ARMONK, N.Y., Aug. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has added nine new academic collaborations to its more than 1,000 partnerships with universities across the globe, focusing on Big Data and analytics -- all of which are designed to prepare students for the 4.4 million jobs that will be created worldwide to support Big Data by 2015. The company also announced more than $100,000 in awards for Big Data curricula. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130814/NY63777-INFO ) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO ) As part of IBM's Academic Initiative, the company is launching new curricula focusing on Big Data and analytics with Georgetown University, George Washington University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Missouri, as well as a new addition to IBM's partnership with Northwestern University. Internationally, IBM is partnering with Dublin City University, Mother Teresa Women's University in India, the National University of Singapore, and the Philippines' Commission on Higher Education to offer data-driven degree programs, coursework and specialization tracks. As part of today's news, IBM is also announcing the winners of its 2013 Big Data and Analytics Faculty Awards in which 14 university professors from around the world will receive $10,000 each for top rated curricula designed to develop the business and technical skills required for data-crunching jobs. The winning proposals include programs focused on computer science/electrical engineering, business administration, economics, strategic management, and math and statistics. "Leaders in business, education and government must take action to foster a new generation of talent with the technical expertise and unique ideas to make the most of this tsunami of Big Data," said Richard Rodts, Manager of Global Academic Programs, IBM. "To narrow this skills gap, IBM is committed to partnering with universities around the world to provide students with Big Data and analytics curriculum to make an impact in today's data-driven marketplace." The U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with data analytics skills during the next eight years. The need for this specialized talent is fueled by the explosion of Big Data -- or the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information generated daily from such sources as sensors, RFID networks, mobile devices and social media. As a result, employers in every industry are seeking job candidates who can uncover insights from data to solve problems, act on findings, enter new markets, and gain a competitive advantage. To narrow this gap, IBM is collaborating with more than 1,000 academic partners to develop curriculum that reflects the mix of technical and problem-solving skills that is necessary to prepare students for Big Data and analytics careers, across all industries. These collaborations span a variety of majors -- including business, marketing, mathematics and health services -- providing schools with access to IBM Big Data and analytics software, curriculum materials, case study projects, and IBM data scientists who visit classes as guest lecturers.