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Guest blog: Sreeram Visvanathan, Chief Executive of IBM UK and Ireland, exposes a worrying shortfall in skills required for a career in AI.

I believe that the last two decades in enterprise computing has been the prequel to the main act to follow.  In this main act, the winners will be enterprises willing to change, to question everything, to leverage the latest in digital innovation to scale the impact of AI, Hybrid Cloud and automation on every aspect of their business. 

The Covid pandemic disrupted business-as-usual for most companies, and several spined to digital technology, containing AI, to sustain operations. Earlier this year, IBM launched a study that revealed the size of the AI skills gap across Europe that found the tech sector is struggling to find employees with adequate AI knowledge or experience. The research found nearly 7 in 10 tech job seekers and tech employees believe that potential recruits lack the skills necessary for a career in AI. The impact of this deficit has the potential to stifle digital innovation and hold back economic growth.

Mind the gap

The IBM report, ‘Addressing the AI Skills Gap in Europe’, exposed a worrying shortfall in skills required for a career in AI. Although technical capabilities are vital for a career in the sector, problem solving is considered the most critical soft skill needed for tech roles among all survey participants (up to 37%). However, around a quarter of tech recruiters (23%) have difficulty finding applicants with this aptitude along with shortfalls in critical and strategic thinking. Along with soft skills, 40% of tech job seekers and employees noted that software engineering and knowledge of programming languages are the most important technical capabilities for the AI/tech workforce to have. 

How to address the issue

As AI moves into the mainstream, specialist tech staff are working more closely than ever with business managers. In order to secure the best possible outcomes, the soft skills of interpersonal communication, strategic problem solving, and critical thinking are required across all disciplines to help ensure the most beneficial personal interactions. Demonstrating these skills can greatly Strengthen employability and career developments in AI.

The report showed that offering education and skills training is seen as a top priority for many companies looking to Strengthen AI recruitment in the future. As a result, IBM have already taken proactive steps to help applicants and employees enhance their AI skills.

IBM launched IBM SkillsBuild, which brings together two world-class, skills-based learning programs—"Open P-TECH" and "SkillsBuild"—under one umbrella. Through the program, students, educators, job seekers, and the organisations that support them have access to free digital learning, resources, and support focused on the core technology and workplace skills needed to succeed in jobs. SkillsBuild is a free programme which contains an AI skills module for secondary education students and adults seeking entry-level employment.

Further concerted effort

A great deal remains to be done to solve this skills gap. However, I believe we can agree that a solution is achievable. What’s required now is for industry, government and academia to work together to put existing ideas into practice and to think of new ways to solve the challenge. At the start of the year, the DCMS announced £23 million of government funding to create 2,000 scholarships in AI and data science in England. The new scholarships from this funding will ensure more people can build successful careers in AI, create and develop new and bigger businesses, and will Strengthen the diversity of this growing and innovative sector.  I hope to see further investment and programs such as ours with SkillsBuild as key drivers in change. Finding solutions and initiatives such as these will ensure we are providing a significant boost for the UK while providing a rewarding career for many.

This article was authored by Sreeram Visvanathan, Chief Executive of IBM UK and Ireland

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 03:22:00 -0500 text/html https://www.techuk.org/resource/how-tech-sector-is-significantly-disadvantaged-by-an-ai-skills-shortage.html
Killexams : Colorado’s P-TECH Students Graduate Ready for Tech Careers (TNS) — Abraham Tinajero was an eighth grader when he saw a poster in his Longmont middle school’s library advertising a new program offering free college with a technology focus.

Interested, he talked to a counselor to learn more about P-TECH, an early college program where he could earn an associate’s degree along with his high school diploma. Liking the sound of the program, he enrolled in the inaugural P-TECH class as a freshman at Longmont’s Skyline High School.

“I really loved working on computers, even before P-TECH,” he said. “I was a hobbyist. P-TECH gave me a pathway.”


He worked with an IBM mentor and interned at the company for six weeks as a junior. After graduating in 2020 with his high school diploma and the promised associate’s degree in computer science from Front Range Community College, he was accepted to IBM’s yearlong, paid apprenticeship program.

IBM hired him as a cybersecurity analyst once he completed the apprenticeship.

“P-TECH has given me a great advantage,” he said. “Without it, I would have been questioning whether to go into college. Having a college degree at 18 is great to put on a resume.”


Stanley Litow, a former vice president of IBM, developed the P-TECH, or Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, model. The first P-TECH school opened 11 years ago in Brooklyn, New York, in partnership with IBM.

Litow’s idea was to get more underrepresented young people into tech careers by giving them a direct path to college while in high school — and in turn create a pipeline of employees with the job skills businesses were starting to value over four-year college degrees.

The program, which includes mentors and internships provided by business partners, gives high school students up to six years to earn an associate's degree at no cost.

SKYLINE HIGH A PIONEER IN PROGRAM

In Colorado, St. Vrain Valley was among the first school districts chosen by the state to offer a P-TECH program after the Legislature passed a bill to provide funding — and the school district has embraced the program.

Colorado’s first P-TECH programs started in the fall of 2016 at three high schools, including Skyline High. Over the last six years, 17 more Colorado high schools have adopted P-TECH, for at total of 20. Three of those are in St. Vrain Valley, with a fourth planned to open in the fall of 2023 at Longmont High School.

Each St. Vrain Valley high school offers a different focus supported by different industry partners.

Skyline partners with IBM, with students earning an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Front Range. Along with being the first, Skyline’s program is the largest, enrolling up to 55 new freshmen each year.

Programs at the other schools are capped at 35 students per grade.

Frederick High’s program, which started in the fall of 2019, has a bioscience focus, partners with Aims Community College and works with industry partners Agilent Technologies, Tolmar, KBI Biopharma, AGC Biologics and Corden Pharma.

Silver Creek High’s program started a year ago with a cybersecurity focus. The Longmont school partners with Front Range and works with industry partners Seagate, Cisco, PEAK Resources and Comcast.

The new program coming to Longmont High will focus on business.

District leaders point to Skyline High’s graduation statistics to illustrate the program’s success. At Skyline, 100 percent of students in the first three P-TECH graduating classes earned a high school diploma in four years.

For the 2020 Skyline P-TECH graduates, 24 of the 33, or about 70 percent, also earned associate’s degrees. For the 2021 graduating class, 30 of the 47 have associate’s degrees — with one year left for those students to complete the college requirements.

For the most accurate 2022 graduates, who have two years left to complete the college requirements, 19 of 59 have associate’s degrees and another six are on track to earn their degrees by the end of the summer.

JUMPING AT AN OPPORTUNITY

Louise March, Skyline High’s P-TECH counselor, keeps in touch with the graduates, saying 27 are working part time or full time at IBM. About a third are continuing their education at a four year college. Of the 19 who graduated in 2022 with an associate’s degree, 17 are enrolling at a four year college, she said.

Two of those 2022 graduates are Anahi Sarmiento, who is headed to the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, and Jose Ivarra, who will study computer science at Colorado State University.

