Microsoft is launching a new global skills initiative, with the goal of bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year. Microsoft plans to combine existing and new resources from its LinkedIn and GitHub units, as well as from within the rest of the company, and to make them available for free or at low cost to those interested in upskilling and / or retraining for new careers.
Microsoft says global unemployment in 2020 could reach a quarter of a billion, based on its own calculations. To help fight the effects of this new onedynamic, Microsoft has a three-pronged plan: using data to identify the jobs required and the skills needed for them; provide free access to learning content to help people acquire the necessary skills; and to provide low cost certifications and free job search tools.
Microsoft is positioning LinkedIn’s business graph, which tracks workforce trends and skills shortages in digital form as a source of data on jobs and skills. The content will come from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and GitHub Learning Lab. Certifications will be issued by Microsoft and LinkedIn will be the source of the job search tools. All available resources can be accessed through chance.linkedin.com.
Microsoft has also identified 10 globally requested jobs that officials believe will be particularly relevant in the next decade:
- Software developer
- Commercial representative
- Project Manager
- IT administrator
- Customer Service Specialist
- Digital marketing specialist
- IT support / help desk pro
- Data analyst
- Financial analyst
Microsoft is making LinkedIn learning paths aligned to each of these roles available for free until the end of March 2021. The learning paths include video content in English, French, Spanish and German. Each learning path includes the library of LinkedIn Learning collaboration courses taught by expert instructors. The company also offers free technical content focused on Microsoft Learn products, which are relevant to each of these roles.
Microsoft is making the exams available for its new role-based certifications for $ 15 to those who “self-certify” that their work situation has been affected by COVID-19. Participants can schedule exams from September to late 2020 and will have until March 31, 2021 to complete the exams.
In addition, Microsoft will add a new learning app to Teams’ collaboration hub service later this year to help commercial customers manage their various sources of online learning content.
Microsoft also provides $ 20 million in cash aid to nonprofit organizations worldwide as part of the new initiative.