Skills Development

Start on the path to lifelong learning and employability with IBM

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In 2020, the global workforce lost an equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs, an estimated $3.7 trillion in wages and 4.4% of global GDP, a staggering toll on lives and livelihoods. While vaccine rollout has begun and the growth outlook is predicted to improve, an even socio-economic recovery is far from certain.

As we look to recover the global economy, we must continue to push the talent paradigm and expand ways for people to enter the workforce. Together, the private and public sectors and educational institutions must adjust training and education practices to prioritize pathways and skills that allow people to conveniently access today’s most in-demand jobs. The key is to shift focus from credentials to capabilities, and make acquiring those skills more accessible than ever, so that more people can be prepared for success in new collar jobs where having the right skills matters more than having a traditional degree.

Part of the problem is that education and industry have focused too heavily on just one path to a good job: a bachelor’s degree. For those just entering the workforce and those who need mid-career reskilling, we need to expand access to and awareness of other pathways to developing the skills and capabilities they need for great careers.


Through programs that scale rapidly, IBM is working to tackle the high-tech skills gap and put more people on track for success in new collar careers.

We’ve invested millions of dollars in programs to help train and prepare the global workforce for a new era of technology, including:

  • The P-TECH school model, a 6-year program that offers a high school diploma and an associate degree, along with real-world work experience and mentorship – all at no cost to students.
  • Our 21st century apprenticeship program, which provides on-the-job training in areas from blockchain to cybersecurity and mainframes, and which grew nearly twice as fast as projected in its first year.
  • Community College partnerships: IBM has partnered with community colleges across the United States to provide curriculum reviews, in-classroom subject matter experts, and various pathways to employment.
  • Returnships for women re-entering the workforce, veterans training programs and volunteer skills-building sessions for more than 2 million students worldwide.

Getting YOU started on your learning journey the right way: SkillsBuild

SkillsBuild is a digital platform providing jobseekers—including those with long-term unemployment, refugees, asylum seekers and veterans—a multimodal journey. Digital, live-virtual and face-to-face, the SkillsBuild experience includes career fit assessments, training, personalized coaching and the experiential learning users need to re-enter the workforce.

The comprehensive ecosystem of support, coaching and other learning experiences designed to empower learners, is what differentiates SkillsBuild. This ecosystem includes experts who understand the challenges users face outside of learning and these experts are also given an opportunity to upskill so that they can be successful in their role.

Once you’ve explored the various pathways for FREE. You can take the next step and develop deeper skills in your career of choice with IBM Professional Certificates on Coursera or edX.

IBM on Coursera

IBM on edX



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