Though companies have become increasingly reluctant to pay for IT certifications, they may be willing to make an exception for a new certification being offered by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.
The association just awarded its first 13 certified outsourcing professional designations to folks from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Bell Canada International and Procter & Gamble.
The certification seems to be a tacit acknowledgement of what many analysts and other experts have been saying all along: Companies need to pay more attention to managing outosurcing providers, particularly those in offshore locales, or risk paying a heavy price.
Those tasked with managing outsourcing initiatives need a rare blend of knowledge: technology, international relations, law, finance and project management.
A number of those areas were covered in a class offered this fall at the University of Colorado at Boulder, during which students worked with a team of engineers in India to produce several small products.
The class was so useful, says a UC-Boulder professor of mechanical engineering design, that it is almost certain to be offered again and could expand into a full series of classes with an emphasis on outsourcing.