At the recently concluded Think Digital conference, technology company IBM launched a free digital education platform called Open P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High School), which is focused on workplace learning and digital skills. Open to learners aged 14-20 years old and educators, the platform provides modules for students and teachers that include courses on emerging technologies and courses on professional competencies, both leading to free digital badges that students can share on their online resumes.
Building on the P-TECH program, enrollees will also have a chance to upskill on Design Thinking, that are highly valued in the market set Open P-TECH apart. It offers content in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
“As the pandemic accelerates digital transformation, new ways of learning must keep pace if we are to equip all young people with skills relevant to the digital era and marketplace,” said Ginni Rometty, executive chair, IBM. “On the one hand, this is a massive challenge; on the other, this presents a great opportunity to better prepare people for new collar careers. Open P-TECH is a free platform designed to provide relevant workplace skills to anyone in the world so they can be successful in this digital era.”
First launched by IBM in 2011, the P-TECH model has been adopted in 220 schools across 24 countries with over 150,000 students and 600 corporate partners. Using the platform, students preparing for internships and new collar jobs earn the same badges as professionals in the field.
In tandem with this, IBM is offering online webinars on a variety of workplace topics, along with activities that students can engage in over the summer. Initially launched across Australia, Brazil, India, and the United States, Open P-TECH will bring components of the P-TECH model to 250,000 additional students in these countries, many of whom would otherwise not have access to innovative digital learning.
In addition to Open P-TECH, the company’s efforts to expand the pipeline for technology jobs include:
The IBM Tech Re-Entry Program is a paid returnship for technical professionals who have been out of the workforce for at least 24 months and are looking to re-enter the workforce. The program provides participants training, access to tools and technology, mentorship, and work assignments on technical projects that are matched to their expertise.
The IBM Apprenticeship Program, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, includes a 12-24 month program that pairs apprentices with an IBM mentor to work on actual IBM projects in technology’s fastest-growing fields, such as cybersecurity, mainframe administration and software development.
Open P-TECH is now available to students and teachers worldwide. Register here.