“I’m the oldest out of three siblings,” Ivarra said. “When you hear that someone wants to give you free college in high school, you take it. I jumped at the opportunity.”

Sarmiento added that her parents, who are immigrants, are already working two jobs and don’t have extra money for college costs.

“P-TECH is pushing me forward,” she said. “I know my parents want me to have a better life, but I want them to have a better life, too. Going into high school, I kept that mentality that I would push myself to my full potential. It kept me motivated.”

While the program requires hard work, the two graduates said, they still enjoyed high school and had outside interests. Ivarra was a varsity football player who was named player of the year. Sarmiento took advantage of multiple opportunities, from helping elementary students learn robotics to working at the district’s Innovation Center.

Ivarra said he likes that P-TECH has the same high expectations for all students, no matter their backgrounds, and gives them support in any areas where they need help. Spanish is his first language and, while math came naturally, language arts was more challenging.

“It was tough for me to see all these classmates use all these big words, and I didn’t know them,” he said. “I just felt less. When I went into P-TECH, the teachers focus on you so much, checking on every single student.”

They said it’s OK to struggle or even fail. Ivarra said he failed a tough class during the pandemic, but was able to retake it and passed. Both credited March, their counselor, with providing unending support as they navigated high school and college classes.

“She’s always there for you,” Sarmiento said. “It’s hard to be on top of everything. You have someone to go to.”

Students also supported each other.

“You build bonds,” Ivarra said. “You’re all trying to figure out these classes. You grow together. It’s a bunch of people who want to succeed. The people that surround you in P-TECH, they push you to be better.”

SUPPORT SYSTEMS ARE KEY

P-TECH has no entrance requirements or prerequisite classes. You don’t need to be a top student, have taken advanced math or have a background in technology.

With students starting the rigorous program with a wide range of skills, teachers and counselors said, they quickly figured out the program needed stronger support systems.

March said freshmen in the first P-TECH class struggled that first semester, prompting the creation of a guided study class. The every other day, hour-and-a-half class includes both study time and time to learn workplace skills, including writing a resume and interviewing. Teachers also offer tutoring twice a week after school.

“The guided study has become crucial to the success of the program,” March said.

Another way P-TECH provides extra support is through summer orientation programs for incoming freshmen.

At Skyline, ninth graders take a three-week bridge class — worth half a credit — that includes learning good study habits. They also meet IBM mentors and take a field trip to Front Range Community College.

“They get their college ID before they get their high school ID,” March said.

During a session in June, 15 IBM mentors helped the students program a Sphero robot to travel along different track configurations. Kathleen Schuster, who has volunteered as an IBM mentor since the P-TECH program started here, said she wants to “return some of the favors I got when I was younger.”

“Even this play stuff with the Spheros, it’s teaching them teamwork and a little computing,” she said. “Hopefully, through P-TECH, they will learn what it takes to work in a tech job.”

Incoming Skyline freshman Blake Baker said he found a passion for programming at Trail Ridge Middle and saw P-TECH as a way to capitalize on that passion.

“I really love that they give you options and a path,” he said.

Trail Ridge classmate Itzel Pereyra, another programming enthusiast, heard about P-TECH from her older brother.

“It’s really good for my future,” she said. “It’s an exciting moment, starting the program. It will just help you with everything.”

While some of the incoming ninth graders shared dreams of technology careers, others see P-TECH as a good foundation to pursue other dreams.

Skyline incoming ninth grader Marisol Sanchez wants to become a traveling nurse, demonstrating technology and new skills to other nurses. She added that the summer orientation sessions are a good introduction, helping calm the nerves that accompany combining high school and college.

“There’s a lot of team building,” she said. “It’s getting us all stronger together as a group and introducing everyone.”

THE SPARK OF MOTIVATION

Silver Creek’s June camp for incoming ninth graders included field trips to visit Cisco, Seagate, PEAK Resources, Comcast and Front Range Community College.

During the Front Range Community College field trip, the students heard from Front Range staff members before going on a scavenger hunt. Groups took photos to prove they completed tasks, snapping pictures of ceramic pieces near the art rooms, the most expensive tech product for sale in the bookstore and administrative offices across the street from the main building.

Emma Horton, an incoming freshman, took a cybersecurity class as a Flagstaff Academy eighth grader that hooked her on the idea of technology as a career.

“I’m really excited about the experience I will be getting in P-TECH,’ she said. “I’ve never been super motivated in school, but with something I’m really interested in, it becomes easier.”

Deb Craven, dean of instruction at Front Range’s Boulder County campus, promised the Silver Creek students that the college would support them. She also gave them some advice.

“You need to advocate and ask for help,” she said. “These two things are going to help you the most. Be present, be engaged, work together and lean on each other.”

Craven, who oversees Front Range’s P-TECH program partnership, said Front Range leaders toured the original P-TECH program in New York along with St. Vrain and IBM leaders in preparation for bringing P-TECH here.

“Having IBM as a partner as we started the program was really helpful,” she said.

When the program began, she said, freshmen took a more advanced technology class as their first college class. Now, she said, they start with a more fundamental class in the spring of their freshman year, learning how to build a computer.

“These guys have a chance to grow into the high school environment before we stick them in a college class,” she said.

Summer opportunities aren’t just for P-TECH’s freshmen. Along with summer internships, the schools and community colleges offer summer classes.

Silver Creek incoming 10th graders, for example, could take a personal financial literacy class at Silver Creek in the mornings and an introduction to cybersecurity class at the Innovation Center in the afternoons in June.

Over at Skyline, incoming 10th graders in P-TECH are getting paid to teach STEM lessons to elementary students while earning high school credit. Students in the fifth or sixth year of the program also had the option of taking computer science and algebra classes at Front Range.

EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE

And at Frederick, incoming juniors are taking an introduction to manufacturing class at the district's Career Elevation and Technology Center this month in preparation for an advanced manufacturing class they’re taking in the fall.

“This will give them a head start for the fall,” said instructor Chester Clark.

Incoming Frederick junior Destini Johnson said she’s not sure what she wants to do after high school, but believes the opportunities offered by P-TECH will prepare her for the future.

“I wanted to try something challenging, and getting a head start on college can only help,” she said. “It’s really incredible that I’m already halfway done with an associate’s degree and high school.”

IBM P-TECH program manager Tracy Knick, who has worked with the Skyline High program for three years, said it takes a strong commitment from all the partners — the school district, IBM and Front Range — to make the program work.

“It’s not an easy model,” she said. “When you say there are no entrance requirements, we all have to be OK with that and support the students to be successful.”

IBM hosted 60 St. Vrain interns this summer, while two Skyline students work as IBM “co-ops” — a national program — to assist with the P-TECH program.

The company hosts two to four formal events for the students each year to work on professional and technical skills, while IBM mentors provide tutoring in algebra. During the pandemic, IBM also paid for subscriptions to tutor.com so students could get immediate help while taking online classes.

“We want to get them truly workforce ready,” Knick said. “They’re not IBM-only skills we’re teaching. Even though they choose a pathway, they can really do anything.”

As the program continues to expand in the district, she said, her wish is for more businesses to recognize the value of P-TECH.

