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Software Developer Offers Students Graphic Arts Industry Suite for Free

MetaCommunications has announced the launch of its Software for Students program, through which high schools, colleges, and career training institutes teaching graphic arts can use the company's Workgroups 2010 application suite free of charge.

The free package includes all of the following: unlimited user license for all modules, free upgrades and support, free professor and classroom instructor training, and a workgroups online option (fee applies) in order to avoid taking up local storage space with installation of the software.

Explained Robert T. Long, executive vice president of MetaCommunications, "Educators preparing students for careers in ad agencies, Internet marketing,... and many other industries are telling us that it's now more important than ever for their students to have a working knowledge of real-world electronic workflow and project collaboration skills."

Other necessary skills for real-world success include estimating, billing, scheduling, productivity techniques, and project management skills. The Workgroups 2010 suite is designed to give students a firm grounding in all of these areas.

The applications include:

  • Project & Workflow Management: visual database editor, file management and search, digital art catalogs, plugins for graphic design tools and AutoCAD, etc.;
  • Collaborative Proof Management: visual workflow designer, document approval processes and histories, proof management and review dashboards, trafficking and scheduling, etc.;
  • Document Storage Management: file classification and association, file searches, archiving automation and workflow, e-mail support, etc.; and
  • Financial Productivity Management: estimates, quotes, proposals, cost analysis, workflow analysis, invoicing, archiving, employee productivity analysis, etc.

Peggy Ann Dolan, who teaches graphic information technology at Arizona State University, said that students with these additional skills "have a distinct advantage in today's competitive market. For the past four years we have used the Workgroups suite as a resource to teach about MIS in the graphics field. It's been wonderfully instructive and we have had feedback from graduates that it has helped with their jobs and put them 'ahead of the pack.'"

The SfS program allows user institutions either to install the software suite onto an in-house network and use it free of charge, or to choose an online hosted option, which requires a monthly service fee.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.

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