Of course, some of the jobs that need to be filled in the coming years will be at IBM. Spohrer said these kinds of private-public partnerships are not unlike what the company did in the 1940s with establishing computer science, and again in the 1960s with mainframe computing and in the 1990s with eBusiness.
The nine new institutions partnering with IBM are Dublin City University, The George Washington University School of Business, the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, the University of Missouri College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, Mother Teresa Women’s University of India, the National University of Singapore, Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies, the Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
While some partnerships, like the one at The George Washington University, will yield full masters programs in business analytics, others will produce smaller initiatives such as the one-week intensive course at Georgetown. The collaborations will allow the universities to use IBM software as well as for access to local IBM experts.
“Big Data really is the new infrastructure,” Spohrer said. “It’s like the explosion of new opportunities around the steam engine, electricity and the early days of computers. This is just the next round. These data scientists will help transform the industry.”