“These students have had intensive training on professional skills,” she said. “They have taken college classes enhanced with the same digital credentials that an IBM employee can learn. There should be a waiting list of employers for these really talented and skilled young professionals.”

©2022 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Mon, 01 Aug 2022 05:11:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.govtech.com/education/k-12/colorados-p-tech-students-graduate-ready-for-tech-careers
Killexams : SVVSD embraces early college P-TECH program No result found, try new keyword!In Colorado, St. Vrain Valley was among the first school districts chosen by the state to offer a P-TECH program after the Legislature passed a bill to provide funding — and the school ... Sat, 30 Jul 2022 15:39:40 -0500 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/svvsd-embraces-early-college-p-tech-program/ar-AA1098v3 Killexams : Average cost of data breach Rs 17.6 crore: IBM
The cost of a data breach averaged Rs 17.6 crore in India in 2022, 6.6% higher as compared to Rs 16.5 crore last year, as per an IBM Security study. The average cost has climbed 25% from Rs 14 crore in the 2020 report, as per the Cost of Data Breach 2022 report.

“Today, we have reached a point where cyberattacks are evolving into market stressors, hurting the economy. 60% of global businesses have raised their prices as a result of the data breach, contributing to inflation, and inadvertently passing the cost on to customers. Hackers are exploiting these circumstances to force organizations to pay ransoms, which is further compounded by the cyber skills shortage. Essentially, this is all leading to the creation of a “cyber tax” – where businesses can pass some of the costs of a breach on to the consumer,” said Viswanath Ramaswamy, Vice President, Technology, IBM Technology Sales, IBM India and South Asia.

The global average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high of $4.35 million for surveyed organizations.


Other findings:

Average per record cost of a data breach Rs 6,100

Average records breached in 2022: 29,500

Discover the stories of your interest


  • Top three industries per record cost- Industrial- INR 9024; Services- INR 7085; Technology Sector – INR 6900
  • Top three primary initial attack vector for data breach- stolen or compromised credentials – INR 216 millions; Phishing - INR 206 millions; Accidental data loss or lost device – INR 190 millions
  • The average mean time to identify a data breach decreased from 239 to 221 days and the average mean time to contain a data breach increased from 81 to 82 days
  • Organizations with less than 50% remote work adoption took 212 days as the average mean time to identify a data breach and 75 days as the average mean time to contain a data breach
  • Organizations with over 50% remote work adoption took 266 days as the average mean time to identify a data breach and 91 days as the average mean time to contain a data breach.
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Tue, 26 Jul 2022 21:56:00 -0500 Priyanka Sangani en text/html https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/technology/average-cost-of-data-breach-rs-17-6-crore-ibm/articleshow/93159529.cms
Killexams : Explainable AI Is Trending And Here’s Why

According to the 2022 IBM Institute for Business Value study on AI Ethics in Action, building trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) is perceived as a strategic differentiator and organizations are beginning to implement AI ethics mechanisms.

Seventy-five percent of respondents believe that ethics is a source of competitive differentiation. More than 67% of respondents who view AI and AI ethics as important indicate that their organizations outperform their peers in sustainability, social responsibility, and diversity and inclusion.

The survey showed that 79% of CEOs are prepared to embed AI ethics into their AI practices, up from 20% in 2018, but less than a quarter of responding organizations have operationalized AI ethics. Less than 20% of respondents strongly agreed that their organization's practices and actions match (or exceed) their stated principles and values.

Peter Bernard, CEO of Datagration, says that understanding AI gives companies an advantage, but Bernard adds that explainable AI allows businesses to optimize their data.

"Not only are they able to explain and understand the AI/ML behind predictions, but when errors arise, they can understand where to go back and make improvements," said Bernard. "A deeper understanding of AI/ML allows businesses to know whether their AI/ML is making valuable predictions or whether they should be improved."

Bernard believes this can ensure incorrect data is spotted early on and stopped before decisions are made.

Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says that explainable AI also furthers scientific discovery as scientists and other business users can explore what the AI model does in various circumstances.

"They can work with the models directly instead of relying only on what predictions are generated given a certain set of inputs," said Litan.

But John Thomas, Vice President and Distinguished Engineer in IBM Expert Labs, says at its very basic level, explainable AI are the methods and processes for helping us understand a model's output. "In other words, it's the effort to build AI that can explain to designers and users why it made the decision it did based on the data that was put into it," said Thomas.

Thomas says there are many reasons why explainable AI is urgently needed.

"One reason is model drift. Over time as more and more data is fed into a given model, this new data can influence the model in ways you may not have intended," said Thomas. "If we can understand why an AI is making certain decisions, we can do much more to keep its outputs consistent and trustworthy over its lifecycle."

Thomas adds that at a practical level, we can use explainable AI to make models more accurate and refined in the first place. "As AI becomes more embedded in our lives in more impactful ways, [..] we're going to need not only governance and regulatory tools to protect consumers from adverse effects, we're going to need technical solutions as well," said Thomas.

"AI is becoming more pervasive, yet most organizations cannot interpret or explain what their models are doing," said Litan. "And the increasing dependence on AI escalates the impact of mis-performing AI models with severely negative consequences," said Litan.

Bernard takes it back to a practical level, saying that explainable AI [..] creates proof of what senior engineers and experts "know" intuitively and explaining the reasoning behind it simultaneously. "Explainable AI can also take commonly held beliefs and prove that the data does not back it up," said Bernard.

"Explainable AI lets us troubleshoot how an AI is making decisions and interpreting data is an extremely important tool in helping us ensure AI is helping everyone, not just a narrow few," said Thomas.

Hiring is an example of where explainable AI can help everyone.

Thomas says hiring managers deal with all kinds of hiring and talent shortages and usually get more applications than they can read thoroughly. This means there is a strong demand to be able to evaluate and screen applicants algorithmically.

"Of course, we know this can introduce bias into hiring decisions, as well as overlook a lot of people who might be compelling candidates with unconventional backgrounds," said Thomas. "Explainable AI is an ideal solution for these sorts of problems because it would allow you to understand why a model rejected a certain applicant and accepted another. It helps you make your make model better.”

Making AI trustworthy

IBM's AI Ethics survey showed that 85% of IT professionals agree that consumers are more likely to choose a company that's transparent about how its AI models are built, managed and used.

Thomas says explainable AI is absolutely a response to concerns about understanding and being able to trust AI's results.

"There's a broad consensus among people using AI that you need to take steps to explain how you're using it to customers and consumers," said Thomas. "At the same time, the field of AI Ethics as a practice is relatively new, so most companies, even large ones, don't have a Head of AI ethics, and they don't have the skills they need to build an ethics panel in-house."

Thomas believes it's essential that companies begin thinking about building those governance structures. "But there also a need for technical solutions that can help companies manage their use of AI responsibly," said Thomas.

Driven by industry, compliance or everything?

Bernard points to the oil and gas industry as why explainable AI is necessary.

"Oil and gas have [..] a level of engineering complexity, and very few industries apply engineering and data at such a deep and constant level like this industry," said Bernard. "From the reservoir to the surface, every aspect is an engineering challenge with millions of data points and different approaches."

