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IBM launches Open P-TECH, a free digital education platform focused on workplace learning and digital skills

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.

Photo by John Schnobrich from Unsplash.com

IBM launchedOpen P-TECH, a free digital education platform focused on workplace learning and digital skills. The platform, building on the industry leading P-TECH program, equips 14-20-year old learners and educators with foundational technology competencies. Training in technologies such as AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity, along with professional skills, like 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, IBM Executive Chairman. “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 (Pathways to Technology Early College High School) model has been adopted in 220 schools across 24 countries with over 150,000 students and 600 corporate partners. Open P-TECH scales the most essential workplace preparation elements of the P-TECH program making them available to more students than ever before. Open P-TECH 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. 

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 Brazil, for example, Bradesco will be deploying Open P-TECH to more than 9,000 high school students, making the program available for those most in need.

“Since 1956, Fundação Bradesco has offered free, quality education to thousands of students in Brazil. We understand that valuing education is the only way to face challenges and promote positive social and economic impacts,” said Jefferson Romon, Deputy Director of Fundação Bradesco. “With Open P-TECH and IBM, we are taking another step in the evolution of our digital education methodology so that the next generation of professionals has the promising future they deserve,” he added.

IBM believes that companies bringing advanced technologies to market have a responsibility to prepare students and workers for the way those technologies will shape jobs and the nature of our work. Innovation should unlock opportunities to make our workforce more inclusive, not less.  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: https://open.ptech.org

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