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Microsoft says you will need these skills after COVID, and it wants to help you get certified

The software giant is using LinkedIn data and learning to support and advance the careers of 25 million people around the world.

Microsoft says you will need these skills after COVID, and it wants to help you get certified
[Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash]

Microsoft wants to help 25 million people around the world get better jobs by the end of this year. And by better, it means most in-demand now and post-pandemic.

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That’s likely music to the ears of those who are currently unemployed in the wake of COVID-19. But even those who still have jobs can advance their careers by tapping into Microsoft’s new initiative, which tackles the problem with a three-part strategy.

The first part is identifying the opportunity. For this, Microsoft is leaning into LinkedIn’s Economic Graph, an analysis of  “all the data on LinkedIn that shows available jobs, their required skills, and the existing skills job seekers have,” and offering it for free to governments.

The Economic Graph already surfaced the current top 10 most in-demand jobs that it predicts will have staying power throughout the next decade. Among them:

  1. Customer- service specialist
  2. Sales -development representative
  3. IT support/help desk technician
  4. Digital  marketer
  5. Project  manager
  6. Graphic  designer
  7. Financial analyst
  8. Data  analyst
  9. Network  administrator
  10. Software  developer

The second part of the strategy is to get people up to speed on the skills needed to land those jobs. As such, they will offer free LinkedIn Learning video courses that align with the required core skills for these roles through the end of this year. These courses are currently available in English, French, Spanish, and German.

Finally, Microsoft wants to be sure that the people taking the courses will receive certification for their learning. So the company is making exams available at a reduced rate through the end of the year. These are “industry-recognized, Microsoft Certifications based on exams that demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft technologies,” for $15, which the company says “represents a large discount on the price of exams that typically cost more than $100.”

The exams will be proctored and able to be accessed anywhere online. Microsoft is also planning to partner with any governments, nonprofits, foundations, and other private-sector organizations if they plan to take on the cost of the testing as a third party. In a statement, the company says it plans to provide “$20 million in financial grants, plus technical support, to nonprofit organizations around the world.”

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All of these resources will be available in one place on LinkedIn.

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About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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