Education

The new IBM Global University Programs website

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We’ve been working hard over the past 4 months to provide a revamped Global University Program Website.  The site features intuitive navigation allowing you to easily find resources for cloud, Watson/Cognitive, security, mobile, Blockchain, IoT, etc.

It’s my pleasure to make a few key announcements in this edition :

1. Solving the Skills Gap Challenge
The demand for a skilled technical workforce is increasing, but there is a gap in supply.  Where are the 21st century curricula in Data Science, Security, Big Data, IoT, and Blockchain?  Industries are creating their own curriculum to fill the skills gap. The IBM Skills Academy Program is a career enablement program that addresses the skill gap crisis in the United States.  With many new collar skills needed to fill new, emerging jobs, the IBM Skills Academy provides students a career oriented learning program focused on emerging technologies.  The certified career tracks are delivered through course ware and learning materials via IBM’s educational portal using Bluemix virtual labs and IBM assets.  The current tracks include mobile computing, cybersecurity, business analytics, big data, cloud computing and cognitive.  Blockchain and IOT are additional tracks that are being developed.

The program is designed to enable students for a real working environment and ultimately facilitate their development towards becoming employed IT professionals in the IT marketplace.  The North America deployment model will focus on partnering with universities that want to be the ‘flagship’ for their state.  A flagship university will be able to extend the program to community colleges, veteran and work force development at their own expense while maintaining the agreement with IBM and delivering the training to other universities. IBM currently is working with UMBC, WVU, NJIT, Notre Dame, UCLA, Ohio State, Florida International University, South Dakota, Colorado, and many others. This program has the ability to be offered in non-traditional educational institutions by non-traditional faculty while providing revenue to IBM at a per student cost for cloud access and other assets making today’s students tomorrow’s customers.  We are currently leading the market in this approach, but will lose this space if we do not act quickly to implement, support and develop it further.

2. Partnership with Professional Organizations
The IBM Global University Programs team participates in a number of professional organizations on behalf of IBM.  Each of these organizations provides unique value, as well as an opportunity to interact with peers in universities and other corporations.  University Industry Development Partnership (UIDP) members address issues impacting academic-corporate collaboration, providing a unique forum for member representatives to find better ways to partner.  It is a project oriented organization focusing on issues impacting university – industry relations.  Members work towards practical solutions to shared challenges impeding success.  Organizational decision makers with varying job functions and titles actively participate in UIDP programs. UIDP hosts two major conferences per year in addition to other project-related meetings throughout the year.  Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) brings business and higher education together to create successful undergraduate talent solutions to resolve these challenges.  Members address the need for diverse, high-performing graduates equipped to step into a rapidly evolving digital workplace.  In 2016, BHEF helped its members create partnerships to accelerate the development of new undergraduate pathways, particularly in data science and analytics and cybersecurity.  BHEF research produced outcomes with significant implications for talent development in higher education, including the release of the first-of-its-kind, industry-validated data science and analytics competency map for the enabled professional. Government-University-Industry Research Round table (GUIRR) convenes senior representatives from government, universities, and industry to define and explore critical issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda that are of shared interest; to frame the next critical question stemming from current debate and analysis; and to incubate activities of on-going value to the stakeholders.  GUIRR provides a unique forum for dialogue among top government, university and industry leaders of the national science and technology enterprise. It is a forum where a mix of sectors come together to understand how the other side thinks. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital because we support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. This type of support: Is a primary driver of the US. economy, enhances the nation’s security, and advances knowledge to sustain global leadership.  IBM is involved on many fronts with NSF — as a participant in NSF funded projects and also as a reference supporting universities who apply for NSF funding.  Many IBMers have also volunteered their time as participants on NSF Boards and committees.  The IBM Global University Programs team is often asked to write a letter for NSF funding on behalf of university partners.  IBM is also exploring a path to partnering with NSF on 21st Century STEM initiatives.

3. Partnership with Top Universities
Through IBM Global University programs, a wide range of resources are available to universities to explore new research domains.   These resources include Faculty, PhD, Collaboration and Technology Awards.  In addition, the IBM Academic Initiative makes available free of charge to all universities its suite of software technology and course ware through its cloud platform at onthehub.com/ibm/

Vice President, IBM Global University Programs

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