Ever since IBM convened the National Education Summit in 1999, we’ve made it a priority to expand ways for more Americans to enter the workforce – particularly in the technology industry. With increasing focus on how emerging technologies like AI will transform industries, IBM remains committed to helping Americans get the skills they need to work alongside technology in ways that help their everyday lives.
Despite economic uncertainties, the current unemployment rate remains historically low. The U.S. is experiencing a massive skills shortage across industries and employers are competing for workers with the right mix of skills and competencies for available positions.
We see and experience the workforce challenge from two perspectives: as one of the largest, most complex IT infrastructures in the world and as a leading global enterprise technology provider, serving clients across critical sectors as they transition to leverage hybrid cloud and AI technologies. IBM must attract, recruit, develop, and retain diverse talent to support our clients while continuing to be a leader in in emerging technologies including AI and quantum computing.
It is because of this experience that IBM understands the demand and the broad range of skills needed. As such, we had to rethink workforce, education, and professional development to meet today’s market needs and create well-paid jobs and more opportunities. To help address the skills gap, IBM is investing in the future of work with a holistic approach that fosters access to education and skilling while creating a more diverse pipeline of applicants. IBM offers a range of education, skills, and career readiness programs to students and job seekers at no cost – all grounded in skills and career tracks relevant to the era of AI.
IBM can’t do this alone, and we want to help other companies, institutions, and governments leverage our lessons and experiences to create real pathways to good technology jobs. Here, we offer our playbook for how U.S. businesses and the federal government can better use their resources to jump-start processes to skill Americans for in-demand jobs with rewarding careers and move toward a skill-based economy. Our skills-first approach aims to create a stronger and more diverse pipeline of candidates for technology-related jobs across all industries, reduces systemic barriers, and foster access to learning with trusted and verifiable credentials. We begin with recruitment and hiring, and close with our policy recommendations for Congress and the White House.