International Business Machines (IBM) recently announced initiatives and investments which will create 1,800 jobs in France.
News of IBM’s intentions broke after the Tech for Good summit in Paris hosted by the president of France. Over 50 tech CEOs were present, including Mark Zuckerberg, Satya Nadella, and Biran Krzanich.
The openings require “new collar” skills, a term coined by president and CEO Ginni Rometty. New collar skills involve knowledge in data science, cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain. New graduates and experienced technical professionals alike will be hired to fill these opportunities.
The new positions will be created within the next two years. They include 400 IBM hired in March for research at the French AI for Humanity summit. IBM has been steadily reducing its presence in France since 2012, but new hirings will help IBM return to previous numbers.
IBM has also announced a partnership with the French government regarding its Pathways to Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) education system. P-TECH gives disadvantaged people the ability to obtain skilled labor.
It is to no surprise that Rometty spearheaded discussions about education during the summit, and will use insight gathered to better French education. The company is also introducing IBM France Academy supplemented with online courses. This will train IBM France employees, partners, and clients in skills that will prepare them for the AI-era.
Most of IBM’s clients within France utilize Watson, IBM’s supercomputer, to accelerate their business operations. Introduction of blockchain technology could potentially make Watson more potent.
IBM has won deals in multi-line insurance, bank guarantees, the automobile industry, and global food-supplying industry, among others, thanks to its strides in blockchain technology.
According to a report by MarketandMarkets, blockchain tech is expected to be worth USD 2.3 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 61.5%. IBM has been slowly gaining ground within the blockchain space and its investments in France are just their latest efforts.
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