IT Centers of Excellence

May 23, 2013 lkassman
Categories:
Community Development, Economic Development, Education, Information Technology, Job Creation, Vocational Training, West Bank
Locations:
The entrance to IT Center of Excellence at Al Quds University, one of four built by ANERA on the West Bank.

The Reality

Palestinian youth find it difficult to secure good-paying jobs, even after graduating from university. They often find the training they received while in school has not prepared them adequately for the demands of an international, globalized marketplace. Restricted by security walls and travel restrictions many young men and women can find good-paying jobs.

As the field of information technology began to grow, it offered a potential borderless job market for bright young Palestinians. But they lacked marketable skills for the IT industry.

ANERA’s Response

From 2002 to 2008, ANERA built IT Centers of Excellence at four universities in the West Bank, thanks to generous funding from private donors and with support from Intel and other global IT firms. The centers operate at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem (2002), Arab-American University in Jenin (2005), Palestine Polytechnic in Hebron (2005) and Birzeit University in Birzeit (2008).

More than 5,000 students have graduated from the IT centers and found work in local and international IT companies. Many also have started their own enterprises that benefit their communities and their universities. The IT sector has also provided a range of opportunities for women graduates too.

How It Works

  • IT centers offer training programs tailored to the needs of the market.
  • Students perform community service during their school terms.
  • Local IT companies and associations work with the IT centers to provide internships and job counseling, teleconferences and guest speakers from the business world.
  • Students who successfully complete the training classes receive an international certification programs in software programming systems and web development and other business services.
  • Job placement and business incubation services help connect graduates with more business opportunities.

Meet an IT Graduate

ANERA_Al_Quds_IT_Center_Sandous“It was a wonderful success,” Sundous says without hesitation. “It taught us the art of achieving goals.” Read more >>