IBM may be at another turning point in its storied history. In October, the company announced it was buying the cloud software provider Red Hat for $34 billion in its biggest tech deal ever. IBM is also investing $1 billion in initiatives like apprenticeships to train workers for what it calls “new collar” jobs – a phrase coined by IBM president and CEO Ginni Rometty for workers who have technology skills but not a four-year college degree.
“I think it really gets at one of the biggest issues of our time because these new technologies are great, they’re going to solve many problems… but they also create a big digital divide – almost a have and have not,” Rometty said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.”
“People often talk about jobs being removed by [artificial intelligence]. I really think of it as jobs are going to be 100 percent changed by AI. So each of us is going to work with AI in some way of doing our job.”
The “new collar” jobs could range from working at a call center to developing apps or becoming a cyber-analyst at IBM after going through a P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) program, which takes six years starting with high school and an associate’s degree.
“There’s bit of a formula. It is, business gives the school and helps with the curriculum, mentors, internships, and we’ve got 550 companies helping along with IBM all over this country right now,” Rometty said.
Asked about the Trump administration’s tax policies, Rometty said it turned out to be a “tax headwind” for IBM.
“But we were a strong supporter of it because for the long run, it is really the right thing to do. But even in this sort of envelope and where the world is right now, we still see great opportunity out there. And as I said, what we have done, we have made a commitment around helping retrain 100,000 people in this economy for jobs both at IBM and elsewhere that can actually work in this new era.”
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