Ireland’s Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, today officially launched the Citrix Academy Network in Ireland, designed to equip students with advanced technical skills essential for an IT career in virtualisation or networking. IT Sligo, in the west of Ireland, is the first Higher Education Institution in Ireland to join the Academy Network, offering the course to third level students. 

The Citrix Academy Network will see current students of the computing programmes at IT Sligo take a skills-led course to achieve industry certification across emerging technologies such as virtualisation and cloud computing. The accreditation also includes potential opportunities to undertake valuable work experience with channel partners which will allow students to put theory into practice.

The first 25 students have recently started the course at the Institute and a further 55 students are expected to begin the accreditation process by the end of the year. It is thought that over 100 students will complete the modules this year. Further, by September 2012, the course will also be available to those that wish to take the accreditation as a standalone course, without studying for a degree. 

Through this initiative Citrix is investing in the education and skills progression of the next generation and enabling graduates to develop the core skills necessary for a career in cloud computing. IT Sligo is also investing in infrastructure to support a range of computing qualifications.

Technology is one of Ireland’s most promising and critical sectors. There is currently widespread demand from IT employers for skilled workers in the areas of virtualisation and networking.  This comprehensive course will be highly valued by the ICT industry in Ireland, which is an attractive location for technical services due to the talented and highly skilled workforce. It is critically important that Citrix continues to meet the skills need of industry.

Ultimately this partnership is a win-win situation – and the first of many. Students gain qualifications in an area which has considerable job prospects and industry is provided with graduates that are immediately fit for purpose.