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IBM High School To Churn Out IT Pros

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the these-grades-brought-to-you-by-Pepsi dept.

Education 34

theodp writes "This week, NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the City University of New York and IBM are creating a computer science-focused school in the city that will span grades 9-14 (students leave with an associate's degree). Graduates who pass muster will reportedly be first in line for jobs at IBM. 'The idea is to create a new [educational] model for science, technology, engineering, and math — areas where companies are aggressively hiring,' explained IBM's Stanley Litow. 'If you look at hiring requirements, you won't see a huge amount of difference in a lot of entry-level IT jobs.' No word yet on the school colors or whether a uniform will be required. IBM is giving the city $250,000 to create the school, which might have looked pretty generous if that Zuckerberg kid hadn't upped the ante with his $100,000,000 donation."

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some of those hs kids learned pretty quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33779016)

They had this /. story punked all day.

The Cynical Reply (3, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 4 years ago | (#33779104)

Given the recent history of IBM and other major corporations and their aggressive outsourcing of formerly well paying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs, ironically the very sort of jobs that Obama is desperately trying to promote amongst America's brightest high school students, why should we accept their PR crap without looking at what they really want. No doubt IBM is hoping to use and then discard bright high school students, taking advantage of their brilliance and naivete about the real world to squeeze lots of low cost work out of them before burning them out and discarding them. How are we supposed to get bright high school students excited about the years of schooling and study required to get a STEM job only to finish years later and find that no job is waiting for them? Surely these bright high school students can see through this charade? Well, one can hope anyway. IBM and the others have much work to do if they are to regain the trust of perspective science and technology students. Perhaps if they are wise, and I'm not holding my breath, they can start here by promising not to use and then discard these bright students as they have been known to do with their present employees; loyalty is a two way street after all.

Indian Business Machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33779438)

Indeed. There's a reason why IBM's name has been changed. Yet another corporation selling out America so that a few people can make a lot of money.

Re:The Cynical Reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33779470)

i'm the 'e' in stem and am about to grad and get a job. What evidence do you have of IBM "discarding" employees? may you point me in the dir. of some news articles or the like?

Re:The Cynical Reply (2, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#33779882)

i'm the 'e' in stem and am about to grad and get a job. What evidence do you have of IBM "discarding" employees? may you point me in the dir. of some news articles or the like?

I guess you don't keep up with the latest news from your future colleagues at EE Times India [] (Electronics Design & Engineering).

"IBM is reportedly laying off about 400 U.S.-based engineers who have been working on the development of components for one of IBM's most important hardware products, according to sources familiar with the company's plans."

"IBM has publicly stated its intention to invest $6 billion over the next three years developing its high-tech workforce in India. Engineers and programmers in India are paid less than half of what their U.S. counterparts earn."

Re:The Cynical Reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33781120)

ahh thank you. i know of eetimes but didn't know there was an indian version. i guess thats part of the answer, too. :D

Re:The Cynical Reply (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 4 years ago | (#33779962)

You don't even have to go that far to be cynical about IBM. IBM is buying for a piddling $250,000 an entire school to train new hires for it for however many years IBM wants. That school will cost tens of millions to start up and operate. $250,000 is less than how much IBM spends in HR expenses in a single year finding the number of people it might hire in a single year from that school.

It's a huge subsidy to IBM, for which IBM gets the reputation of "saving NYC schools". Bloomberg is the ultimate corporatist.

Re:The Cynical Reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33780274)

These were my thoughts exactly, with the needed exception. What languages should these children learn first in order to best enhance their careers: Hindi and Mandarin. I wonder if the school will only accept students with H1B visas or those "from approved countries" --Hello India, Hello China-- so that they can claim they were educated in the US in technology, and not only have all the appropriate training, but also be young enough to be exploitable in their home countries and not be educated quite well enough to command a decent wage. Yay! Good job IBM!

Re:The Cynical Reply (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 4 years ago | (#33781590)

Actually this is a brilliant move on IBM's part. They can train high school students and then employ them at minimum wage here in the US. The technically trained high school students can do some of the work that engineers are hired for in India and China and cost even less! Plus there will be lower coordination costs and managers won't have to get up at ridiculous hours for conference calls, and IBM can pretend that they are a US company that is supporting the US economy. It's a win-win situation for the upper management at IBM. Of course its a loose-loose for employees, stockholders and customers, but isn't American business all about making the CEO/board of director class filthy rich at the expense of everyone else?

Re:The Cynical Reply (1)

RMH101 (636144) | about 4 years ago | (#33782346)

..and IBM already has a uniform. It's a blue shirt, black suit trousers and shoes, a tie and a defeated expression. Seriously, go watch outside an IBM Global Services office at lunchtime and count the number of guys who *don't* wear this. I still have half a dozen shirts in the wardrobe from my time inside..

Re:The Cynical Reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33786458)

Hmmm. I worked for Global Services for a few years in Houston and we never wore anything but business casual. Not to say that my time at GS wasn't a soul-sucking experience that I wouldn't wish on very many people, but "the uniform" faded out years back, at least in my neck of the woods. May God help those poor kids if/when they get sucked into IBM's machine.

