AMA University and Colleges has added a software testing module to its ever-growing list of IT degrees. The new course, which is expected to make AMA more attractive to potential students, not only adds another skill set to the credentials of graduates of AMA’s various IT college degree courses, it also drastically improves their employability, something which Dr. Amable C. Aguiluz IX, vice chairman of AMAES, sees as the main benefit of taking the course.
“When we noticed that there was an increasing demand for graduates with software testing skills, we decided to add a course to address this need. And we looked for the best way for this to happen. So we turned to HP,” said Aguiluz.
Aguiluz explained that HP was the obvious choice, for AMA already had a strong existing relationship with them, and had been using HP hardware in their computer labs for the past three years. HP proposed a training program that met AMA’s needs, and the two organizations decided to work together.
“When we initially talked to HP about training, they proposed an online model, but that can be difficult in the Philippines due to problems with internet connections,” noted Aguiluz. “Then HP came back with a model based on e-books, which are lower cost than using printed books – and suits the way our students learn, because most of them already don’t use paper textbooks.”
The AMA students enrolled in the new course are spread out in 100 different locations in the Philippines. With a teaching time of three hours per week over the course of three months, providing face-to-face training from HP instructors would not be feasible.
Instead, HP Software Education (HPSE) delivered a three-week training module to around 40 of AMA’s lecturers, who can then teach the software testing course to their students. This has enabled AMA to quickly develop the required skills to get the course up and running. HP also provides AMA with student kits and temporary software licenses.
Initially, the university is planning to enroll 5,000 students on the new program, and then steadily increase the number in the coming years.
“The main benefit to students is improved employability after graduation,” says Aguiluz. “If you have knowledge in software testing, then you’re better equipped when you graduate from college, and are likely to have more options.”
For AMA, offering this course augments their competitive advantage over other IT schools. It also makes them more attractive to potential students, thus helping them boost enrollment. Working closely with a major player like HP not only improves AMA’s image, it also increases its credibility as an IT institution.
“In the Philippines, HP is very well known, so being able to offer a course with them is attractive to students, and AMA is the first university in our country to provide this kind of training,” said Aguiluz. “Our students also benefit from receiving a certification from HP when they complete the modules.”
“HP has been supportive and flexible, and a good partner to work with,” said Aguiluz. “We are already planning the second stage of this program, and will be expanding the partnership with HP to our international branches, including Nigeria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Macau.”
The benefits of such partnership are not one-sided. HP, by gathering data and surveying the participants, gains knowledge about the effectiveness of their products and services. The participants provide valuable insight regarding the product or software and receive a Customer Asset Release from an HP representative, who asksthem to review the accuracy of the content, which will then be made available in HP-controlled environments.
The participants are given a list of things they need to confirm like the accuracy of the content and the accuracy of the depiction of their experiences during their participation in the case study. The Customer Asset Release also states that the participants have not been paid for being a reference for HP.
Once the client approves, HP may now use the approved materials worldwide, without compensation, for sales and marketing purposes on HP websites and in HP print publications and in sales presentations. However, HP will not use the approved materials, derived quotes or their clients’ company name and logo for any other purpose without their client’s expressed approval. This assures HP clients that their interests are always protected.
The future of software testing
Rajesh Raveendran, Country Manager, ASEAN and INDIA, HP Software and Adoption Business, noted that the software testing market is a growing market.
While testing as a practice dates back as far as software development itself, it is only recently that it has become recognized as a distinct expertise and an area which can provide true competitive advantage to a development team and the business as a whole.
The testing process is believed to consume between one third and one half of all software development budgets. Most importantly of all however, the growing importance of applications to modern society is driving the growth of testing. Increased levels of demand for applications, particularly online applications, has made their value to the business even greater.
In the past, the common misconception was often that software testers were lower-skilled than other IT professionals such as developers. However, professional qualifications in testing are now commonplace and the majority of practitioners are now degree-educated.
“Software testing is another high-value BPO opportunity for the Philippines,” said Ryan Guadalquiver, HP Philippines’ Managing Director. Guadalquiver noted that today 50% to 70% of software testing is being done in the U.S. but work is slowly being transferred to Asia.
“The Philippines has a big potential to be a software testing hub,” said Guadalquiver.
AMAES has over 150,000 students enrolled in over 200 campuses, not only in the Philippines, but also worldwide. Presently, AMAES has seven schools in the Philippines, namely, AMA University and Colleges, ABE International Business College, ACLC and ACLC College, St. Augustine School of Nursing, St. Augustine International School (Basic Education), and Delta Air International Aviation Academy.