In an effort to better equip students with the Information Technology (IT) skills needed for high value IT job opportunities, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced that faculty in the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) will have access to advanced IT training materials. These resources, from the IBM Academic Initiative, will help students in the state prepare for high-demand jobs in areas such as business analytics, cloud computing and cyber security.
"Through this cutting-edge program from IBM, our students can learn critical new IT skills that lead to good-paying, in-demand jobs," Gov. Tomblin said. "I am grateful for the number of companies, including IBM, who continue to help lead the way in enhancing instruction through industry-relevant partnerships and for opening the door to so many opportunities for West Virginians to obtain advanced technical skills from which the next generation of computer experts will embark."
As more organizations turn to technology to solve tough business challenges, the need for skilled IT professionals continues to grow in all industries. In the U.S. alone, IT jobs are expected to grow by 22 percent through 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The IBM Academic Initiative provides higher education faculty members around the world no-charge access to software, curricular content and instructional resources on important technology areas such as big data, analytics, commerce, mobile, cyber security and cloud computing. By learning with the latest enterprise technology and studying real-world scenarios, students gain market-ready skills before they graduate.
"Training students for jobs in cloud computing, business intelligence, database systems, and other IT-related fields calls for instructional content that is current and industry-relevant," said James Skidmore, WVCTCS Chancellor. "The IBM Academic Initiative provides pertinent technical content to faculty and students that would be unavailable were it not for this partnership."
"IBM is committed to help closing the growing IT skills gap by providing students and faculty with access to leading enterprise software and learning resources," said Jim Corgel, general manager academic relations, IBM. "These technology skills are increasingly important to IBM right here in West Virginia, as we support our clients."
The IBM Academic Initiative is a global program facilitating the collaboration between IBM and educators to teach students the information technology skills they need to be competitive and keep pace with changes in the workplace. More than 6,000 colleges and universities, and 30,000 faculty members, worldwide have joined IBM's Academic Initiative. West Virginia is the first U.S. state to register all of its community and technical colleges with this program.
All WVCTC colleges are currently working to integrate the IBM content into their classes.
To view an interactive graphic that illustrates key findings from the IBM Technology Trend Report conducted by the Center for Applied Insights visit: www.ibm.com/developerworks/techtrendsreport/fasttrack.