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IBM and Adobe Team up on ‘SkillsBuild for Students’

Free online design courses equip teens with valuable skills to bolster future academic and professional success; coursework includes ‘Adobe Photoshop for Beginners,’ ‘Basic Principles of Design,’ as well as self-assessments to help students discover their creative strengths.

IBM has teamed up with Adobe to offer new no-cost, online coursework, and a digital badge credential for students. The program, IBM's SkillsBuild for Students, is designed to help prepare teens, particularly those from under-resourced backgrounds, for successful academic and professional careers by teaching them basic design principles and creativity tools. These skills are widely used in business and are highly valued by employers. All coursework is provided at no cost to students.

"IBM thanks Adobe for collaborating on content that can help prepare learners of all backgrounds for the professional workforce," commented Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM VP and global head of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. "Students preparing for careers in any industry need to be comfortable with a range of technical and human-centered skills. Adobe and IBM's collaboration is intended to help inspire creativity and help students become better communicators and team members as they increasingly join the ranks of workplace professionals."

IBM SkillsBuild for Students provides free visual design coursework and access to curated courses on industry standard creativity tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign.

A sample of available coursework includes:

Adobe Photoshop for Beginners:

  • Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop in this comprehensive course.

Tutorials are available for the following graphic design products:

  • Adobe Illustrator for Beginners
  • Adobe InDesign for Beginners

Adobe Create:

  • The Creative Types - Adobe Create Discover the different creative types.
  • Self-Assessment for Adobe Create -Take this test to discover your creative personality.

Basic Principles of Design - A Collaboration of Adobe and IBM (Course and Badge):

  • In this course, students will gain knowledge of the basic principles of design, learn what good design looks like, and hear from experienced design professionals.

“Creativity and content are fueling the global economy,” shared Mala Sharma, VP & GM of Creative Cloud Product Marketing & Community at Adobe. “Regardless of the career someone may choose, creative expression and storytelling will not only continue to be necessary but expected, which is why creative skills are of immense importance for the future workforce. Adobe is proud to partner with IBM on its SkillsBuild for Students program to teach essential creativity skills that will prepare students to thrive in a changing world.”

The Basic Principles of Design coursework will help students learn to present ideas to one another and to clients, engaging them through clear and interesting storytelling. After successful completion, students are awarded a Basic Principles of Design badge that can be used in their resumes to show prospective employers what they have learned.

The program’s interactive learning and self-assessment activities enable students to explore different creative personalities. Derived from psychological research, the exercise helps learners understand and maximize their creative potential, in all spheres of life, including the workplace. By assessing habits and tendencies learners can discover whether they are Artists, Thinkers, Adventurers, Makers, Producers, Dreamers, Innovators, or Visionaries. Each type can make unique contributions to a given team at school, home, and work.

Research has shown that creativity and the “4 Cs” of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity can help young people develop academically, civically, and professionally. According to National Endowment for the Arts, teenagers from under-resourced backgrounds who engage in the arts, including visual arts, have more successful outcomes as adults than their peers who were not involved in arts-related curricula.

The Adobe coursework is available in English, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish. These and many other courses, such as on the topics of technology and professional workplace skills, can be found here.

Educators who use the basic principles of design course with students can find other free offerings to help them unlock their students’ creativity on the Adobe Education Exchange.

Source: IBM