Course Summary
This apprenticeship is federal/state registered
Credit Type:
Occupation Title:
IBM Systems Support Lab Technician
Type of Apprenticeship Program:
Estimated length of On the Job Training (OJT):
1 year
Estimated length of Related Training Instruction (RTI):
400 hours
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Information Management
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Server Administration
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Computer Information Systems
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Introduction to Programming
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Scripting Languages
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Introduction to Databases
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Introduction to UNIX
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Introduction to Computers
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Information Systems Project Management
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Networking Fundamentals
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 6 Internship in Information Technology (Systems Support)
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Decision Making
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Business Communications
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Telecommunications Cable System Installation and Maintenance
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Computer Repair

Occupation Description:

System Support Technicians resolve issues impacting IBM client business and play a key role in enhancing the client experience. Technicians understand the client’s business and technical needs and act as their trusted advisors for successfully deploying IBM products. Technicians work in the Cognitive Support Platform, a ticketing system to track issues. They lead the problem resolution process through analysis and troubleshooting to deploying workarounds or fixes. Technicians leverage and train IBM AI and other cognitive-based knowledge sources for high-quality and timely problem resolution. They create and reuse knowledge assets and content to promote client self-sufficiency. Technicians collaborate with Development, Services, and Field teams to deliver solutions that drive improvements in product quality, functionality, and useability. They work as a team to consistently resolve issues faster, reduce risk, and prevent issues before they happen.

Program Description:

As a System Support Technician Apprentice at IBM, apprentices work with seasoned engineers and mentors to support our clients’ systems.

The apprenticeship consists of two parts – technical learning and on-the-job training.

The technical learning includes micro-credentials like professional skills, agile and design thinking, and more extensive certifications like the IBM Technical Support Professional and IBM z/OS Mainframe Practitioner. Apprentices specialize in either hardware or software support, depending on the team they join. The program also includes a broad range of fundamental skills in client support, diagnostic, and debugging skills.

During on-the-job training, apprentices apply agile principles and practices, business and professional acumen skills, and leverage IBM Design Thinking practices to demonstrate high standards of problem-solving behaviors. Apprentices build strong connections with the support team and the client to provide a top-tier client experience. Apprentices interact with clients to provide support via the ticketing system, which combines forum-like communication and a live agent chat feature.

System Support Apprentices gain the skills to be well-rounded technical support specialists who demonstrate strong communication skills, excellent teamwork and collaboration behaviors, solid technical skills in z/OS, and model good feedback behaviors. The program is an excellent pathway for a career within IBM’s technical support organization.

Program Objective:

This course aims to prepare students for a career as a Systems Support Lab Technician at IBM.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Decision-making: The student will be able to use creative thinking to solve problems, develop strategies for risk analysis and risk mitigation, conduct situational analysis, use decision support systems, conduct backward planning, allocate resources to resolve problems, and apply ethics to problem-solving.
  • Business Communications: The student will be able to demonstrate presentation skills, prepare effective business messages for culturally diverse audiences, communicate by written, oral, and visual methods, and compose clear and concise business letters, reports, memoranda, and emails.
  • Computer Information Systems: The student will be able to describe basic concepts of information systems and computer networks;, demonstrate knowledge of computer applications suite, demonstrate the use of Internet and email tools, and apply the use of computers in various environments.
  • Introduction to Programming: The student will be able to create programs using fundamental concepts; identify programming's role in cyber operations; create flow charts and design and implement pseudo-code to solve problems; identify variable types and strings; analyze, create, and compile programs; describe the use of classes and objects in programming; and explain vectors and create functions in programming languages.
  • Scripting Languages: The student will be able to discuss the basic techniques used to create scripts for automating administrative tasks, employ regular expressions in processing tex, demonstrate the use of scripting languages to manage applications using networks, explain how to use a scripting language to process other application's data; and show the use of scripting developing applications using networks and databases.
  • Introduction to Databases: The student will be able to input data into forms, download data sets for analysis, develop SQL reports, administer updates to the database management system (DBMS), and integrate the database with external systems.
  • Introduction to UNIX: The student will be able to describe the purpose and functions of a computer operating system; explain the function of UNIX-based commands; identify information about a computer's files using UNIX-based commands; identify network characteristics and status using the UNIX-based command line; and perform computer management functions.
  • Information Management: The student will be able to identify the fundamentals of information management and the information management cycle (processes and activities) without the aid of references; manage information, ensuring the timely availability of information for analysis and the broadest possible dissemination of raw and analyzed information; plan, collect and organize information, given scenarios of varied complexity; conduct a manager's briefing session to disseminate information to stakeholders with the aid of references, given a theme and automated and or non-automated resources, and classification guidance; and conduct an area assessment to validate, update, and provide additional data to fill existing information gaps from area studies and other sources
  • Information Systems Project Management: The student will be able to appraise the principles and practices for organizing, allocating, and managing project resources; analyze the project management framework, including the stakeholders, domains, phases, processes, integration, and life cycle; examine the potential complexities and pitfalls in initiating and closing projects and assess methods to mitigate this risk; appraise the unique challenges in managing the scope, time, and cost of information technology (IT) projects; assess the principles, strategies, challenges, and measures for managing the quality and risk of IT projects; and analyze the phases, procedures, deliverables, and best practices for business systems analysis.
  • Networking Fundamentals: The student will be able to define networking basics to include LAN, cabling, and Ethernet; perform networking addressing; explain network communication protocols; define and apply the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model and Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to define data layers; perform basic network troubleshooting; and employ IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and subnet masks.
  • Telecommunications Cable System Installation and Maintenance: The student will be able to install, troubleshoot, and perform preventive maintenance on fiber optic cables, copper cabling, cable racks, and cable rack support equipment; install cabling and cable runs; and demonstrate safe work procedures when performing cable and conductor systems' installation and maintenance.
  • Computer Repair: The student will be able to identify hardware Personal Computer (PC) components, identify storage types, apply service and repair procedures; provide maintenance and troubleshooting; identify procedures for optimizing PC performance; explain the functions on an Operating System, fix and maintain printers and peripheral devices; identify basic networking concepts and topologies; and provide essential network connection of PCs and devices.
  • Internship in Information Technology, Systems Support: Analyze a complex computing problem and apply operating system administration principals and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions; analyze a complex computing problem and apply principles of programming and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions, evaluate the requirements for a specific system configuration and recommend solutions based on the requirements, create the program to meet the objectives, function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the task, identify and analyze user needs, then create, and integrate solutions in the computing-based project, demonstrate the application of knowledge and skill sets acquired from the courses and workplace in the assigned job function, exhibit critical thinking and problem-solving skills by analyzing underlying issue/s and apply to the project challenges, recommend ideas to improve work effectiveness and efficiency by analyzing requirements then considering viable options.
Instruction & Assessment

Instructional Strategies:

  • Audio Visual Materials
  • Classroom Exercise
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Computer Based Training
  • Discussion
  • Practical Exercises
  • Work-based Learning
  • Performance Rubrics (Checklists)
  • On-the-Job Training

Methods of Assessment:

  • Examinations
  • Performance Rubrics (Checklists)
  • Quizzes
Supplemental Materials