IBM Offers to “Reskill” Millions on Gen AI

Any chief financial officer knows it costs a ton of cash to properly train workers. After all, training is the price companies pay to build a knowledge-based workforce.

Unfortunately, the cost of training just keeps going up. In fact, U.S. corporate training expenditures just passed the $100 billion mark for the first time, according to Training magazine.
(That figure now stands at $101.6 billion, the magazine reports.)

When it comes to per-person training expenditures, companies paid $1,207 on average for per-employee training in 2022, compared to $1,071 in 2021, Training’s “2022 Training Industry Report.”

As more companies turn to artificial intelligence training (42% of companies believe that to be “prioritized” according to a recent study by the World Economic Forum) the potential training costs are rising to “millions of dollars.”

CFOs looking to build an AI skills training budget don’t necessarily have to cough up millions of dollars to get workers up to speed on all things AI – not when companies like IBM are giving AI training courses on AI away for free.

You heard it right.

On September 18, IBM announced a new plan to train two million “AI learners” by the end of 2026.

To get to the two million “learners” market, IBM says it’s “expanding AI education collaborations with universities globally, collaborating with partners to deliver AI training to adult learners, and launching new generative AI coursework through IBM SkillsBuild, the company’s training program for student, younger career professionals, and other learning demographics.

The program is tailor-made for companies looking to train their workforce – especially entry-level workers – on AI tools like chatbots, generative AI apps, and software, and for general workplace administrative uses like writing emails, interacting with customers, and running help desks.

A new IBM Institute of Business Value study concludes that 40% of senior executives estimate that implementing AI and automation will require 40% of their workforce to reskill over the next three years, mostly those in entry-level and administrative positions.

“AI skills will be essential to tomorrow’s workforce,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM vice president & chief impact officer. “That’s why we are investing in AI training, with a commitment to reach two million learners in three years, and expanding IBM SkillsBuild to collaborate with universities and nonprofits on new generative AI education for learners all over the world.”

Current coursework studies include prompt writing, getting started with machine learning, improving customer service with AI, and generative AI in Action, IBM states.

“AI-enhanced features within the IBM SkillsBuild learning experience will include chatbot improvements to help support learners throughout their journeys, and tailored learning paths based on each learner’s personal preferences and experiences,” the company noted. “These courses are all completely free and available to learners around the world. At course completion, participants will be able to earn IBM-branded digital credentials that are recognized by potential employers.”

Companies looking for help in AI training can start by steering younger workers to IBM SkillsBuild for free of charge and with programs available all over the globe.

According to IBM, the open version of IBM SkillsBuild is an online platform which offers over 1,000 courses in 20 languages on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analysis, cloud computing and many other technical disciplines — as well as in workplace skills such as Design Thinking.

“Most importantly, participants can earn IBM-branded digital credentials that are recognized by the market,” IBM states.

An enhanced partner version of IBM SkillsBuild may also include “workshops, expert conversations with IBM coaches and mentors, project-based learning, access to IBM software, specialized support from partners through the learning process, and connection to career opportunities,” IBM adds.

Not all workers qualify for the program but many do. For more information, contact IBM SkillsBuild via the sign-up page.

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