As Microsoft is gears up for becoming one of the major players in the enterprise resource management market with its Dynamics product range, it is offering new recruits a share some of the action with a new course at Sheffield Hallam University.

IT whizzes will be taught management and IT skills to enable them to generate revenue as billable consultants within just four months of training on two Microsoft Dynamics MBA and MSc courses. Business-minded learners can choose between two career paths of systems or application consultants and will be matched to suitable Microsoft partners to begin their profession in enterprise resource planning.

The idea of the course is to allow applicants to change their vocation with minimal disruption to their income and addresses the shortage of business consultants in the industry, according to the people behind the courses.

Bob Drake, business development manager at Sheffield Hallam University, said: "Sheffield Hallam University has a good relationship with Microsoft. It was the first university in the UK to achieve Microsoft qualification partner status and runs a number of accredited courses. This is a great opportunity to train alongside Microsoft staff in real business scenarios, including theory and practical elements, which highlight the University's commitment to employability and business support. The flexibility and versatility of post-graduate programmes such as this allows students to train whilst working. In addition, this particular course also offers a chance for sponsorship."

Training will begin in September 2006 and will run twice a year. Teaching starts with four months at the University then becomes distance learning during their work placement through to completion of the MBA or MSc. Students will train for two Microsoft Business Solutions certificates during the first four months and complete a further MBS certificate whilst on placement to become a Master Certified Professionals.

The Microsoft Dynamics qualification is a partnership between Microsoft, Interquad Systems and Sheffield Hallam University. The University's IT Foundry was one of the founding members of Microsoft's Approved Academic Training Provider programme and was one of the first organisations to be approved within the new Microsoft Academy programme. Sheffield Hallam University also runs a range of foundation degrees accredited by Microsoft.

Jim Stirling