StorageTek Australia and New Zealand has launched the StorageTek Learning Solutions business unit which includes Australia's first nationally accredited data storage engineering qualification, according to the company.
The Diploma of Data Storage Engineering, which is the vendor's first storage certification program will be delivered in association with the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW.
StorageTek Australia and New Zealand managing director Philip Belcher said current data storage education and training is “missing a layer”.
"No one focuses on university and TAFE students and delivers what data storage professionals really need to know,” Belcher said.
“We are educating our potential customers of the future and broadening perspectives of what they can do with storage technology."
StorageTek Learning Solutions will conduct 40 two-day courses throughout 2004, starting in March, which will contribute towards the Diploma of Data Storage Engineering.
The company anticipates that storage end users, university students and graduates, as well as personnel from other vendors, distributors and resellers will enrol in the courses. Some 15 courses will be offered in StorageTek's Northern Australia region, 15 in the Southern Australian region and 10 in other regions throughout Australia and New Zealand.
With storage training topping the employers' wishlist, and programs available from the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), which offers courses members from other member vendors, Belcher said StorageTek, as a SNIA member, would work with SNIA’s international certifications.
However, he added the certification from StorageTek would offer IT professionals a broader range of course topics and knowledge relating to storage, “not just networking”.
"StorageTek Learning Solutions is setting the stage for educators and students to look at data storage from an agnostic perspective rather than a product perspective," Belcher said.
"We are educating across the board – such as tape, disk, storage networking, virtualisation; it's not just storage networking, that's only one aspect of what we do.”
The qualification is available at two levels – a Diploma of Data Storage Engineering and a Certificate IV in Data Storage Engineering – and has been accredited by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), paving the way for accredited institutions to offer training courses.
The course program, which took two years to develop, will consist of both existing IT electives from the TAFE curriculum, as well as new course modules devised for the qualification.
Andrew Della Porta, business development manager for the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE, said this is a first for TAFE NSW and a great opportunity for the organisation to get in on the ground floor of an emerging industry.
"This is the first time we have developed a course based around competencies and the first time we have had such a course nationally certified,” Della Porta said. “It is very exciting for us and demonstrates that we can respond quickly to industry needs."
Some 30 StorageTek engineers are the first to embark on the Data Storage Engineering courses in February. The engineers are undergoing assessments, with further training to be conducted by the Northern Sydney Institute and StorageTek's Learning Solutions business unit.
Belcher said that as well providing the diploma and certificate through North Sydney TAFE, discussions are under way with a Victorian-based education institution regarding the qualification. The company also hopes to extend the storage qualification into New Zealand.