Deadline: December 30, 2017 00:00 CET
[Oops, the opportunity has already expired. Sign up to AlphaGamma weekly newsletters to stay ahead of the game] | Register here
Eligibility:  Anyone who is currently a student at the high school or university level can compete — no experience is necessary. The contest teaches the skills you’ll need and the competition difficulty increases as you progress through the contest phases.
Prizes: total of USD 76,000,-

IBM Master the Mainframe Competition 2017

It’s back! The largest student mainframe competition in the world has returned for its 13th year in a row with new prizes and new challenges for students around the world.

Win prizes while gaining unique skills that will land you a career in Fortune 500 companies around the world! No experience needed!

Register now and start the challenges today!

What is the Master the Mainframe contest?

This unique, virtual contest is open globally to high school and college students to progressively teach mainframe skills in a real-world enterprise computing environment.

Employers from around the globe use this contest to seek out potential candidates for mainframe careers.

Why Master the Mainframe?

Industry relies on the mainframe for their speed, reliability, scalability, and unmatched security.

Mainframes are critical to the success of a wide range of industries for high-speed cloud computing, real-time analytics, and more, just look at the numbers!

  • 80% of the world’s data
  • 44 out of the top 50 worldwide banks
  • 10 out of the top 10 insurers
  • 18 out of the top 25 retailers
  • 90% of the largest airlines
  • 87% of all credit card transactions ($7.7 trillion per year)

Master the Mainframe and you’ll be taking a giant step toward developing critical skills that are in hot demand by the world’s largest and most respected companies.

Why compete?

Besides the awesome prizes, you can get unprecedented exposure to a variety of systems, software, and products.

You can earn an Enterprise Computing Open Badge for your resume and social presences to impress potential employers.

Yup, that’s right. This competition can even land you a job!


  • Part 1 Prizes: Snag your Swag

$25 USD Amazon/Alibaba Gift Card for 750 contestants, taken from the first 3000 accepted challenges (a 1 in 4 chance) that are 100% correct.

  • Part 2 Prizes: Indulge Yourself

$100 USD Mastercard/Visa Gift Cards for the first 200 challenges that are 100% correct.

  • Part 3 Prizes: Show Off Your Talent

The top 2 individuals from EACH region (N. America, Latin America, S. Asia, APAC, MEA, and Europe) will win a $2750 travel stipend to visit the head office of IBM in their region and meet with key executives and recruiters on their project.

  • Each winning individual will receive a “Master the Mainframe Global Winner” Hoodie.
  • The top three individuals globally will receive an HTC Vive worth $799 USD.

How does it work?

Part 1: Learn the Basics

Meet the IBM Z mainframe and acquaint yourself with the user interfaces, the basic concepts, and data structures. IBM will provide step by step instructions to complete the challenges and set you up for success in Part 2.

Part 2: Practice

Students will program (advanced commands, system setup, and system navigation), develop (C, JAVA, COBOL, assembler, and REXX) and experience operating systems challenges on IBM Z.

Part 3: Try Challenges

Dive deeper using real-life scenarios encountered by experienced systems programmers. Challenges will put contestants to the test and identify those with the most drive and determination to master the mainframe.

For more opportunities, check our opportunities sections and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


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