“The educational resources available today from learning portals like Coursera are simply amazing. Think of the entire curricula of MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, etc. online and immediately available to your workforce.”

Digital transformation – driven by the convergence of elastic cloud computing, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence – represents a massive step change in how organizations will operate and the information technology they will rely on. And it will significantly impact the skills required of your workforce. Developing and operating AI-based systems requires expertise in rapidly evolving disciplines like data science, machine learning, and neural networks.

Business leaders must face the facts: your technical and management personnel currently do not have the skills to succeed at this. Augmenting them with advice from highly paid consultants is not sufficient. It is impractical to think about replacing your workforce with a new qualified team. But you can train them.

At C3.ai, we recruit and hire some of the most highly skilled data scientists and software engineers on the planet. In 2019, we received 53,528 job applications, interviewed 4,389 candidates, and hired 180. We will interview as many as 100 candidates to hire one data scientist. We have an exceptionally talented and well-trained workforce.

But we recognize that even we don’t have the skills necessary to excel in this highly dynamic milieu. The field of data science is in an embryonic state—the cell might have divided eight times. The rate of innovation across all these domains—cloud computing, deep learning, neural networks, machine learning, natural language processing, data visualization, the ethics of AI, and related fields—is blistering.

In an effort to keep our employees current at the leading edge of these rapidly changing technologies, we have formalized a program to encourage our workforce to continually refresh and improve their skill sets. I encourage you to consider the same type of program.

The educational resources available today from learning portals like Coursera are simply amazing. Think of the entire curricula of MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, etc. online and immediately available to your workforce. If you are not taking advantage of this 21st century continuing education development, you are missing a big opportunity.

At C3.ai, we incent our employees with both recognition and cash bonuses for successfully completing a curated curriculum to develop additional expertise in the skills necessary for digital transformation. This has proven an incredibly successful program for skills development. Everyone from the receptionist to our lead data scientist has taken these courses. Each gets his or her name featured in our Self-Learning Hall of Fame, and each gets a bonus check of $1,000 to $1,500 for receiving a certificate of completion.

The courses are listed below:

Deep Learning:

Machine Learning:

Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS:

Text Mining and Analytics:

Secure Software Design:

Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization:

Introduction to Cyber Security:


Business and Financial Modeling Specialization:

Machine Learning with TensorFlow:

Advanced Machine Learning Specialization:

Cloud Computing Specialization:

Internet of Things Specialization:

Functional Principles Programming in Scala:

Writing in the Sciences:

UX Design Concepts:

UX Design Fundamentals:

You will want to curate a curriculum specific to your company’s needs. I offer the above only by example. But you should think about this. The returns are staggering. As you implement a similar self-learning program for your company, it is not sufficient to assign this to your HR department. You, as CXO, need to take ownership, participate, lead by example, recognize participation, and make it central to your ongoing corporate culture.

Learn more about Tom Siebel’s views by checking out his Wall Street Journal Best Seller book, Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction.