IBM Master the Mainframe Contest 2021 for Students

The application for the IBM Master the Mainframe Contest 2021 for Students is now open. This is the largest student mainframe competition in the world and it is returning for its 14th year in a row. This edition comes with new prizes and new challenges for students around the world. As a student, you can win prizes while gaining unique skills that will land you a career in Fortune 500 companies around the world. The interesting thing is that no experience is needed.

The application deadline is 17 January 2021 and it is open to students living in North America, Latin America, South. Asia, APAC, MEA, and Europe.

About the Award

This unique, virtual contest is open globally to high school and college students to progressively teach mainframe skills in a real-world enterprise computing environment. Employers from around the globe use this contest to seek out potential candidates for mainframe careers. The contest will take place in 3 parts.

Part 1: Learn the Basics

In part 1, students will meet the IBM Z mainframe and acquaint themselves with the user interfaces, the basic concepts, and data structures. IBM will provide step by step instructions to complete the challenges and set you up for success in Part 2.

Part 2: Practice

Students will program (advanced commands, system setup, and system navigation), develop (C, JAVA, COBOL, assembler, and REXX) and experience operating systems challenges on IBM Z.

Part 3: Try Challenges

In part 3, students will need to dive deeper using real-life scenarios encountered by experienced systems programmers. Challenges will put contestants to the test and identify those with the most drive and determination to master the mainframe.


Eligibility Criteria 

You will find below the eligibility criteria for the contest

  • Anyone who is currently a student at the high school or university level can compete — no experience is necessary.
  • The contest teaches the skills you’ll need and the competition difficulty increases as you progress through the contest phases.

Value of Award

  • Part 1 “Learn the Basics” Prizes:
    • $25 gift card to 300 randomly chosen from first 2,000 completions
  • Part 2 “Practice” Prizes:
    • Cash Prizes
    • $100 gift card to first 150 to complete
    • Exclusive QTUM Computer Webinar and Q&A Invite
    • Invite to randomly chosen 25 from all those that finish Part 2 correctly
  • Part 3 “Real World Challenge” Prizes:
    • $2750 travel stipend & IBM Master the Mainframe Hoodie to the top 2 individuals from EACH region
  • Grand Prize
    • The top 3 individuals globally will receive a $1,000 USD prize pack

Besides the awesome prizes, students can get unprecedented exposure to a variety of systems, software, and products. In addition, they can earn an Enterprise Computing Open Badge for their resume and social presences to impress potential employers. Moreover, this competition can even land them a job.


How to Apply

To apply for the contest, visit the contest application page. 

For more information on the contest, visit the official program webpage.

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