- IBM's data science certification program, an internal push to equip staffers with analytics and machine learning tools, has certified 140 of its workers since launching in January, the company announced Thursday.
- The Data Scientist certification program is an immersive online course that includes peer-reviewed project work. It was developed by IBM with The Open Group, a consortium of global tech companies that also includes Oracle, Huawei and Philips.
Martin Fleming, chief analytics officer and chief economist at IBM, said in the announcement IBM hopes the training program and other initiatives lead to "sustained AI experimentation, development and deployment."
The scarcity of tech talent, particularly in fields like cloud computing or data analytics, remains a top concern for the industry. For specialist roles in high-demand areas, the volume of open roles can outpace the talent pool 10 to 1.
Among the 90% of tech employers who struggle to find talent, some are shifting the focus inward. Training and upskilling existing staffers allows employers to tap into a broader network of workers.
In-house talent development programs can help companies looking to keep their ranks strong in the context of a looming talent drought, especially when coupled with talent retention strategies, said Pat Phelan, VP of market research at software company Rimini Street, in an August interview with CIO Dive.
IBM is not alone in its push to build talent in-house. Amazon announced in July it will pump $700 million into an upskilling program aimed at 100,000 of its U.S. employees. Workers can get training in areas like software engineering, information technology, Amazon Web Services cloud and machine learning.
Other companies set up training initiatives aimed at the broader tech community. In 2016, Salesforce piloted and launched a training platform called Trailhead, aimed at getting more developers connected to its CRM platform.
Since, the company made the online training program available to its clients and the general public, where aspiring Salesforce specialists earn badges and tap into a network of other learners as they make their way through the program.
In May, Microsoft struck a deal with New York-based coding program General Assembly to upskill 15,000 people in artificial intelligence. The software company said it will be looking into that pool of experts for its own hiring needs.