Bernard says in this industry, operators and companies still utilize spreadsheets and other home-grown systems-built decades ago. "Utilizing ML enables them to take siloed knowledge, Strengthen it and create something transferrable across the organization, allowing consistency in decision making and process."

"When oil and gas companies can perform more efficiently, it is a win for everyone," said Bernard. "The companies see the impact in their bottom line by producing more from their existing assets, lowering environmental impact, and doing more with less manpower."

Bernard says this leads to more supply to help ease the burden on demand. "Even modest increases like 10% improvement in production can have a massive impact in supply, the more production we have [..] consumers will see relief at the pump."

But Litan says the trend toward explainable AI is mainly driven by regulatory compliance.

In a 2021 Gartner survey, AI in Organizations reported that regulatory compliance is the top reason privacy, security and risk are barriers to AI implementation.

"Regulators are demanding AI model transparency and proof that models are not generating biased decisions and unfair 'irresponsible' policies," said Litan. "AI privacy, security and/or risk management starts with AI explainability, which is a required baseline."

Litan says Gartner sees the biggest uptake of explainable AI in regulated industries like healthcare and financial services. "But we also see it increasingly with technology service providers that use AI models, notably in security or other scenarios," said Litan.

Litan adds that another reason explainable AI is trending is that organizations are unprepared to manage AI risks and often cut corners around model governance. "Organizations that adopt AI trust, risk and security management – which starts with inventorying AI models and explaining them – get better business results," adds Litan.

But IBM's Thomas doesn't think you can parse the uptake of explainable AI by industry.

"What makes a company interested in explainable AI isn't necessarily the industry they're in; they're invested in AI in the first place," said Thomas. "IT professionals at businesses deploying AI are 17% more likely to report that their business values AI explainability. Once you get beyond exploration and into the deployment phase, explaining what your models are doing and why quickly becomes very important to you."

Thomas says that IBM sees some compelling use cases in specific industries starting with medical research.

"There is a lot of excitement about the potential for AI to accelerate the pace of discovery by making medical research easier," said Thomas. "But, even if AI can do a lot of heavy lifting, there is still skepticism among doctors and researchers about the results."

Thomas says explainable AI has been a powerful solution to that particular problem, allowing researchers to embrace AI modeling to help them solve healthcare-related challenges because they can refine their models, control for bias and monitor the results.

"That trust makes it much easier for them to build models more quickly and feel comfortable using them to inform their care for patients," said Thomas.

IBM worked with Highmark Health to build a model using claims data to model sepsis and COVID-19 risk. But again, Thomas adds that because it's a tool for refining and monitoring how your AI models perform, explainable AI shouldn't be restricted to any particular industry or use case.

"We have airlines who use explainable AI to ensure their AI is doing a good job predicting plane departure times. In financial services and insurance, companies are using explainable AI to make sure they are making fair decisions about loan rates and premiums," said Thomas. "This is a technical component that will be critical for anyone getting serious about using AI at scale, regardless of what industry they are in."

Guard rails for AI ethics

What does the future look like with AI ethics and explainable AI?

Thomas says the hope is that explainable AI will spread and see adoption because that will be a sign companies take trustworthy AI, both the governance and the technical components, very seriously.

He also sees explainable AI as essential guardrails for AI Ethics down the road.

"When we started putting seatbelts in cars, a lot more people started driving, but we also saw fewer and less severe accidents," said Thomas. "That's the obvious hope - that we can make the benefits of this new technology much more widely available while also taking the needed steps to ensure we are not introducing unanticipated consequences or harms."

One of the most significant factors working against the adoption of AI and its productivity gains is the genuine need to address concerns about how AI is used, what types of data are being collected about people, and whether AI will put them out of a job.

But Thomas says that worry is contrary to what’s happening today. "AI is augmenting what humans can accomplish, from helping researchers conduct studies faster to assisting bankers in designing fairer and more efficient loans to helping technicians inspect and fix equipment more quickly," said Thomas. "Explainable AI is one of the most important ways we are helping consumers understand that, so a user can say with a much greater degree of certainty that no, this AI isn't introducing bias, and here's exactly why and what this model is really doing."

One tangible example IBM uses is AI Factsheets in their IBM Cloud Pak for Data. IBM describes the factsheets as 'nutrition labels' for AI, which allows them to list the types of data and algorithms that make up a particular in the same way a food item lists its ingredients.

"To achieve trustworthy AI at scale, it takes more than one company or organization to lead the charge,” said Thomas. “AI should come from a diversity of datasets, diversity in practitioners, and a diverse partner ecosystem so that we have continuous feedback and improvement.”

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Kite-Powell en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2022/07/28/explainable-ai-is--trending-and-heres-why/
Killexams : Average Data Breach Costs Hit a Record $4.4 Million, Report Says

What's happening

The average cost of a data breach rose to $4.4 million this year, according to a new report from IBM Security.

Why it matters

More than half of the companies surveyed for the report admitted to passing on those higher costs to customers in the form of higher prices.

Data breach costs keep going up, and consumers are likely paying for them.

The average cost of a data breach rose to an all-time high of $4.4 million this year, according to the IBM Security report released Wednesday. That marked a 2.6% increase from a year ago and a 13% jump since 2020.

More than half of the organizations surveyed acknowledged they had passed on those costs to their customers in the form of higher prices for their products and services, IBM said.

The annual report is based on an analysis of data breaches experienced by 550 organizations around the world between March 2021 and March 2022. The research, which was sponsored and analyzed by IBM, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

The cost estimates are based on both immediate and longer-term expenses. While some costs like the payment of ransoms and those related to investigating and containing the breach tend to be accounted for right away, others such as regulatory fines and lost sales can show up years later. On average, those polled said they accrued just under half of the costs related to a given breach more than a year after it occurred. 

Case in point, T-Mobile said Friday it would pay $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed by customers over a data breach revealed nearly a year ago that exposed the personal information of an estimated 76.6 million people.

Pending judicial approval that could come before the end of the year, T-Mobile will pay $350 million to settle the customers' claims and an additional $150 million to upgrade its data protection. The breach, disclosed in August, exposed information such as customer names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, addresses and dates of birth.

Many of the highest-cost breaches analyzed in the IBM study involved critical infrastructure within the financial services, industrial, technology, energy, transportation, communication, healthcare, education and public-sector industries.

Those breaches had an average cost of $4.8 million, about $1 million more than the average cost paid by organizations outside of critical infrastructure, IBM said.

Part of that stems from the particularly high costs of health care industry breaches. Healthcare, which is considered to be critical infrastructure, had the highest average per-breach cost of $10.1 million, up from $9.2 million in 2021. 

Critical infrastructure has become an increasingly tempting target for both nation-state attackers and cybercrime gangs in accurate years. Last year, ransomware attacks against Colonial Pipeline and meat processor JBS USA shut down both companies for days, even though they both paid the equivalent of millions of dollars in ransom to get their data unlocked. 

The shutdowns sparked panic buying among consumers, causing both gasoline and meat prices to spike in parts of the US.

