Business Leaders, City University of New York to Launch Redesigned Courses Tied to In-Demand Tech Jobs

Courses will be available in spring 2020, through collaboration with CUNY, IBM and Business Roundtable

December 12, 2019

New YorkAs part of the Business Roundtable Workforce Partnership Initiative (WPI) for the Greater New York City region, the City University of New York (CUNY) together with IBM, Pitney Bowes, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Aon today announced the upcoming launch of new courses to equip students and mid-career professionals with the skills and know-how for employment in in-demand tech fields. Starting in the 2020 spring semester, CUNY students will have access to exciting new technology classes that can help prepare them for hot jobs and careers in fields from cybersecurity to data analytics.

CUNY’s Office of Continuing Education & Workforce and faculty members have been collaborating with BRT member companies to redesign and enhance coursework to better equip students for the modern workforce. It is anticipated that hundreds of students will enroll in these new courses in 2020, and the program is expected to scale quickly over the next year. New courses will include Data Security for Business, Software and Web Applications Security and Statistics with R/Python Applications.

In New York City, there are close to half a million open jobs[1]. Growth in tech jobs in the city has increased by 80 percent in the last decade[2]. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2018 to 2028, cybersecurity analyst jobs and computer and information research scientist jobs, including data analysts, are projected to grow 32 percent and 16 percent, respectively. And yet, there are not enough candidates with the right skills to fill all these positions. 

To help tackle this challenge, through the Workforce Partnership Initiative, BRT companies have been building regional efforts to provide students and workers with the most relevant skills to succeed in the job market. The Workforce Partnership Initiative identified in-demand competencies for the Greater NYC region and then engaged with CUNY to map the skills needed with the university system’s existing courses and co-create stronger curriculum. Faculty members applied for CUNY grants to help facilitate course redesign and have been collaborating with subject matter experts from BRT companies to build curriculum designed to help better prepare students for in-demand careers. The program also focuses on expanding learning opportunities across CUNY's diverse student population.

"This new strategic partnership between the City University of New York and IBM, JPMorgan Chase and the other members of the Business Roundtable’s Workforce Partnership Initiative will help to ensure that our students are well-equipped to step into the most in-demand jobs in New York," said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. "With a student population that reflects the diversity of the city’s workforce, and an unparalleled ability to develop and deliver these applied educational opportunities, CUNY is uniquely positioned to help establish a talent pipeline that will meet the evolving demands of the job market."
"By partnering with CUNY and creating stronger alignment between curriculum and workforce needs, we're confident we can broaden career opportunities for students and mid-career professionals," said Kelli Jordan, Director IBM Careers & Skills. "Initiatives like this – combined with 21st century apprenticeships, modern approaches to high-school career training and innovative ways of bringing people into the workforce – can go a long way toward helping to close this country's high-tech skills gap."

WPI for the Greater NYC region is part of a national effort spearheaded by Business Roundtable to solve the challenge of recruiting and reskilling the local workforce across 10 regions of the country. Through WPI, Roundtable member CEOs are partnering with higher education institutions and community organizations to accelerate and scale best-in-class workforce readiness programs to develop a steady talent pipeline that meets the changing needs of each region’s growing industries.

Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM Corporation and Chair of the Business Roundtable Education & Workforce Committee, leads WPI for the Greater NYC region.

Students can register online at starting this winter. To learn more about this strategic collaboration, visit and @IBMPolicy on Twitter.

To learn more about WPI, visit

[1] According to the Department of Labor:

[2] According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli: