RALEIGH, N.C. — IBM on Friday announced a plan to partner with several area universities to better prepare students for future information technology jobs.
IBM will develop a new curriculum for computer science and engineering classes at N.C. State, North Carolina A&T, Duke and UNC.
"We'll focus with universities on some skills that are emerging in the 21st century all-around innovation," said Margaret Ashida, of IBM university relations.
Students and faculty will do fellowships at IBM and receive free software and discounted hardware. "I think there's a big difference between academia and industry right now and I feel programs like this will help improve leadership skills, especially because we tend to be reclusive." said Sarah Smith, NCSU computer science student.
The initiative came about because IBM realized that what students were learning in the classroom was good, but not good enough. They also found fewer students are taking up computers.
"From what the surveys and studies have shown, in the next 10 years, we'll need probably a 1.5 million people in the information technology field and it looks like our national schools are not producing enough folks to actually fill those positions," said Mladen Voukin of NCSU's computer science department.
The company projects 19,000 new jobs this year. Most of the positions will be for people with technical skills.