Cybersecurity and government officials also warn that the risk of cyber attacks against critical infrastructure in the US and other countries supporting Ukraine could increase if Russia's war against that country continues to drag on.

Eleven percent of the data breaches analyzed in this year's study stemmed from ransomware attacks, up from 7.8% in 2021. Almost a fifth of the breaches were the result of stolen or compromised credentials. Another 16% stemmed from phishing attacks.

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 02:50:00 -0500 See full bio en text/html https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/average-data-breach-costs-hit-a-record-4-4-million-report-says/
Killexams : Girls in Tech Celebrates 15 Years of Success in...
  • 100,000+ members in 40+ countries mark great strides since 2007, and the immense challenges that lay ahead in the fight to end the gender gap
  • Girls in Tech to mark the milestone at its annual conference on September 7th with keynote speeches from senior executives at Accenture, Edward Jones, Gap, IBM, McKesson, Okta, TIAA, Trend Micro, and Verizon

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit working to erase the gender gap in tech, is celebrating its 15th anniversary at its annual conference on September 7th in Nashville – a forum for executives from across the globe to gather and discuss industry trends, tricks of the trade, setbacks, triumphs, and life experiences uniquely tailored to women in technology.

Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit working to erase the gender gap in tech, celebrates its 15th anniversary

Founded in 2007 by CEO Adriana Gascoigne, Girls in Tech has grown into a global leader in the gender equality movement with 100,000+ women and allies in 56 cities, 42 countries and 6 continents. Among the organization's biggest achievements:

  • 15,000+ entrepreneurs funded, mentored and supported through the Startup Challenge, the organization's signature entrepreneurship pitch competition;
  • 100,000+ participants in the Girls in Tech Hackathon series, solving local and global problems;
  • 35,000+ participants in coding, design and startup bootcamps;
  • the recently launched "Next Generation of Public Sector and Service Leaders," a program to provide education and raise awareness of career opportunities in federal, state, and local governments.

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women in the workplace, and many of the hard-fought gains in gender equality from the last 15 years are under threat. According to last year's Girls in Tech study "The Tech Workplace for Women in the Pandemic," 79% of women who have children in the household report feeling burned out, and more than one in four women report being sexually harassed in the workplace. The situation is even worse around the globe, with the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report finding that the pandemic has set women back so significantly that the gender gap isn't likely to be closed for more than 135 years.

The Girls in Tech community starts a new chapter this September 7th at its annual conference, featuring a dynamic selection of speakers with inspiring stories and practical insights to share. Keynote speakers include:

  • Jill Anderson, Principal, Technology Software Infrastructure at Edward Jones
  • Alvina Antar, Chief Information Officer at Okta
  • Debika Bhattacharya, Senior Vice President, 5G & Enterprise Solutions at Verizon
  • Latrise Brissett, Managing Director, Global IT, Business Operations at Accenture
  • Ruth Davis, Director of Call for Code, Worldwide Ecosystems at IBM
  • Wendy Harrington, Chief Data & Artificial Intelligence Officer at TIAA
  • Maria Lensing, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer of Infrastructure Engineering & Operations at McKesson
  • Louise McEvoy, Vice President, US Channel Sales at Trend Micro
  • Heather Mickman, Chief Information Officer at Gap Inc.

"It's amazing to look back on the progress we've made in 15 years and the 100,000+ women and allies who are united for change, but the fight to end the gender gap in tech and beyond isn't going to get any easier," said Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO, Girls in Tech. "This year's Girls in Tech Conference is going to feature some of the boldest and most successful women in technology delivering their unique visions for the road ahead."

The Girls in Tech Conference is sponsored by AWS, Banyan Labs, CDW, Comcast, Gap Inc, Guideware, Infoblox, Marsh, McKesson, McKinsey & Company, Nike, Okta, Pega, Trend Micro, Unstoppable Domains, and Verizon.

A full agenda for the Girls in Tech Conference can be found here.

About Girls in Tech

Girls in Tech is a global non-profit that works to erase the gender gap in tech. Today, every industry is a tech industry, with a need for people of all skills and backgrounds. We offer education and experiences to help people discover their unique superpower and hone it. We aim to see every person accepted, confident, and valued in tech—just as they are.

For more information, visit www.GirlsInTech.org or follow on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contact
Brad Chase
brad.chase@girlsintech.org

View original content to obtain multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/girls-in-tech-celebrates-15-years-of-success-in-narrowing-the-gender-gap-301598885.html

SOURCE Girls in Tech

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Killexams : IBM Report: Consumers Pay the Price as Data Breach Costs Reach All-Time High

IBM Report: Consumers Pay the Price as Data Breach Costs Reach All-Time High

60% of breached businesses raised product prices post-breach; vast majority of critical infrastructure lagging in zero trust adoption; $550,000 in extra costs for insufficiently staffed businesses

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) Security today released the annual Cost of a Data Breach Report,1  revealing costlier and higher-impact data breaches than ever before, with the global average cost of a data breach reaching an all-time high of $4.35 million for studied organizations. With breach costs increasing nearly 13% over the last two years of the report, the findings suggest these incidents may also be contributing to rising costs of goods and services. In fact, 60% of studied organizations raised their product or services prices due to the breach, when the cost of goods is already soaring worldwide amid inflation and supply chain issues.

The perpetuality of cyberattacks is also shedding light on the "haunting effect" data breaches are having on businesses, with the IBM report finding 83% of studied organizations have experienced more than one data breach in their lifetime. Another factor rising over time is the after-effects of breaches on these organizations, which linger long after they occur, as nearly 50% of breach costs are incurred more than a year after the breach.

The 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth analysis of real-world data breaches experienced by 550 organizations globally between March 2021 and March 2022. The research, which was sponsored and analyzed by IBM Security, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

Some of the key findings in the 2022 IBM report include:

  • Critical Infrastructure Lags in Zero Trust – Almost 80% of critical infrastructure organizations studied don't adopt zero trust strategies, seeing average breach costs rise to $5.4 million – a $1.17 million increase compared to those that do. All while 28% of breaches amongst these organizations were ransomware or destructive attacks.
  • It Doesn't Pay to Pay – Ransomware victims in the study that opted to pay threat actors' ransom demands saw only $610,000 less in average breach costs compared to those that chose not to pay – not including the cost of the ransom. Factoring in the high cost of ransom payments, the financial toll may rise even higher, suggesting that simply paying the ransom may not be an effective strategy.
  • Security Immaturity in Clouds – Forty-three percent of studied organizations are in the early stages or have not started applying security practices across their cloud environments, observing over $660,000 on average in higher breach costs than studied organizations with mature security across their cloud environments.
  • Security AI and Automation Leads as Multi-Million Dollar Cost Saver – Participating organizations fully deploying security AI and automation incurred $3.05 million less on average in breach costs compared to studied organizations that have not deployed the technology – the biggest cost saver observed in the study.

"Businesses need to put their security defenses on the offense and beat attackers to the punch. It's time to stop the adversary from achieving their objectives and start to minimize the impact of attacks. The more businesses try to perfect their perimeter instead of investing in detection and response, the more breaches can fuel cost of living increases." said Charles Henderson, Global Head of IBM Security X-Force. "This report shows that the right strategies coupled with the right technologies can help make all the difference when businesses are attacked."

Over-trusting Critical Infrastructure Organizations
Concerns over critical infrastructure targeting appear to be increasing globally over the past year, with many governments' cybersecurity agencies  urging vigilance against disruptive attacks. In fact, IBM's report reveals that ransomware  and destructive attacks represented 28% of breaches amongst critical infrastructure organizations studied, highlighting how threat actors are seeking to fracture the global supply chains that rely on these organizations. This includes financial services, industrial, transportation and healthcare companies amongst others.

Despite the call for caution, and a year after the Biden Administration issued a cybersecurity executive order that centers around the importance of adopting a zero trust approach to strengthen the nation's cybersecurity, only 21% of critical infrastructure organizations studied adopt a zero trust security model, according to the report. Add to that, 17% of breaches at critical infrastructure organizations were caused due to a business partner being initially compromised, highlighting the security risks that over-trusting environments pose.

Businesses that Pay the Ransom Aren't Getting a "Bargain"
According to the 2022 IBM report, businesses that paid threat actors' ransom demands saw $610,000 less in average breach costs compared to those that chose not to pay – not including the ransom amount paid. However, when accounting for the average ransom payment, which according to Sophos reached $812,000 in 2021, businesses that opt to pay the ransom could net higher total costs - all while inadvertently funding future ransomware attacks with capital that could be allocated to remediation and recovery efforts and looking at potential federal offenses.

The persistence of ransomware, despite significant global efforts to impede it, is fueled by the industrialization of cybercrime. IBM Security X-Force discovered the duration of studied enterprise ransomware attacks shows a drop of 94% over the past three years – from over two months to just under four days. These exponentially shorter attack lifecycles can prompt higher impact attacks, as cybersecurity incident responders are left with very short windows of opportunity to detect and contain attacks. With "time to ransom" dropping to a matter of hours, it's essential that businesses prioritize rigorous testing of incident response (IR) playbooks ahead of time. But the report states that as many as 37% of organizations studied that have incident response plans don't test them regularly.

Hybrid Cloud Advantage
The report also showcased hybrid cloud environments as the most prevalent (45%) infrastructure amongst organizations studied. Averaging $3.8 million in breach costs, businesses that adopted a hybrid cloud model observed lower breach costs compared to businesses with a solely public or private cloud model, which experienced $5.02 million and $4.24 million on average respectively. In fact, hybrid cloud adopters studied were able to identify and contain data breaches 15 days faster on average than the global average of 277 days for participants.

The report highlights that 45% of studied breaches occurred in the cloud, emphasizing the importance of cloud security. However, a significant 43% of reporting organizations stated they are just in the early stages or have not started implementing security practices to protect their cloud environments, observing higher breach costs2. Businesses studied that did not implement security practices across their cloud environments required an average 108 more days to identify and contain a data breach than those consistently applying security practices across all their domains.

Additional findings in the 2022 IBM report include:

  • Phishing Becomes Costliest Breach Cause – While compromised credentials continued to reign as the most common cause of a breach (19%), phishing was the second (16%) and the costliest cause, leading to $4.91 million in average breach costs for responding organizations.
  • Healthcare Breach Costs Hit Double Digits for First Time Ever– For the 12th year in a row, healthcare participants saw the costliest breaches amongst industries with average breach costs in healthcare increasing by nearly $1 million to reach a record high of $10.1 million.
  • Insufficient Security Staffing – Sixty-two percent of studied organizations stated they are not sufficiently staffed to meet their security needs, averaging $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed.

Additional Sources

  • To obtain a copy of the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, please visit: https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach.
  • Read more about the report's top findings in this IBM Security Intelligence blog.
  • Sign up for the 2022 IBM Security Cost of a Data Breach webinar on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. ET here.
  • Connect with the IBM Security X-Force team for a personalized review of the findings: https://ibm.biz/book-a-consult.

About IBM Security
IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM Security X-Force ®  research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats.  IBM operates one of the world's broadest security research, development, and delivery organizations, monitors  150 billion+ security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. For more information, please check www.ibm.com/security, follow @IBMSecurity on  Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog.

Press Contact:

IBM Security Communications
Georgia Prassinos
gprassinos@ibm.com

1 Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022, conducted by Ponemon Institute, sponsored, and analyzed by IBM
2  Average cost of $4.53M, compared to average cost $3.87 million at participating organizations with mature-stage cloud security practices

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Killexams : SVVSD embraces early college P-TECH program

Abraham Tinajero was an eighth grader when he saw a poster in his Longmont middle school’s library advertising a new program offering free college with a technology focus.

Interested, he talked to a counselor to learn more about P-TECH, an early college program where he could earn an associate’s degree along with his high school diploma. Liking the sound of the program, he enrolled in the inaugural P-TECH class as a freshman at Longmont’s Skyline High School.

“I really loved working on computers, even before P-TECH,” he said. “I was a hobbyist. P-TECH gave me a pathway.”

He worked with an IBM mentor and interned at the company for six weeks as a junior. After graduating in 2020 with his high school diploma and the promised associate’s degree in computer science from Front Range Community College, he was accepted to IBM’s yearlong, paid apprenticeship program.

IBM hired him as a cybersecurity analyst once he completed the apprenticeship.

“P-TECH has given me a great advantage,” he said. “Without it, I would have been questioning whether to go into college. Having a college degree at 18 is great to put on a resume.”

LONGMONT, CO-June 16:Front Range Campus Librarian, Che Gant, answers questions from Silver Creek P-TECH students at Font Range Community College on June 16, 2022.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Front Range Campus librarian Che Gant answers questions from Silver Creek P-TECH students at Font Range Community College on June 16. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Stanley Litow, a former vice president of IBM, developed the P-TECH, or Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, model. The first P-TECH school opened 11 years ago in Brooklyn, New York, in partnership with IBM.

Litow’s idea was to get more underrepresented young people into tech careers by giving them a direct path to college while in high school — and in turn create a pipeline of employees with the job skills businesses were starting to value over four-year college degrees.

The program, which includes mentors and internships provided by business partners, gives high school students up to six years to earn an associate’s degree at no cost.

Skyline High a pioneer in program

In Colorado, St. Vrain Valley was among the first school districts chosen by the state to offer a P-TECH program after the Legislature passed a bill to provide funding — and the school district has embraced the program.

Colorado’s first P-TECH programs started in the fall of 2016 at three high schools, including Skyline High. Over the last six years, 17 more Colorado high schools have adopted P-TECH, for at total of 20. Three of those are in St. Vrain Valley, with a fourth planned to open in the fall of 2023 at Longmont High School.

Each St. Vrain Valley high school offers a different focus supported by different industry partners.

Skyline partners with IBM, with students earning an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Front Range. Along with being the first, Skyline’s program is the largest, enrolling up to 55 new freshmen each year.

Programs at the other schools are capped at 35 students per grade.

