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IBM partners with Adobe to provide basic design courses to teens at no cost

IBM is providing no-cost, online coursework and a digital badge credential in a collaboration with Adobe, the tech giant said in a press release.

Specifically, IBM has launched an online program for 14-18 year olds called SkillsBuild for Students that provides coursework and certifications that are particularly helpful for teens from underresourced communities, and for those looking to explore STEM-related careers in any industry.

The newest curricula added to SkillsBuild includes content from Adobe, which is providing primers on Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, along with self assessment tools with which learners identify their creative tendencies.

IBM and Adobe also created a course on basic principals of design, which awards a badge that learners can display on their academic and professional resumes.

The collaboration is designed to help prepare students, particularly those from under-resourced backgrounds, for successful academic and professional careers by teaching them basic design principles and creativity tools that are highly valued by today’s employers.

Open to all students

In response to queries from MoneySense, an IBM spokesperson said that students in all countries can access the program through the website. Any student can register directly and does not have to coordinate with their school.

“As this is a completely open platform, it is also available to job seekers, or anyone else who wishes to take advantage of the course materials,” the spokesperson said.

This program is meant to help learners recognize what good design looks like, hear from experienced design professionals, and get resources to help apply design principles to actual projects. Learners explore the value of visual consistency, balance and proportion.

Students also have access to curated courses on industry standard creativity tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign, IBM added.

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 at //

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 at // 

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