IBM pledged to hire 2,000 U.S. veterans over the next four years as part of the company's broader effort to hire 25,000 "new collar" U.S. workers by 2020, the company announced Friday.
IBM is also expanding a program to train U.S. vets in software used in the defense and law enforcement industries. More than 500 veterans have been trained since the program launched last year.
"The men and women who have served in our country's armed forces have unique talents and skill sets that make them a natural fit for some of the technology industry's most exciting fields," said Diane Gherson, IBM's senior vice president of human resources.
Several companies and government agencies are committing to training and hiring vets to work in tech. It’s one way to help fill the talent gap while also providing new employment opportunities for vets. Now IBM is adding vets to its "new collar" jobs initiative, which includes training employees with diverse and unique backgrounds.
For IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, new collar jobs have arisen in areas such as cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence and cognitive business.
A global cybersecurity workforce report released last July by Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies found 80% of surveyed IT professionals say they are dealing with a shortage of cybersecurity skills within their organization. So companies are turning to new talent pools to help bolster the workforce.
Last November, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced an initiative to provide free cyber training for veterans living in Virginia and interested in working in the cybersecurity sector. McAuliffe said the state currently has 17,000 open cybersecurity jobs, a number that is expected to grow in the coming years.