Frederick High’s program, which started in the fall of 2019, has a bioscience focus, partners with Aims Community College and works with industry partners Agilent Technologies, Tolmar, KBI Biopharma, AGC Biologics and Corden Pharma.

Silver Creek High’s program started a year ago with a cybersecurity focus. The Longmont school partners with Front Range and works with industry partners Seagate, Cisco, PEAK Resources and Comcast.

The new program coming to Longmont High will focus on business.

LONGMONT, CO - JULY 26:From right: Instructor Chester Clark checks angles on a metal die made by Frederick High School junior Cynthia Herr during a summer manufacturing class at the Career Elevation & Technology Center in Longmont on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
From right: Instructor Chester Clark checks angles on a metal die made by Frederick High School junior Cynthia Herr during a summer manufacturing class Tuesday at the Career Elevation and Technology Center in Longmont. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

District leaders point to Skyline High’s graduation statistics to illustrate the program’s success. At Skyline, 100% of students in the first three P-TECH graduating classes earned a high school diploma in four years.

For the 2020 Skyline P-TECH graduates, 24 of the 33, or about 70%, also earned associate’s degrees. For the 2021 graduating class, 30 of the 47 have associate’s degrees — with one year left for those students to complete the college requirements.

For the most accurate 2022 graduates, who have two years left to complete the college requirements, 19 of 59 have associate’s degrees and another six are on track to earn their degrees by the end of the summer.

Jumping at an opportunity

Louise March, Skyline High’s P-TECH counselor, keeps in touch with the graduates, saying 27 are working part time or full time at IBM. About a third are continuing their education at a four year college. Of the 19 who graduated in 2022 with an associate’s degree, 17 are enrolling at a four year college, she said.

Two of those 2022 graduates are Anahi Sarmiento, who is headed to the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, and Jose Ivarra, who will study computer science at Colorado State University.

“I’m the oldest out of three siblings,” Ivarra said. “When you hear that someone wants to give you free college in high school, you take it. I jumped at the opportunity.”

Sarmiento added that her parents, who are immigrants, are already working two jobs and don’t have extra money for college costs.

“P-TECH is pushing me forward,” she said. “I know my parents want me to have a better life, but I want them to have a better life, too. Going into high school, I kept that mentality that I would push myself to my full potential. It kept me motivated.”

While the program requires hard work, the two graduates said, they still enjoyed high school and had outside interests. Ivarra was a varsity football player who was named player of the year. Sarmiento took advantage of multiple opportunities, from helping elementary students learn robotics to working at the district’s Innovation Center.

Ivarra said he likes that P-TECH has the same high expectations for all students, no matter their backgrounds, and gives them support in any areas where they need help. Spanish is his first language and, while math came naturally, language arts was more challenging.

“It was tough for me to see all these classmates use all these big words, and I didn’t know them,” he said. “I just felt less. When I went into P-TECH, the teachers focus on you so much, checking on every single student.”

They said it’s OK to struggle or even fail. Ivarra said he failed a tough class during the pandemic, but was able to retake it and passed. Both credited March, their counselor, with providing unending support as they navigated high school and college classes.

“She’s always there for you,” Sarmiento said. “It’s hard to be on top of everything. You have someone to go to.”

Students also supported each other.

“You build bonds,” Ivarra said. “You’re all trying to figure out these classes. You grow together. It’s a bunch of people who want to succeed. The people that surround you in P-TECH, they push you to be better.”

LONGMONT, CO - JULY 26:Frederick High School junior Jose Leon solders components to a board during a summer manufacturing class at the Career Elevation & Technology Center in Longmont on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
Frederick High School junior Jose Leon solders components to a board during a summer manufacturing class at the Career Elevation & Technology Center in Longmont on Tuesday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

Support systems are key

P-TECH has no entrance requirements or prerequisite classes. You don’t need to be a top student, have taken advanced math or have a background in technology.

With students starting the rigorous program with a wide range of skills, teachers and counselors said, they quickly figured out the program needed stronger support systems.

March said freshmen in the first P-TECH class struggled that first semester, prompting the creation of a guided study class. The every other day, hour-and-a-half class includes both study time and time to learn workplace skills, including writing a resume and interviewing. Teachers also offer tutoring twice a week after school.

“The guided study has become crucial to the success of the program,” March said.

Another way P-TECH provides extra support is through summer orientation programs for incoming freshmen.

At Skyline, ninth graders take a three-week bridge class — worth half a credit — that includes learning good study habits. They also meet IBM mentors and take a field trip to Front Range Community College.

“They get their college ID before they get their high school ID,” March said.

During a session in June, 15 IBM mentors helped the students program a Sphero robot to travel along different track configurations. Kathleen Schuster, who has volunteered as an IBM mentor since the P-TECH program started here, said she wants to “return some of the favors I got when I was younger.”

“Even this play stuff with the Spheros, it’s teaching them teamwork and a little computing,” she said. “Hopefully, through P-TECH, they will learn what it takes to work in a tech job.”

Incoming Skyline freshman Blake Baker said he found a passion for programming at Trail Ridge Middle and saw P-TECH as a way to capitalize on that passion.

“I really love that they give you options and a path,” he said.

Trail Ridge classmate Itzel Pereyra, another programming enthusiast, heard about P-TECH from her older brother.

“It’s really good for my future,” she said. “It’s an exciting moment, starting the program. It will just help you with everything.”

While some of the incoming ninth graders shared dreams of technology careers, others see P-TECH as a good foundation to pursue other dreams.

Skyline incoming ninth grader Marisol Sanchez wants to become a traveling nurse, demonstrating technology and new skills to other nurses. She added that the summer orientation sessions are a good introduction, helping calm the nerves that accompany combining high school and college.

“There’s a lot of team building,” she said. “It’s getting us all stronger together as a group and introducing everyone.”

The spark of motivation

Silver Creek’s June camp for incoming ninth graders included field trips to visit Cisco, Seagate, PEAK Resources, Comcast and Front Range Community College.

LONGMONT, CO-June 16:Keller Frazier, left, photographs his group, Gian Swift, and Ryan Holden, and Amelia Miller. All are doing a scavenger hunt for a class exercise during Silver Creek P-TECH classes at Front Range Community College on June 16, 2022.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Silver Creek incoming freshman Keller Frazier, left, photographs his classmates, Gian Swift, Ryan Holden and Amelia Miller. They are on a scavenger hunt June 16 to find places at Front Range Community College during Silver Creek’s P-TECH summer orientation program. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

During the Front Range Community College field trip, the students heard from Front Range staff members before going on a scavenger hunt. Groups took photos to prove they completed tasks, snapping pictures of ceramic pieces near the art rooms, the most expensive tech product for sale in the bookstore and administrative offices across the street from the main building.

Emma Horton, an incoming freshman, took a cybersecurity class as a Flagstaff Academy eighth grader that hooked her on the idea of technology as a career.

“I’m really excited about the experience I will be getting in P-TECH,” she said. “I’ve never been super motivated in school, but with something I’m really interested in, it becomes easier.”

