IBMers pursue second careers in math and science education

In the fall of 2008, more than 100 IBMers in the U.S. and the U.K. took steps to put their years of experience at IBM to work in K-12 education. Many are already working in the classroom, thanks to IBM’s Transition to Teaching. The program addresses the need to support our employees as they transition from IBM employment into fulfilling encore careers such as skilled science and math teachers.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 260,000 new high school math and science teachers were needed for the academic year 2008–2009. The shortage is also acute in the U.K. and other countries.

Acknowledging that a shift in vocation takes time and training, IBM helps underwrite the costs associated with earning a teaching certificate. Employees are eligible for a total of $15,000 for tuition reimbursement or stipends for up to a year of field experience.

IBM has also forged partnerships with many colleges and universities, state education departments and public school districts to help shape the program. More than 100 companies have expressed their interest in Transition to Teaching, with Intel Corporation launching an initiative modeled after our program.

Transition to Teaching has been so successful that IBM has broadened the Transition2 Teaching Program to serve the public sector in conjunction with Partnership for Public Service (link resides outside of ibm.com) as well as higher education and nonprofit organizations via a strategic alliance with The Bridgespan Group (link resides outside of ibm.com). Over the past year, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) (link resides outside of ibm.com), in partnership with IBM, has begun documenting the effects of this initiative and its potential to serve as a model for corporations willing to invest in future workforce development.

Point of View

“Building, energizing and maintaining a high-quality workforce is the key to success of any organization—in the public as well as the private sector.

IBM is leading the way through its close collaboration with the Partnership for Public Service, which resulted in the Fed Experience program. The goal is to identify, recruit and hire interested IBM employees and retirees and match them to key federal government jobs.

To meet the country’s most pressing challenges, government needs the right talent with the right skills in the right jobs, a mandate that provides businesses with the opportunity—and responsibility—to help revitalize government.”

Max Stier, President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service

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