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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Where will we get the next generation of software developers? It is forecast that we will need two million more IT professionals in the next seven years. Traditional universities will graduate just 250,000 during that period. That means that seven out of every eight software developer positions will go unfilled by 2010.

Northface University in Salt Lake City is working hard to solve the problem. The new university promises to be the finest facility in the world to train software developers.

I recently visited with Graham Doxey, chairman and executive vice president of Northface, in the beautiful offices and classrooms at the Cottonwood Corporate Center. Graham explained to me that the need is so apparent that many top corporations including IBM, Microsoft and Beneficial Life have become industry partners. Northface will provide these partners and expected others, with a consistent source of trained graduates.

I was so impressed with the campus and the high-caliber of the faculty. Northface University professors are at the top of their field. Each one combines real world experience with a high degree of domain expertise.

Graham told me that Northface is changing the way that software developers are trained. For example, 90 percent of the material students from other programs learn is unrelated to what they need when they graduate. The curricula is heavily weighted on theory and not focused on the skills employers need. However, Northface students will experience a fast-paced, intense program. A bachelor's degree can be obtained in 28 months and an MBA in Enterprise Informatics can be obtained in 24 months. The courses will emphasize hands-on projects using relevant development tools.

It appears to me that Northface graduates will be well prepared to quickly enter the workforce with special skills that are in high demand.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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