During the height of the initial COVID-19 breakout and lockdown, Microsoft debuted a global digital skills learning initiative. That program has been a resounding success, with more than 30.7 million people learning new digital skills since then. Microsoft is now expanding the project after the initial phase surpassed expectations by 5 million people.
The expansion was announced by Microsoft president Brad Smith, who says the digital skills learning initiative will now reach more people.
“Our plans are grounded in a vision of what is needed for a more inclusive post-pandemic recovery,” Smith writes. “A new generation of 21st-century infrastructure calls for new investments that will broaden access to the digital devices and broadband connectivity that have become the lifeblood of commerce, healthcare[,] and education. And it similarly calls for a renewed commitment to the education and skills that a new generation of technology has made essential for people's personal progress.”
Microsoft is combining tools from several divisions, as well as its GitHub and LinkedIn services, for the digital skills learning initiative.
By leveraging LinkedIn Economic Graph, Microsoft will use data on jobs to help users. Furthermore, Microsoft Learn, LinkedIn Learning, and the GitHub Learning Lab will become free. Moreover, Microsoft Certifications will be available at a lower cost than normal.
Microsoft is now extending the project through to the end of 2021. The global skills initiative is built on a three-point plan:
- “The use of data to identify in-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them;
- Free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills these positions require;
- Low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.”
There is so much on offer in this initiative, so it's worth checking out our original post for all the details. You can check out all the details about Microsoft's global skills initiative in the blog post here.