Artificial Intelligence

IBM to add 1,800 jobs in France to 'meet growing demand for AI'

IBM is also adding new training programs for its 'new collar' skills in AI, blockchain, cloud, and IoT.

IBM is working to bring 1,800 jobs to France over the next two years in effort to bolster talent in artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud, and blockchain, CEO Ginni Rometty said at the Tech for Good Summit in Paris Wednesday.

Also at the summit, the firm announced an expansion of its program for " new collar" skills training, IBM's initiative to train tech workers with specific high-level skills outside of a traditional four-year degree. The summit was hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, a press release noted.

"President Macron is making a big bet, and a smart one, that AI is going to transform every job, every profession and every industry," Rometty said in the release. "At IBM, we share this belief and see evidence of it every day with Watson driving exponential impact here in France and around the world. That is why we are bringing 1,800 new jobs to France to meet growing demand for AI from our clients."

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

Of the 1,800 jobs, IBM will hire business consultants, IT architects, developers, and technical experts the release said. Some 400 of the jobs will be certain AI roles that IBM announced back in March.

Utilizing local public and private partners, IBM will also use the hiring initiative to help create "local competitiveness hubs" to strengthen its presence in France. These are already underway in Lille and Strasbourg, the release said.

"IBM will continue to work with the government to make sure France has the skilled workforce necessary to take advantage of this unique era," Nicolas Sekkaki, general manager of IBM France, said in the release.

As part of the new collar training expansion, IBM will be creating roles in security, data science, AI, and more. These roles won't require a four-year degree, as noted, but employees will be prepared "through vocational or on-the-job training," the release said.

According to the release, IBM is also working with the French government to support its P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High School) education model, providing next-gen skills and job training for disadvantaged youth. More than 400 companies are now involved with P-TECH, the release said.

The launch of IBM France Academy was also announced at the summit in an effort to "train IBM France employees, clients and partners to build modern skills for the AI-era," the release said.

The real impact of AI on jobs is yet to be seen. While the technology will undoubtedly eliminate some roles, some have predicted that it could create more jobs in place of those. Additionally, a 2018 Workplace Institute report noted that 82% of employees believe AI will improve their jobs in some way.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • IBM announced an effort to bring 1,800 jobs to France to address talent needs in AI, IoT, cloud, blockchain, and more.
  • IBM is expanding its 'new collar' training program in France to bring tech skills to professionals without a four-year degree.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/metamorworks

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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