Across the globe, governments are turning to Open-Source software, which unlike proprietary software allows users to inspect, modify and freely redistribute its underlying programming instructions. Scores of national and state governments have drafted legislation calling for Open Source software to be given preferential treatment in procurement.
Why all the fuss? Modern governments generate a vast number of digital files. From birth certificates and tax returns to criminal DNA records, the documents must be retrievable at any given time. So, Governments are reluctant to store official records in the proprietary formats of commercial-software vendors. This concern will only increase as e-government services, such as filing a tax return or applying for a driving license online, gain momentum. In Microsoft’s case, security flaws in its software, such as those exploited by the recent Blaster and So Big viruses are also a cause of increasing concern.
Policymakers like Open source for many reasons, in theory, the software’s transparency increase security because ‘backdoors’ used by hackers can be exposed and programmers can root out bugs from the code. The software can also be tailored to the user’s specific needs and upgrades happen at a pace chosen by the user, not the vendor. The open source models of openness and collaboration has produced some excellent software that is every bit the equal of commercial, closed-source products. And, of course there is no risk of being locked in to a single vendor.
Thus, it is but expected that as the advantages and benefits of using OST become more recognized, its usage would increase substantially resulting in the demand for skills in this technology area.
Having said this however, Microsoft and Java are still popular technologies used by most companies globally and skills are in universal demand.
Keeping this prevailing trend in mind, the new ACCP World curriculum has been developed to provide students with skills in Open Source Technologies in addition to training Microsoft and Java technologies. This career course is aimed at catering to the IT manpower shortage expected over the next three years worldwide.
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