IBM brings skills academy to San Jose State University 

SOURCE: Shutterstock
San Jose State University wants to prepare its students for the high-tech jobs of Silicon Valley.

By U2B Staff 

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The IBM skills academy is coming to San Jose State University (SJSU), opening the doors to a raft of new opportunities for students eyeing Silicon Valley jobs.

Billed as the first of its kind on the West Coast, the strategic collaboration between the university and the technology giant aims to equip graduates with the latest, most in-demand skills in emerging technologies such as the internet of things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), data science, security, and blockchain to name a few. 

Collaborations like this one grow more and more necessary each day, as technological progress continues to outpace skills development everywhere around the world.

In the US alone, AI is expected to contribute US$15.7 trillion to the US economy by 2030. A widening skills gap says over 11.5 million workers across the country will likely need to be retrained or reskilled as a result of this breakneck pace of growth. 


From where it sits in Silicon Valley, the beating heart of global technology innovation, SJSU’s alliance with IBM isn’t just necessity–it’s simply good sense.

“It makes perfect sense for Silicon Valley’s public university to collaborate with IBM, a giant in the tech world,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian pointed out in a media release on the collaboration announced last week. 

She noted that a key priority of SJSU is to grow research and scholarship, both of which are directly tied to the institution’s student success goals.

“This collaboration,” she said, “will help San Jose State students gain the skills they need to compete in tomorrow’s workforce, and it will solidify SJSU as the top provider of talent to Silicon Valley companies.”

IBM Skills Academy
SJSU President Mary A. Papazian and IBM Global University Programs Vice-President Naguib Attia pose for a picture at the collaboration announcement. Source: Shutterstock

According to the release, the collaboration will feature three key components on campus: IBM Academic Initiative, SJSU Technology Office, and IBM Skills Academy.  

Through the IBM Academic Initiative, SJSU students, staff and faculty will receive access to all teaching and research resources via a unique, customised portal provided by the firm. The initiative also provides faculty and researchers IBM’s cloud technology and software in fields like AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, data science, high-performance computing, and quantum computing. 


IBM will also help the institution set up a Technology Office to support faculty research, student growth, and campus-wide innovation through regular workshops and training. In the future, a cybersecurity training centre will make its debut at the SJSU campus.

The IBM Skills Academy, meanwhile, offers learners a practical curriculum, learning tools, and labs created by IBM subject experts. Courses will cover various advanced skills in areas like data science, AI, data engineering and cybersecurity. 

“Skills are the most important issue of our time and we need to fully equip students with the right skills to participate in the digital economy,” said Naguib Attia, vice president, IBM Global University Programs. 

“Through this new collaboration, we will work closely with San Jose State University to ensure curricula aligns with industry needs and trends so both students and faculty can earn digital badges and develop the skills they need today, for the jobs of tomorrow.”