IBM will create a new IBM Skills Academy within the Center for Digital Transformation at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The tech giant has committed to providing the university US$5 million worth of software, cloud-based technology, services, and faculty training. Starting this fall, the academy will begin offering courses in eight emerging areas of technology: artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, quantum computing, data science, and design thinking. Courses will be open to students from all disciplines, not just those studying in STEM-related fields.
The IBM Skills Academy will be the first that IBM has developed with a higher education institution, although the company is in talks with four other U.S. universities to open similar academies.
Training the workforce in these fields “is the most critical issue of our time,” says Naguib Attia, IBM’s vice president of global university programs. The southern United States “has the highest number of employees without an education beyond high school,” he adds. “If we don’t work to close this gap, it could have a negative impact on millions of people.”