As one of technology’s leading innovators over the decades, IBM has long been helping shape the role emerging tech plays in regions across the globe—creating not only more efficient workflows, but also building entirely new industries.
But the potential of technology to reshape our world shouldn’t stop at simply improving businesses’ financial bottom-lines. With IBM’s “smart for good” thrust, the tech giant has developed a three-pronged suite of programs called Good Tech IBM, benefitting not only IBMers and their clients, but—they hope—the world at large.
This web portal empowers IBM employees, retirees, and community partners with the tools they need to organize social good initiatives across impact areas such as education, disaster resiliency, and health.
One activity launched through this platform was Project OWL (Organization, Whereabouts, Logistics). A hardware/software solution conceived by a team of developers, it helps create a temporary, low-cost network to keep people and emergency workers in touch post-disaster. Project OWL won the first Call for Code Global Challenge, which asked developers worldwide to create tools using open source-based technologies for humanitarian crises.
Other examples include two new initiatives targeting STEM education among Indian women. Working with seven state education departments, IBM plans to reach 200,000 girls over three years to build their confidence in pursuing STEM careers by developing their computational thinking capabilities and life skills. Together with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, they’re also enabling a two-year advanced diploma in cloud and data at 100 Government Industrial Training Institutes, 50 percent of which are intended for women. These and similar ongoing efforts are expected to benefit more than a million female students by 2022.
Because of the dizzying pace of technology, students oftentimes end up with know-how that’s already passé by the time they graduate. IBM is trying to narrow this skills gap through their pre-university education program, P-TECH.
Intended to complement the K-12 curriculum, P-TECH’s focus on emerging technologies prepares students for “new collar” jobs, careers opening up in the fastest growing fields in technologies.
The first P-TECH program in the Philippines is in Taguig City University. This year’s pioneer batch will learn the principles of AI, data science, cybersecurity, and all the latest tech from mentors in the industry. IBM Philippines hopes to eventually expand the program nationwide. Corporate Citizenship Manager Andrea Escalona says that they are opening the P-TECH model to other companies and can even help them incorporate it in their CSR plans.
Among the students enrolled in the said program is Mont Cedric Murillo, who at Grade 11 is happy about his career prospects: “I have an interest in art and technology, so I want to be a graphic designer. I think with the help of P-TECH my dream of achieving that is just one step away.”
SkillsBuild is an online learning platform that helps learners and job seekers upskill and re-skill through learning experience and community. Those who sign up will be personally assessed for capabilities and personality, followed by a recommendation for role-based education for specific jobs and highly sought-after professional skills. Learners have the opportunity afterwards to apply their new skills on real projects as well as build up a portfolio and explore what they are most keen about. President and Country General Manager of IBM Philippines Aileen Judan-Jiao says “both P-TECH and SkillsBuild will not just focus on technical skills but also on soft skills like critical problem-solving, design thinking, and project management.”
The three available pathways are as follows:
Foundations: Working in a digital world – Learn topics such as new concepts in computing to how you can best craft email for a global team.
Customer service representative – From shopping to keeping servers online, learn the best ways to help people and make everything run more smoothly.
Web developer – Learn about the world of development and get on the path to writing your own code and solving meaningful problems.
SkillsBuild was developed by IBM in collaboration with key learning partners selected for their pedagogy expertise and innovative technology: CodeDoor, Coorpacademy, Credly, MyInnerGenius, SkillSoft.