IBM Wants You To Learn Tech

IBM — no stranger to anyone who works in the computing field — has launched a series of training modules on a site called The site targets high school students, college students, and adult learners and offers tracks for jobs like cybersecurity analyst, IT support technician, Web developer, and data science. Several other companies are participating, such as Red Hat and Fortinet. The cost? The courses are free and you can earn digital credentials to show you’ve completed certain classes.

Even more interesting is that they have resources for schools and other organizations that want to leverage the material for students. There is even software that educators can download at no charge for classroom use. The material is available in a variety of languages, too. For more advanced topics, there’s also Cognitive class from IBM, also free and which also provides the same sort of credentials.

Apparently, the digital credentials are far more than just an electronic diploma. Employers you select can examine the credentials and see things like exams and results along with other information to help them understand your skill level.

Even though you’re reading Hackaday and probably already have a good roster of tech skills, this could be a nice way to get some documentation of what you know. If you work with kids or even adults that need tech skills, or you just want to add some to your resume, you can’t beat the cost. If you aren’t sure, there are some sample guest classes you can try without even registering.

We live in an amazing time when you can build your own college-level education. You can even “study” at MIT and other big institutions inexpensively or for free.

19 thoughts on “IBM Wants You To Learn Tech

  1. So… IBM has teamed up with coursera.
    hint hint: that’s how coursera earns money; they offer exactly this kind of service to companies: Put your educational content into our format, and we’ll handle delivery, testing, certification, and billing (the latter not being applicable here).

    So, I think this is mostly a headline in “coursera acquires another big-name customer”!

    Why do I come to the conclusion? Had a short look at the curriculum for the Web Developer course (not a Web developer myself; my software deals with a lot of numbers in not a lot of time); they push their own products (“Agile Explorer”), they push their own “what are hot topics and how can IBM help your company be among the cool kids doing AI in the Blockchain on the public ledger on the Internet of Things” cow excrement (“Explore Emerging Tech”, and the rest of non-tech basics is just run of the mill soft skill nonsense (a 3.5h course on project management will make you a popular project-managing colleague to all of your developer coworkers, I promise!).

    Then there’s the whole very IBM-Typical “Design Thinking” shtick that is let’s say, maybe a bit underappreciated outside the IBM bubble?

    The only inherently free, no affiliation with partner instituitions needed, course that’s actually on web deisgn is “Web Development Fundamentals” That might actually be very fine, or it might be another infomercial for IBM technologies. Did you know that you can deploy agile websites on WebSphere on the IBM cloud?

    Seriously, this all sounds nothing like a vocational education, but like useful resources intermingled with the idea that you need to do things the IBM way. Not exactly what I’d be looking for in an applicant.

    1. This is a wonderful free resources. Helps people see if they have an interest in a technology career. Show me where they asked you for your credit card or cash to signup? Don’t understand the cynical comments? Anyway, good for IBM. Keep providing free educational opportunities to people across the world.


    1. If you want to ding IBM about enforcing patents, IMHO you picked a poor example. Patents about technologies that are used specifically in re-creating the z-series architecture are a lot different than patents of a more general nature or more general use. Huffman encoding (, or mp3 encoding come to mind or where patents might accidentally be used in FOSS code, causing inadvertent patent infringement.

  3. The National Security Agency software specifications given to Sandia National Laboratories ~1980+ required that no code [binaries] other than their apps be present in embedded controller systems.

    No malware. Only app security code. External security code malware vulnerable?

    Complete accountability required for all bits in their apps .

    Adding more security code … for business reasons? … wrong direction?

    Mainframe hardware housing complex software issue too?

    Distributed simple hardware systems better idea for preventing malware penetration?

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