Hundreds of colleges investing in this new student skills program

Growing fields will need students skilled in areas such as cloud computing and big data.

data-cloudMore than 300 colleges and universities across the globe have been enrolled in an IBM program that grants students access to skills to handle new workloads like big data, cloud, mobile, and social.

The explosion of data and the cloud has fueled the need for employees with specialized talent. Between now and 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster-than-average increase in employment opportunities for computer and information research scientists.

This means that employers in every industry are seeking job candidates who possess the skills to use the hardware that can uncover insights from data to solve problems, act on findings, enter new markets, and gain a competitive advantage.

(Next page: Participating universities)

Relaunched in October 2012 with only 135 schools on the roster, IBM’s Power Systems Academic Initiative has grown 152 percent over the last two years. Schools involved in the program include:

New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering offers a graduate level course in enterprise data management that provides students access to data store technologies, including IBM’s Power Development Cloud, DB2, nuodb/MySQL and MongoDB applications for processing very large datasets. With access to these platforms, students gain firsthand experience dealing with large data sets and gain important skills in data warehousing, ETL, optimization, and dealing with structured and unstructured data.

“Our goal for this course and the objective of IBM’s Power Systems Academic initiative are the same – to create a unique learning environment and facilitate skills development for our students, allowing them to focus on the techniques and principles instead of infrastructure,” said Raman Kannan, Adjunct Professor of Management of Technology at the NYU School of Engineering. “IBM’s initiative provides us access to advanced technology necessary for this environment.”

Meanwhile, researchers at Virginia Tech are using the Power Development Cloud to create and test parallel mathematical software for global and stochastic optimization.

“Global and stochastic optimization problems are ubiquitous in science and engineering,” said Layne Watson, Professor of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech. “IBM’s Power Development Cloud allows us to create new algorithms and software to help optimize models in ongoing projects in systems biology, machine learning, and aerospace engineering.”

These university partnerships support IBM’s Academic Initiative, which includes a larger network of more than 16,000 unique partnerships between IBM and higher education professionals to help advance curriculum in areas including Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing, Security and Social Business. IBM also recruits from universities and business schools throughout the U.S. via career fairs and info sessions, leading classroom discussions and participating in student organization events.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione