IBM is donating $100 million in big data and analytics software and establishing programs at 100 universities in China as part of the IBM U-100 project to foster a future workforce skilled in big data and analytics.
The company said Tuesday that U-100 is an extension of the existing partnership between the company and China’s education ministry and aims to train 40,000 students annually after its rollout in mid-2015.
“Together we will be able to accelerate the nurturing of skills in Big Data and Analytics and help prepare future business leaders to apply BD&A technologies to tackle complex societal issues, from health care to transportation and public services,” said D.C. Chien, IBM Greater China Group’s chairman and chief executive officer.
The company plans to launch undergraduate- and graduate-level BD&A programs, BD&A Technology Centers and Centers of Excellence and provide technical training for faculty at the participating universities, as well as offer Massive Open Online Courses through its deal with kaikeba.com.
Beijing Institute of Technology, Fudan University, Guizhou University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Peking University, South China University of Technology and Xi’an Jiaotong University are among the institutions piloting BD&A programs.
These programs are centered on training students to fill the growing demand for data scientists and chief data officer, IBM said.
The company added that the Centers of Excellence will also enable universities such as the Chinese University of Hong Kong to work with industry and IBM partners and clients on research and development in the field of BD&A.
Meanwhile, the free MOOCs will work to prepare students for future BD&A careers and industry professionals for further career advancement.
“MOOCs are rapidly transforming from a relatively niche area to a more mainstream method of educating the masses, allowing not only full time students to gain new skills but also professionals to sharpen their expertise and apply it to their jobs immediately,” said Matt Wang, vice president of IBM China Development Labs.