In one of our rare-ish forays away from the office, CertMag popped in on TestOut Corporation's 2015 Conference, held in beautiful Moab, Utah.
TestOut, the leader in online labs for academia and IT professionals, has been expanding across the globe, and because of our neverending quest to bring you the best in IT certification coverage we wrangled an invite to their conference. We hit the ground Tuesday evening just in time for a delightful meet-and-greet "� seriously the hors d'oeuvres were incredible.
Many of TestOut's international partners were in attendance to discuss challenges and opportunities in bringing IT training to their countrymen. TestOut has recently opened a European office in the United Kingdom, and signed deals in Brazil, the Philippines, Australia, South Africa and the Caribbean. English, Portuguese, Spanish and other languages filled the air. It was a veritable United Nations of distinguished IT professionals and companies.
As the world becomes more connected, the demand for trained IT professionals is exploding - especially outside of North America. One area of particular interest to CertMag is India. (Our corporate sovereign, GoCertify, launched GoCertify India earlier this year.) Among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc of nations, India experienced the highest growth rate in their software market last year - eight percent. According to the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report, India has taken significant strides to become more business-friendly. India is currently ranked 142 out of 189 countries, but with changes in their business laws, financing and the spread of e-business, India is expected to feature among the Top 50 within the next three years.
While in attendance at the TestOut Conference, held at the Canyonlands By Night & Day events center, we got to hear firsthand about India's massive IT market. Jetking's Chairman and Managing Director, Suresh Bharwani, gave an informative presentation on the opportunities and challenges of IT training in India. Jetking is India's foremost computer hardware and networking institute, and has trained more than 6,000,000 students in IT.
We also spoke with officials from eTraining, a Colombian-based company with operations in Central America and the Andean region of South America, specializing in integrating IT solutions for the educational sector and training in different fields for teachers, students and professionals.
"As a company we are developing new ways of learning through the use of ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) and our mission is to offer IT solutions and professional training programs to support economic growth and social development in our region," said Dairo Rodriguez, VP of Sales for eTraining. "We are very confident that working as a partner with TestOut we will not only address our mission but we will also establish our company as a leader in the educational market."
On balance, TestOut Conference 2015, which concluded its three-day primary agenda earlier today, was a well-run, informative event spilling over with great information about the demand for IT training and certification in business, government, the military and academia. Lots of ideas and opinions were shared regarding different corporate and governmental regulations in the various countries and regions, and how best to develop patterns of success for training.
In a statement to media, Noel Vallejo, President and CEO of TestOut, spoke of the company's effort to make a difference in people's lives through education utilizing breakthrough technology. "As a part of our efforts to touch the lives of students around the world and give them greater opportunity for successful careers in Information Technology (IT), we continue to aggressively pursue business in several international markets," Vallejo said.
CertMag had a great time at the conference. We even got to go on a Hummer tour of the world-famous Hell's Revenge Trail. Not for the faint of heart, Hell's Revenge there is some dispute whether Satan himself actually pokes at the tires and tailpipes of the vehicles that dare traverse the steeply tilted slickrock slabs of this sandstone wonderland provides a superb natural adrenaline rush. It's a two hour, white-knuckle roller-coaster ride through some of the most beautiful - and terrifying - scenery we've ever seen. We weren't the only ones enjoying this unlikely adventure. Many of the TestOut visitors had never seen anything like it. What a rush!
We wish we could have enjoyed more of Moab's natural splendor (Arches National Park and its world-famous Delicate Arch are just outside of town), but you can only pad an expense report so much.