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How IBM is helping students prepare for careers in tech

Posted at 12:48 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 16:09:10-04

There are currently thousands of open jobs in technology, and employers looking to fill those jobs aren’t just looking at a candidate's previous work experience or degree: they want the people with the right skills to do the job. This creates new opportunity for those who can pick up the skills they need to work in fast-growing technology fields like cybersecurity, cloud computing and digital design. But how can they learn these new skills?

IBM has extended its online education resources for teachers, students and parents on IBM Skills, offering them the ability to tap into new knowledge and online credentials - anytime, anywhere and for free. The site also features live events and professional development webinars powered by IBM Volunteers.

As part of IBM Skills, IBM has created an educational platform to equip young people and educators around the world with knowledge about Cybersecurity, AI, Cloud Computing, and more — as well as professional skills like resume writing and interviewing — all for free. The initiative is called Open P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School), and it includes free digital learning for anyone about the tech and professional skills needed to success in today’s job market, including:

  • Engaging videos and even educational games that break down complex topics such as Artificial Intelligence at a 10th-grade reading level
  • Courses also unpack valuable professional skills like Design Thinking, resume writing, and interviewing.
  • And, a teacher-friendly digital library and platform for professional development and blended learning, allowing teachers to become familiar with technologies such as artificial intelligence, Blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud, and quantum computing.

Students who want to explore topics more deeply and differentiate themselves can also earn digital badges that they can put on their resumes and social media accounts, offering students a cost-free way to demonstrate their knowledge and skills as they apply for employment or higher education. Additionally, teachers can also stay connected with students outside the classroom with access to activities and lesson plans to extend the learning that students complete on the platform. The free IBM program is available globally and also comes with a student progress dashboard to monitor progress and assign new content to students.

Open P-TECH builds on the success of IBM's education model, P-TECH. Created in 2011, the public education model addresses education and workforce development challenges where students graduate with high school diplomas, a no-cost associate's degrees aligned to industry needs, and workplace experiences, including paid mentorship and internships. P-TECH is a direct response to the challenge of the STEM skills shortages, especially among underserved youth.