Why IBM launched its very own STEM high school
- Pathways for Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), IBM's technical high school in Brooklyn, NY, is training a new generation of tech talent, Business Insider reports. More than 570 students attended P-TECH during the 2016-2017 school year.
- Founded in 2011, P-TECH focus on training students from local, low-income communities in STEM topics with the aim of addressing the need for more of these skills in the workforce.
- Many students go on to pursue college degrees at New York City College of Technology and other universities around the state. P-TECH graduates can also apply for entry-level positions at IBM, where they're considered "first in line" among applicants, Business Insider says.
The introduction of a technology-focused high school in the middle of a disadvantaged neighborhood in NYC is a good move for several reasons. It gives students who might otherwise not be exposed to potential careers in technology a more level playing field from which to launch their careers — leading towards more diversity in hiring.
It also provides advanced technology training for future generations of IBM employees, something that can give the company an advantage in a crowded market. Big Blue joins a growing list of top companies, including JPMorgan Chase and GE, that realize the importance of high school job training programs in building a stronger tech talent pipeline.
This is something more public education needs to include in order to produce talent in the midst of serious shortages. It will be interesting to see which models emerge from the need for greater collaboration between industry and the American education system — a trend noticed by top federal officials like Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.
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