IBM offers staff ‘Master’s program’ through online learning platform Simplilearn

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IBM is offering its employees the chance to upskill and gain "master's programs" through online learning courses.

By U2B Staff 

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Computer giant IBM is offering its employees the chance to upskill and gain “master’s programs” through online learning courses provided by edtech company Simplilearn.

Recognising the importance of continued lifelong learning in today’s shifting and dynamic workplace, IBM has enlisted the startup to provide courses in data science and artificial intelligence. The new scheme will allow their employees to keep pace with in-demand tech-based skills that are so vital in today’s technology-centred economy.

The move reflects a growing swell among companies to provide their staff with upskilling. While once seen as a perk in a good company, it is quickly becoming a staple expectation for this generation of workers.

San Francisco and Bangalore-based Simplilearn will be providing four programs for employees to choose from. They will be taught through their web-based learning management system that directs students through live virtual classrooms, access to teaching assistants, self-paced video instruction courses and assessments.

The Data Scientist Master’s Program and AI Engineer Master’s Program have already been launched and are ready for use. The Data Analyst Master’s Program and Data Engineer Master’s Program, are expected to be available by the end of July.

“We are delighted to partner with IBM to bring our students the most comprehensive training programs available,” Krishna Kumar, CEO and founder of Simplilearn, said in a statement announcing the partnership.

“IBM is known not just for its innovation in the world of science, but for its dedication to client success. Together with IBM, we’re confident these “Master’s Programs” will provide everything our students need to launch new careers in data science and AI.”

While Simplilearn proudly calls the course offerings Master’s programs, they do in fact not come with any accreditation and are only intended as corporate training tools, Simplilearn’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Moran, told Education Dive.

“It’s around mastery, so we are highly focused on business outcomes and corporate training and how do you get somebody (to be) a master of that domain and able to be job-ready from the moment they graduate from that class,” Moran said, explaining that the name was not intended to confuse the course with a university accredited qualification.

IBM is far from the only company investing in the future of its current staff. As Amazon makes the switch to automated robots in their warehouses, the company announced Thursday it would be investing US$700 million to provide upskilling training opportunities for those staff in vulnerable positions.

Colleges and universities are hoping to capitalise on this influx of companies aiding employees’ educational aspirations. As lifelong learning becomes standard practice, the revenue to be gained from short-term courses and Master’s programs could be significant.