How IBM is Helping Address the Technical Skills Gap

The technical skills gap and need for new collar jobs continues to be a topic of discussion globally. And while IBM has launched new programs focused on apprenticeship and community colleges, we’ve also been a leader in the area of building new collar skills with the design and launch of the P-TECH 9-14 school model.

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Without P-TECH, I wouldn’t have been able to go to college because my parents couldn’t pay for it. Because of P-TECH, we were pushed to see the other side of things…” Leslieanne Johnson, P-TECH graduate

In 2011, IBM, along with the New York City Department of Education and The City University of New York, created Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), an innovative grades 9 to 14 public school model that provides students with a clear pathway from high school to college and career. In six years or less, students, who are not screened for admission, graduate with a high school diploma and a no-cost, two-year associate degree connected to a growth industry. Each P-TECH school works with a corporate partner, a local community college and school district to ensure an academically rigorous and economically relevant curriculum. Hallmarks of the program include one-on-one mentoring, workplace learning, structured workplace visits, paid summer internships and first-in-line consideration for job openings with the school’s partnering company.

As of June 2017, over 100 students have graduated from our P-TECH schools in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Chicago, I.L. schools. Many have gone on to pursue additional education, and several have started careers here at IBM, in areas like software development, design, and sales. Their preparation, learning, and on-the-job experiences that were gained while at P-TECH have prepared them for success and have equipped them with the skills they need to succeed.

For many of these students, they are in the first in their family to attend college, and programs like P-TECH, along with the support of their IBM mentors, have opened up opportunities that they may have never previously dreamed of.

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