The St. Petersburg IT Academy of Postgraduate Studies (ITAPO) was recognized as the best innovative project of the year within the IT cluster and received an award from the Government of St. Petersburg. The award presentation took place on 14 December as part of the IX Small Business Forum. Lanit-Tercom CJSC was represented by its CEO and Chairman of the Board, Professor of St. Petersburg State University, Head of Software Engineering Chair, Andrey Terekhov.
The IT community has long recognized the importance of creating a learning centre for advanced professional training. Both Russian and transnational companies are experiencing a severe shortage of skilled personnel due to rapid growth of the IT services segment. In addition, the imperfections of the existing educational system, the disparity between theoretical knowledge and practical skills significantly reduce the usefulness of graduates in the job marketplace. The Academy of Postgraduate IT Studies is meant to resolve the issue of personnel deficit and provide St Petersburg with long-term global leadership in the IT area.
ITAPO will serve as a framework within which training courses as well as teacher and student certification will take place. The Academy education will be based on St. Petersburg R&D, educational, and industrial sites combined into a single educational environment. According to the school founders, the main goal of the Academy is to support and improve the skill level of existing professionals as well as to train new engineers who will develop or use modern information technologies. The ITAPO draft was prepared together with the American Chamber of Commerce of St. Petersburg and the RUSSOFT non-profit organization.
The Academy will have educational divisions – departments, each of which will be put together on the basis of a leading company in the area. For example, the Systems Programming Department, where students will not only acquire up-to-date theoretical knowledge, but also have hands-on experience, will be based on Lanit-Tercom. There will be six other departments specializing in various areas of IT, each under the aegis of the leading St Petersburg IT companies. The project membership may grow with time.
According to professor Terekhov, the idea of creating an Academy, supported by ten large IT companies coincided with the needs of the city, which has been growing in clusters lately. St Petersburg is reaching out to be the leader in the IT market, to become the IT-city. The shortage of high-class professionals, engineers, and programmers prevents that. Thanks to the Academy of Postgraduate Education established with the support of the Government of St Petersburg, the city will have enough IT professionals, and IT companies that participate in the project will develop a new line of business.