Skip to main content
European Year of Skills
News article14 November 2023Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

IBM SkillsBuild unleashes talent with free digital training

The free education programme IBM SkillsBuild helps students and job seekers all over the world in gaining access to a rewarding career in technology.  

Over 1,000 IT courses free of charge 

In 2021, IBM pledged to skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030. As a part of this commitment, IBM launched SkillsBuild, an online platform with over 1,000 courses on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to cybersecurity, data science, cloud and software development. The courses are free and available in 20 languages, including English, French, German, Spanish and Ukrainian. Over 7 million people have enrolled in a course, which is open to high school, university, and adult learners. 

Partnerships for inclusive outreach  

IBM is collaborating with governments, community colleges, non-profits, and employment agencies to promote their online learning programme to underserved populations such as veterans, women, minorities, refugees, and young adults who are unemployed. 

For example, in Spain, IBM has partnered with Agencia para el Empleo del Ayuntamiento de Madrid (Madrid Council Employment Agency) to provide technical and professional skills to unemployed individuals through IBM SkillsBuild. Interpersonal skills, client engagement, web development, and cybersecurity will be among the courses offered. 

This year, the project launched 45 new collaborations around the world, including in Czechia, France, and Sweden. For instance, in Czechia, IBM works with Czechitas, whose mission is to encourage women and youth to pursue careers in information technology.   

Learn a new skill in less than 10 hours 

IBM SkillsBuild is designed to help job seekers get ready for the workplace and acquire technical skills in 3 to 6 months. Personal mentoring is available in addition to courses.  

Many of the foundational courses can be completed in less than 10 hours, making them an excellent place to start for people considering a career change. For example, the course "Cybersecurity Fundamentals" only takes six hours to complete. The program's self-paced nature allows learners to balance personal commitments while acquiring valuable skills at their own pace. 

Earn verified professional credentials 

Participants who successfully complete a SkillsBuild course receive industry-recognised digital credentials (badges and certificates) that validate their skills and increase their employability. IBM's extensive network of industry partners and clients adds to the value of these certifications, increasing the opportunities for career advancement and job opportunities for SkillsBuild graduates. 

It is time to improve your IT skills for free. Enroll in one of the 1,000 free ICT courses on SkillsBuild! Learn more about the importance of digital skills on the European Year of Skills website