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IBM Launches New Skills Programs To Help Students And Technology Professionals Prepare For Jobs Of The Future

ARMONK, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an array of programs and resources to help students and IT professionals develop new technology skills and prepare for jobs of the future. The initiatives include new training courses and resources for IT professionals, technology and curriculum materials for educators and expanded programs to directly engage students with real-world business challenges.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

The new resources will help reduce a critical technology skills gap outlined in IBM's 2012 Tech Trends Report released today. The report, authored by the IBM Center for Applied Insights, found that only 1 in 10 organizations has the skills needed to effectively apply advanced technologies such as business analytics, mobile computing, cloud computing and social business. In addition, nearly half of the educators and students surveyed feel there is a major gap in their institution's ability to meet the growing demand for advanced technology skills.

To view an interactive graphic that illustrates key findings from the report visit: IBM.com/developerworks/techtrendsreport/fasttrack.

"Having a highly skilled workforce is critical to an organization's ability to innovate, meet client demands and grow," said Jim Corgel, general manager, academic and developer relations, IBM. "In response to the growing IT skill gap, IBM is expanding its skill development programs in key areas such as cyber security, mobile computing and commerce."

New Curriculum, Technology & Training for Faculty In the U.S. alone, IT jobs are expected to grow by 22 percent through 2020 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. To help faculty better prepare students for these opportunities, IBM today unveiled the largest expansion of its Academic Initiative since the program began.

For the first time, IBM will offer access to curriculum and training resources on IT security to help students gain market-ready cyber security skills.  Cited as the top barrier to adoption of advanced technologies in the IBM Tech Trends Report, cyber security is also a key job growth area. The information cyber security workforce is expected to nearly double by 2015.  The new cyber security offerings include:

  • Pre-Packaged curriculum that brings real-world technology security scenarios into the classroom, helping students understand enterprise challenges and do in depth analysis of the trends uncovered in the IBM X-Force report.
  • No-charge access to security software that professors can use in the classroom to teach students how to test applications for bugs and check network and virtualized servers for vulnerabilities. Professors and students can remotely access the newest zEnterprise mainframe, a highly secure system that can be used to prepare students for real-world computing challenges using enterprise IT skills.

The ability to bring the latest enterprise technology directly into the classroom at no additional cost is critical in building skills. In addition to cyber security, IBM now provides software licenses and how-to training materials in three new areas:

  • Big Data & Analytics: Now professors can bring big data software directly into the classroom with access to a variety of IBM big data offerings. E-Books and learning modules on Hadoop geared for business and computer science students are also available.
  • Commerce: Now professors can download digital marketing and analytics software from IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative for use in the classroom. Through a series of hands-on learning modules, students study topics like benchmarking and learn how to develop code to uncover online buying patterns. 
  • Mobile Computing: New hands-on learning modules on HTML 5 and DOJO prepare students to develop mobile applications. Professors can also download IBM mobile development software to give students hands-on experience.

To help faculty update their skills on advanced technologies, IBM today unveiled a Knowledge Exchange. This online resource allows professors from around the world to share and collaborate on courseware and best practices. The initial offerings in the Knowledge Exchange will feature curriculum from winning IBM Smarter Planet grant faculty members.

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