Re:The Cynical Reply (2, Interesting)

ananthap (971180) | about 4 years ago | (#33782374)

In their race to get bonded labour, IBM will ensure that the dumbing down of educational standards is intitutionalised. The same thing is happening in my country (India). In order to get engineers and science graduates ready for the market or "customer facing" as these companies (and their Indian subsidaries) call it, these companies pay money to the schools to teach their subjects only. Thus they turn out hacks and not computer science graduates who understand general principles and theories. Remember that earlier the same thing happened with the advent of Java.

Re:The Cynical Reply (1)

ps2os2 (1216366) | about 4 years ago | (#33855240)

Look, back in the 1980's (and before) IBM really had a great program to train programmers and the like. They let education institutions use IBM computers and they helped out educators train future programmers. Somewhere around 1990's they slashed all education subsidiies and essentially yielded the education to Microsoft. Once that happened the drain of future people to use IBM equipment was cut off at the knees.
IBM had *ONE* higher education university (NIU if memory serves me) to show off to everybody that they did not abandoned the education system. Well in fact they did, eventually even loosing NIU although NIU still teaches IBM, it is slowly drawing back and reducing the number of classes. Approximately 3 (?) years ago IBM found "religion" for education. IBM paraded 10 institution's throughout the world as preparing for the next generation. My memory is iffy here but my memory says there might have been 1 or 2 higher learning colleges here in the US. The others being in Germany and India and some other countries. India is busy selling itself as an ideal outsourcing place as they have so many IBM trained people (do not get me started on that) and indeed INDIA does have lots of people trained on IBM equipment. My only comment here is that "trained" is relative as their education has not kept up with IBM current OS's (Mainframe). Not that I am an expert in this but one of the mail list I belong to we seem to get a lot of questions from INDIA that indicates a definite lack of familiarity of modern IBM OS's. There isn't one expert on the list from India as we see some really less than bright questions that are asked.
IBM lost the battle when it stopped its education subsidies to Microsoft.

Samzenpus sleeps with the fishes (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#33779112)

Good thing he woke up to allow comments on this story.

But they will still be from NY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33779384)

But they will still be from NY and have that background and attitude. Don't get me wrong, I like lots of New Yorkers ... but only after they've lived someplace else for 5+ years and lose the obnoxious thinking that NYC is the center of humanity.

People living in NY who lived elsewhere are nice folks, generally. As always, there are exceptions.

BTW, I've lived in 10 different states and almost 15 different cities. Everyplace has has something to enjoy.

Corporations teaching kids... (2, Interesting)

drsquare (530038) | about 4 years ago | (#33779672)

What could possibly go wrong? I imagine this will end up as successful as Bill Gates' ventures into education.

Maybe these tech barons should stick to computers and stop trying to play god with children's futures.

Re:Corporations teaching kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33779730)

Leave that to religion.

Re:Corporations teaching kids... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33780466)

Maybe these tech barons should stick to computers and stop trying to play god with children's futures.

I would, under normal circumstances, agree. The education of children must not be left to private citizens (except their own children), and definitely not private corporations (IBM/Microsoft/Google/Apple/Red Hat/Canonical) - If they want to pay money and help, sure. But they should not even be allowed to put a sticker on their donations, or control/moderate what kids learn.

However, given the hidden agendas and downright stupidity of those actually entrusted with the responsibility of helping our children, I feel that the companies really can't do much worse than what is going on right now. Sure, they might be trained on Windows or IBM technology, but as long as they give them a balanced education (esp. maths and science - don't just teach them how to click Start->Accessories...), the students will have the basic tools they need to make careers in STEM. Even if the kids wind up working for the very companies that sponsored their education. Many people actually choose to work for those companies anyway - people with college and graduate degrees in STEM. Its better than the current high-school graduates who all dream of becoming glamorous business(men/women) or models or trendy-career-of-the-day, while working as typists/powerpoint dummies because 'Maths/Science/Engineering is just too hard and I'll never become a millionaire like that baseball star' or 'Geeks aren't cool'. /rant

IBM.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33779746)

gets some tech people with only a HS education. I'm sure they will be paid as well as college grads.

Re:IBM.... (1)

xero314 (722674) | about 4 years ago | (#33780448)

IBM gets some tech people with only a HS education. I'm sure they will be paid as well as college grads.

Statistically they will actually be better paid.

excellent (2, Interesting)

jcombel (1557059) | about 4 years ago | (#33779758)

i'm always willing to support an attempt at alternative forms of education. i honestly wish i had a similar opportunity as a high-schooler.
the only concern i'd have (and which has probably already been addressed) is to make sure the students get a diploma or GED at the end of the twelfth year. not seeing any indicator on that in tfa.

Slightly off topic, but fun (0, Offtopic)

DateCover (1914432) | about 4 years ago | (#33779968)

Wouldn't it be fun to make all these IBM "Grads" that are juiced full of platonic knowledge join a dating website like [] or Seriously... these people must be genius, but would they throw it all away for a hot date and a life with the woman of their geek dreams? Anyway - enough of that. Always thought it be interesting though...

