Monday, February 9, 2009

Georgia Southern University College of Information Technology Offers Students High-Demand Certificate

Georgia Southern University College of Information Technology students are not only graduating with a competitive edge, but saving employers thousands of dollars in the process. Georgia Southern is one of the rare universities in the country, and the only in the state of Georgia, that includes a SAP® Certificate as part of its curriculum. This provides a major competitive edge for graduates as they begin their job search.

SAP AG, headquartered in the EU (Waldorf, Germany) and is the third largest software enterprise in the world in terms of revenues. SAP is currently used by more than 35,000 companies and with new products targeting small and medium enterprises. Its customer base is projected to include more than 100,000 companies by 2010. Other institutions that award a SAP Certificate include the University of Southern California, Louisiana State University and the University of Central Florida to name a few. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. offer an equivalent number of SAP-approved courses and have a comparable level of SAP integration in their curriculum.

“Being able to include a SAP Certificate as part of Georgia Southern’s curriculum provides students with hands-on experience with SAP products and solutions that are used by thousands of the world’s major companies,” said Tom Case, professor and chair, Information Systems Department in the College of Information Technology at Georgia Southern University. “The state of Georgia serves as the corporate headquarters for numerous corporations that are heavy users of SAP including Coca Cola, Georgia Pacific, Home Depot and Newell Rubbermaid. Our SAP Certificate gives students a true competitive edge in the marketplace and provides SAP user organizations with a valued pool of SAP-experienced talent that is rarely found in recent university graduates.”

Georgia Southern has partnered with SAP’s University Alliance to enable students to use and understand SAP products. Through hands-on experience with SAP solutions, students gain insight into how SAP and other enterprise solutions can empower a business to optimize key processes such as accounting and controlling, human capital management, materials management, and sales and distribution. Students who complete three SAP-approved courses are eligible to receive a SAP Certificate signed by SAP America. Information Systems majors in the Enterprise Resources Planning Emphasis typically receive this certificate as part of their normal course work. The SAP Certificate may also be earned by undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who minor in Information Systems.

“Employers would typically have to spend significant amounts of money to provide an employee with a comparable SAP skill-base as that obtained by students who earn our SAP Certificate,” said Case. “We are one of the few universities in the country using SAP this extensively and we are receiving a lot of interest from prospective students and working professionals. Our graduates are in high demand and many are receiving multiple job offers with major companies.” In the past two years, BMW, Georgia Pacific, and UnderArmour are just a few of the companies that have come to campus to recruit Georgia Southern students pursuing their SAP Certificate. Georgia Southern students have also completed SAP internships at IBM, JCB, Shell and ZEP.

Georgia Southern is currently working with Coldwater Creek, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, to establish an ongoing relationship to help the company satisfy its demand for new workers with SAP skills. David Edwards, divisional vice president for Business and Technology Alignment at Coldwater Creek says, “We are working directly with Georgia Southern University because they not only recognize our needs, but are preparing their students to be immediate contributors once they graduate. In today's challenging business environment, the ability to recruit students that already have hands-on SAP experience is a major cost savings."

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