this to happen. So we turned to HP,? said Aguiluz
AMA said it picked HP since it already had a existing relationship with the IT firm, and had been using HP hardware in their computer labs for the past three years. HP proposed a training program that met AMA?s needs, and the two organizations hit it off.
?When we initially talked to HP about training, they proposed an online model, but that can be difficult in the Philippines due to problems with Internet connections,? said Aguiluz.
?Then HP came back with a model based on e-books, which are lower cost than using printed books. [This] suits the way our students learn, because most of them already don?t use paper textbooks.?
HP Software Education (HPSE) conducts a three-week training module to around 40 of AMA?s lecturers, who then teach the software testing course to their students. This setup has enabled AMA to quickly develop the required skills to get the course up and running. HP also provides AMA with student kits and temporary software licenses.
Initially, the school is planning to enroll 5,000 students on the new program, and then steadily increase the number in the coming years.
?The main benefit to students is improved employability after graduation,? said Aguiluz. ?If you have knowledge in software testing, then you?re better equipped when you graduate from college, and are likely to have more options.?
Aguiluz said AMA is the first university in the country to provide software testing training. ?Our students also benefit from receiving a certification from HP when they complete the modules.?
He added: ?We are already planning the second stage of this program, and will be expanding the partnership with HP to our international branches, including Nigeria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Macau.?
The deal also benefits HP, according to AMA. By gathering data and surveying the participants, HP will gain insights on the effectiveness of their products and services.
AMAES, a network of universities and colleges to which AMA University and Colleges belong, has over 150,000 students enrolled in over 200 campuses in the Philippines and abroad.
Presently, AMAES has seven schools in the Philippines, namely, AMA University and Colleges, ABE International Business College, ACLC and ACLC College, St. Augustine School of Nursing, St. Augustine International School (Basic Education), and Delta Air International Aviation Academy.