Australian university adds ITIL exams to IT courses

SYDNEY – Australia’s Charles Sturt University is to become the country’s first college to incorporate IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) training and examinations into its IT-related undergraduate and post graduate degree courses.

Peter Cross, regional manager for EXIN South Pacific, an IT examination institute, said that thanks to a partnership with CSU it is the first university in Australia to have formally adopted and fully incorporated IT service management (ITSM) best practice certifications and exams as an integral and formal component of its highly-regarded eLearning courses.

“EXIN South Pacific has recently been working closely with a number of leading tertiary educational institutions to encourage the inclusion of accredited ITSM course materials and exams into their IT-related graduate and post graduate curricula,” Cross said.

He is confident other universities will follow CSU’s lead because ITSM certification in the ITIL best practice framework creates opportunities for IT graduates. Charles Sturt University is the eighth largest university in Australia, with over 22,000 remote students. By undertaking this certification, graduates achieve accreditation in ISO/IEC 20000 the international standard for ITSM, which is ideal to further employment and career opportunities.

“You just have to search for ITIL or ISO/IEC 20000 on popular recruitment Web sites to see how in-demand accredited IT professionals are at present,” Cross said. “This development is directly in line with EXIN’s stated goal of enhancing the curricula of education institutions so that graduate students have the type of industry qualifications that are in strong demand by IT service providers.

“The increased maturity of ITSM and growing recognition by tertiary education institutions of the value placed on a solid understanding of industry standards and best practice is a global phenomenon.”

Cross said that in the past, a number of universities around the world have included ITIL training into their course curricula but this is the first time that passing the certification exams is essential for students to graduate.

“The increasing availability of ITSM-related course material reflects a growing demand from industry for better qualified, standards-savvy graduates who understand the standards and various frameworks that can be used to underpin successful ITSM improvement initiatives,” Cross said.

He said ITIL is by far the most recognized and popular ITSM best practice framework because of its relevance to and links with the release of ISO/IEC 20000 as an international standard for IT service delivery and management in December 2005 and its subsequent release by Standards Australia as the Australian National Standard in February 2007.

“EXIN’s accredited ITSM examinations are also the most popular around the world so we are thrilled that CSU has acknowledged the increasing relevance of ITSM based skill sets in meeting industry requirements for IT services,” Cross said. CSU will include three ITIL best practice certifications into both the Master of Management (IT) and Master of Systems Development post graduate degrees with all students having to complete the ITIL Foundation, ITIL Master and ITIL V2-V3 Bridging certifications in order to graduate.

According to Martin Hale, an adjunct senior lecturer at CSU, the strong demand for ITSM best practice and standards-based course material is supported by hard evidence.

Since EXIN introduced ITIL Foundations examinations in 2000, there has been a phenomenal rise in the number of exams that have been undertaken each year.

Numbers are up from around 15,000 in 2001 to nearly 150,000 in 2007. “ITSM and ISO/IEC 20000 related study is one of the hottest IT course materials around at the moment and we have engineered this initiative based on feedback from industry and students,” Hale said.

“We had over 1,400 people register interest in the two days after we announced the inclusion of ITIL certifications. “This tremendous response to our ITSM-related course material is over twice what we would expect when introducing other new certifications.

“It is entirely consistent with the explosive growth the whole IT industry is seeing in the adoption of the ITSM best practice frameworks and international standards such as ISO/IEC 20000 to support business outcomes-focused IT departments and IT governance requirements.”

Hale said steps are being taken to embed a formal framework and standards training and exams as core subjects in the Masters degree that is achieved through the university’s state-of-the-art Distance Education model.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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