Deb Craven, dean of instruction at Front Range’s Boulder County campus, promised the Silver Creek students that the college would support them. She also gave them some advice.

“You need to advocate and ask for help,” she said. “These two things are going to help you the most. Be present, be engaged, work together and lean on each other.”

Craven, who oversees Front Range’s P-TECH program partnership, said Front Range leaders toured the original P-TECH program in New York along with St. Vrain and IBM leaders in preparation for bringing P-TECH here.

“Having IBM as a partner as we started the program was really helpful,” she said.

When the program began, she said, freshmen took a more advanced technology class as their first college class. Now, she said, they start with a more fundamental class in the spring of their freshman year, learning how to build a computer.

“These guys have a chance to grow into the high school environment before we stick them in a college class,” she said.

Summer opportunities aren’t just for P-TECH’s freshmen. Along with summer internships, the schools and community colleges offer summer classes.

Silver Creek incoming 10th graders, for example, could take a personal financial literacy class at Silver Creek in the mornings and an introduction to cybersecurity class at the Innovation Center in the afternoons in June.

Over at Skyline, incoming 10th graders in P-TECH are getting paid to teach STEM lessons to elementary students while earning high school credit. Students in the fifth or sixth year of the program also had the option of taking computer science and algebra classes at Front Range.

Embracing the challenge

And at Frederick, incoming juniors are taking an introduction to manufacturing class at the district’s Career Elevation and Technology Center this month in preparation for an advanced manufacturing class they’re taking in the fall.

“This will give them a head start for the fall,” said instructor Chester Clark.

Incoming Frederick junior Destini Johnson said she’s not sure what she wants to do after high school, but believes the opportunities offered by P-TECH will prepare her for the future.

“I wanted to try something challenging, and getting a head start on college can only help,” she said. “It’s really incredible that I’m already halfway done with an associate’s degree and high school.”

IBM P-TECH program manager Tracy Knick, who has worked with the Skyline High program for three years, said it takes a strong commitment from all the partners — the school district, IBM and Front Range — to make the program work.

“It’s not an easy model,” she said. “When you say there are no entrance requirements, we all have to be OK with that and support the students to be successful.”

IBM hosted 60 St. Vrain interns this summer, while two Skyline students work as IBM “co-ops” — a national program — to assist with the P-TECH program.

The company hosts two to four formal events for the students each year to work on professional and technical skills, while IBM mentors provide tutoring in algebra. During the pandemic, IBM also paid for subscriptions to tutor.com so students could get immediate help while taking online classes.

“We want to get them truly workforce ready,”  Knick said. “They’re not IBM-only skills we’re teaching. Even though they choose a pathway, they can really do anything.”

As the program continues to expand in the district, she said, her wish is for more businesses to recognize the value of P-TECH.

“These students have had intensive training on professional skills,” she said. “They have taken college classes enhanced with the same digital credentials that an IBM employee can learn. There should be a waiting list of employers for these really talented and skilled young professionals.”

Sat, 30 Jul 2022 18:50:00 -0500 Amy Bounds en-US text/html https://www.timescall.com/2022/07/30/p-tech/
Killexams : Girls in Tech Celebrates 15 Years of Success in Narrowing the Gender Gap

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

  • 100,000+ members in 40+ countries mark great strides since 2007, and the immense challenges that lay ahead in the fight to end the gender gap
  • Girls in Tech to mark the milestone at its annual conference on September 7th with keynote speeches from senior executives at Accenture, Edward Jones, Gap, IBM, McKesson, Okta, TIAA, Trend Micro, and Verizon

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit working to erase the gender gap in tech, is celebrating its 15th anniversary at its annual conference on September 7th in Nashville – a forum for executives from across the globe to gather and discuss industry trends, tricks of the trade, setbacks, triumphs, and life experiences uniquely tailored to women in technology.

Founded in 2007 by CEO Adriana Gascoigne, Girls in Tech has grown into a global leader in the gender equality movement with 100,000+ women and allies in 56 cities, 42 countries and 6 continents. Among the organization’s biggest achievements:

  • 15,000+ entrepreneurs funded, mentored and supported through the Startup Challenge, the organization’s signature entrepreneurship pitch competition;
  • 100,000+ participants in the Girls in Tech Hackathon series, solving local and global problems;
  • 35,000+ participants in coding, design and startup bootcamps;
  • the recently launched “Next Generation of Public Sector and Service Leaders,” a program to provide education and raise awareness of career opportunities in federal, state, and local governments.

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women in the workplace, and many of the hard-fought gains in gender equality from the last 15 years are under threat. According to last year’s Girls in Tech study “The Tech Workplace for Women in the Pandemic,” 79% of women who have children in the household report feeling burned out, and more than one in four women report being sexually harassed in the workplace. The situation is even worse around the globe, with the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report finding that the pandemic has set women back so significantly that the gender gap isn’t likely to be closed for more than 135 years.

The Girls in Tech community starts a new chapter this September 7th at its annual conference, featuring a dynamic selection of speakers with inspiring stories and practical insights to share. Keynote speakers include:

  • Jill Anderson, Principal, Technology Software Infrastructure at Edward Jones
  • Alvina Antar, Chief Information Officer at Okta
  • Debika Bhattacharya, Senior Vice President, 5G & Enterprise Solutions at Verizon
  • Latrise Brissett, Managing Director, Global IT, Business Operations at Accenture
  • Ruth Davis, Director of Call for Code, Worldwide Ecosystems at IBM
  • Wendy Harrington, Chief Data & Artificial Intelligence Officer at TIAA
  • Maria Lensing, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer of Infrastructure Engineering & Operations at McKesson
  • Louise McEvoy, Vice President, US Channel Sales at Trend Micro
  • Heather Mickman, Chief Information Officer at Gap Inc.

“It’s amazing to look back on the progress we’ve made in 15 years and the 100,000+ women and allies who are united for change, but the fight to end the gender gap in tech and beyond isn’t going to get any easier,” said Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO, Girls in Tech. “This year’s Girls in Tech Conference is going to feature some of the boldest and most successful women in technology delivering their unique visions for the road ahead.”

The Girls in Tech Conference is sponsored by AWS, Banyan Labs, CDW, Comcast, Gap Inc, Guideware, Infoblox, Marsh, McKesson, McKinsey & Company, Nike, Okta, Pega, Trend Micro, Unstoppable Domains, and Verizon.

A full agenda for the Girls in Tech Conference can be found here.

About Girls in Tech

Girls in Tech is a global non-profit that works to erase the gender gap in tech. Today, every industry is a tech industry, with a need for people of all skills and backgrounds. We offer education and experiences to help people discover their unique superpower and hone it. We aim to see every person accepted, confident, and valued in tech—just as they are.

For more information, visit www.GirlsInTech.org or follow on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contact
Brad Chase
brad.chase@girlsintech.org

View original content to obtain multimedia: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/girls-in-tech-celebrates-15-years-of-success-in-narrowing-the-gender-gap-301598885.html

SOURCE Girls in Tech

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 06:10:00 -0500 en text/html https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/technology-nashville-edward-jones-be0adfb3ce14a4cc02ae61783f8dca78
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