oDesk University Program Trains Next Generation of Online Workers

First Training for International Workers Offers Essential Career Skills

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – November 1, 2011oDesk, the world's largest online workplace, today announced that it has launched the industry's first international university program, engaging colleges and universities around the world in training the next generation of highly-skilled online workers. Through the new oDesk University Program, which includes University Seminars and an extended Apprentice Program, students will learn the essentials of building a career online--key to success in today's global economy.

"Online work is the future of work," said Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. "By helping the next generation of workers launch successful online careers, we will make a positive contribution not only to each student's life, but to the future global workforce at-large. Our goal with this program is to make an immediate impact by sharing best practices from our network of 1.4 million contractors - and to give students the tools they need to succeed in advancing their careers online."

Through the program, students will gain proficiency in a range of essential fields, including entrepreneurship, business ethics and international business communication. Successful graduates of the University Programs will apply their skills to become successful oDesk entrepreneurs. oDesk will also boost each student's career opportunities by helping to market their skills to top employers, which in turn benefit from gaining access to this professionally trained set.

oDesk selected Punjab University College of Technical Information (PUCIT), Pakistan's oldest university and home of the country's largest IT institute, as its initial partner for the oDesk University Program. This month, while the first first group of 20 PU students prepares to graduate from the program, oDesk is exploring plans to expand to other universities across the globe.

"In today's economy, graduation from higher education does not necessarily translate into immediate employment in any part of the world. Online employment is creating a greater opportunity pool for all students and students need training and mentoring in order to develop their ability to work online and remotely," said Dr. Syed Mansoor Sarwar, principal of PUCIT.

"oDesk has stepped in to fill this void by creating The oDesk Apprentice Program. This program enriches the careers of our students by helping them understand the nature of online work and its nuances. We believe that the results will also be tremendously beneficial to online employers worldwide and would most likely lead to formation of small technology companies by the graduates of this program in the long run."

For more information on oDesk's educational programs worldwide, please contact [email protected]

About oDesk

oDesk (www.oDesk.com) is the world's largest online workplace, enabling businesses to instantly hire, manage and pay a flexible online workforce.

With more than 1.4 million contractors, 100,000 new job opportunities each month and $179 million earned by contractors so far this year, oDesk has nearly doubled in size annually since 2005.

In 2011, oDesk was named the seventh fastest-growing company in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the 114th fastest-growing company in North America by Deloitte, and was ranked on the Inc. 500 for the third year in a row.

oDesk is a registered trademark of oDesk Corporation. Other trademarks used in this release are the property of their respective owners.

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Erica Benton

PR Manager

[email protected]