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Program opens market for students

UNM participates in Global Wireless Education Consortium

UNM engineering students may now find the job market friendlier after graduation.

The University was recently accepted to participate in the Global Wireless Education Consortium, which some University officials say could bring more jobs to people in New Mexico - including UNM graduates.

Christos Christodoulou, electrical and computer engineering department chairman, said UNM's involvement with the Global Wireless Education Consortium will give new graduates a better variety of career opportunities.

"Basically what happens is a lot of companies in the United States have to hire about 250,000 foreign high-tech workers because United States universities cannot produce enough workers in the area of wireless technology," Christodoulou said. "When our students get out, they will be very attractive to the industries."

Christodoulou said that's why top technological companies formed the Global Wireless Education Consortium - to provide top-of-the-line training to the next generation of engineers.

The consortium was formed by Lucent, Ericsson, Motorola, Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T Wireless, Nortel Networks, Nokia Telcordia Technologies, Raytheon and Agilent Technologies.

UNM's involvement will also make it easier for students to acquire internships with the companies involved, Christodoulou said.

Though UNM is the only New Mexico university involved in the program, that doesn't mean other schools will be left out.

Chaouki Abdallah, a UNM electrical and computer engineering professor, said the program will provide breakthrough information for universities all over the world.

Abdallah said companies leading the program will ask certain universities to create courses in the area of wireless technology, which can include anything from cellular and satellite communications to sensors and signal processing. Once the courses are created, other universities can access the information.

"The schools got together with the companies and came up with the skeleton for courses," Abdallah said. "This will help determine what courses are needed for the advancement of wireless technology."

Students will not be the only beneficiaries though. Both Christodolou and Abdallah said the economy is expected to benefit from the Global Wireless Education Consortium and its focus on technology, especially cellular and satellite communication.

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"All of those areas will be very important in the future for keeping the United States economy strong," Christodolou said.

He said the program will be available as long as UNM remains a valuable member. Christodolou said what makes UNM valuable is its strong contact with Latin American universities in the field of telecommunications.

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