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University of Louisville Partners with IBM to Train Future Workforce

The University of Louisville is partnering with IBM to establish an IBM Skills Academy to impart digital learning and technology skills onto students, the school announced on Wednesday.

The academy will provide curriculum and educational tools in popular technology areas like the internet of things, quantum computing, data science, design thinking, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, cloud computing and cybersecurity.

Housed in the newly-created Center for Digital Transformation in the Miller Information Technology Center on the Belknap Campus, IBM will spend at least $5 million a year to make available software and cloud technology to run the academy.

“But the value of this far exceeds that figure,” University of Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi said. “When you have two great institutions working together, who can say where the opportunity lies?”

“It is important for us to be nimble with this, to be truly transformative, to say, ‘We see what’s coming, how can we be proactive?’ I am extremely grateful to IBM.”

According to a Forbes report, jobs requiring AI skills have grown 4.5 times since 2013. Globally, companies spent $2.1 billion in 2018 on blockchain solutions.

Students studying at the academy will benefit through course credit and IBM certification, while faculty will be trained on skills curriculum, benefitting the community at large.

“These skills are the most critical issue of our time and the south has the highest number of employees without an education beyond high school,” Naguib Attia, IBM’s vice president of Global University Programs, said. “If we don’t work to close this gap, it could have a negative impact on millions of people.”

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