IBM hiring? (3, Informative)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | about 4 years ago | (#33780008)

Has anyone with an Associates degree been hired by IBM lately in the US? Has IBM hired anyone in the US lately?

There's a whole lot of laid off IBM workers that are wondering the same thing, I'm thinking.


Re:IBM hiring? (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 4 years ago | (#33780622)

Has anyone with an Associates degree been hired by IBM lately in the US? Has IBM hired anyone in the US lately?

There's a whole lot of laid off IBM workers that are wondering the same thing, I'm thinking.


I don't think anyone with only an associate degree gets hired by anybody nowadays (at least on IT and software). There used to be a time (15-20 years ago) where you could get a decent job developing software with only an associates degree (truth to be told, most software development only requires what a GOOD software-centric AA/AS provides). But now - and thank to the dot-com hyperbole - there is a surplus of developers with a B.S. degree expecting to make $70K right out of school (and many of them with less programming skills than a AA/AS holder had 15 years ago.)

So I don't really feel that sorry (sometimes) for 4-year CS/MIS/Eng degree holders getting the boot in favor of developers halfway across the world. Surplus programmers here and over there will tend to suck ass equally at the job they are supposed to do, but at least the ones in India and China charge for less. Whereas programmers here charge more for the same amount of programming suckage. So how can one blame companies from moving abroad? (Though I recognize that it ultimately hurts our national economy)?

We collectively do such a shitty job at software development and engineering that we have forfeit the right to complain when companies decide to offshore.

Re:IBM hiring? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | about 4 years ago | (#33781052)

There used to be a time (15-20 years ago) where you could get a decent job developing software with only an associates degree (truth to be told, most software development only requires what a GOOD software-centric AA/AS provides)

      I'm from that time, and I have an Associates. I spent first ten years on PC, last twenty on AS/400 iseries.

      Collectively, I know from various news reports that we have lots of massive software development failures. For the companies I've worked for with AS/400, Fortune 500 companies, the development has been pretty successful through the years.

      Successful enough that outsourcing experiments didn't beat us out.

      That's just my experience though. Currently developing web apps with Java and I can see how some of those large scale projects have ended in disaster.


Getting it Both Ways (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33780192)

Perhaps IBM is looking to hire help that has the same skillset, yet lacks the education. Following the mantra of "you don't have a college education, so we will pay you less...never mind we engineered your education to be college-free". Why go over to India if we can develop a reduced-skillset-less-pay workforce at home?

Uniforms? What? (1)

aiht (1017790) | about 4 years ago | (#33780734)

No word yet on the school colors or whether a uniform will be required.

... and also no word on whether the school canteen will serve wedges with sweet chili sauce, sour cream, or both.
So what?

Hi IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33781346)

You've already hired me, I've been working as an intern for SWG for a year and a half. Recently you cut back my hours, and it looks like not only will I not be able to renew my internship at the end of December, but my hopes of scoring a full time job with you come May are laughable. Now you come out with this. What the fuck man? did I kick your dog?

Re:Hi IBM (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 4 years ago | (#33781818)

Didn't you get the memo? Look, there goes your job. Get on a plane to Bangalore and chase it.

At least it will be easy to find a school song (1)

mhwombat (1616301) | about 4 years ago | (#33781396)

The IBM Songbook, for instance: []
I'm serious:

The name of T. J. Watson means a courage none can stem,
And we feel honored to be here to toast the I. B. M.

Reminded (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about 4 years ago | (#33781602)

Reminded of how the owner of a local store chain that includes a pharmacy funding a pharmacy school at one of the local colleges; he didn't make it obvious beyond the "stick donor's name on the building" sense.

Great idea (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 4 years ago | (#33781824)

Wrong country. This high school should have been started in Bangalore. Where are the poor fucks who graduate in NYC going to find work?

Bring out the clones! (1)

hindumagic (232591) | about 4 years ago | (#33781860)

Seriously, this is just sliding into some cyberpunk fantasy where the corporations own and run everything. IBM has a special school; these kids will be exploited as little codemonsters until they grow up and decide whether to move on or accept their predetermined lot in life. New grads are cheap, but you usually have to teach them how to acceptably code and work with your tools. Well, now IBM has that angle covered. Instant productivity!

I don't like it, but if that's your bag, I won't hold it against you. Another evolution of the big business model. I bet that it will do pretty well for them until all of the other big corporations jump on board.

What a terrible idea (1)

blueocean43 (1915048) | about 4 years ago | (#33787848)

It would be ok...ish.... if entry to this school was not on a lottery system. What if you end up there and don't want to go into IT? What if you want to do art, or music or another subject that needs adequate funding rather than just being shoved in as a sideline (if that)? What is wrong with going about education the normal way, where you go to school to get a broad education, then go to university (or college of whatever americans do) to specialise, or go off and do a modern apprenticeship in something useful? Or basically have any choice in your future if you want to do something other than being a low level, non-university educated IT grunt worker? Would you want your child to go to this school? Because I sure wouldn't.
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