3Com hits high school training market

High school students will receive non-vendor specific networking training from next year under a new program from 3Com.

The program, NetPrep, aims to provide high school students with networking training for around $60 per student.

According to 3Com's national manager of education, Murray Baum, the purpose of the program is to provide children with a non-vendor-specific, standards-based training, qualifying high school graduates for entry-level IT positions and higher education graduates for IT and network management positions.

"(Children) who play with Sega and Nintendo, or have the net at home ... are starting to show an interest in technology. A lot of these students are going to adopt the program through a natural progression into IT," said Baum.

Baum also stressed youths' general misconception of the IT industry.

"The perception that IT is sitting in a dark room cutting code is very naïve," he said.

The US pilot of the program was announced March this year, and it secured 50 schools for its first year.

Baum anticipates around 20 schools will participate in the Australian program next year. Four major universities, including University of New South Wales and University of Sydney, have signed on as regional training centres for the program.

Baum said the price of the course depended on the size of the class taking the course. For a class with 25 students, each student would have to pay $60 to attend the course, he said. "It's not a profit-generating program for 3Com," he said.

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