Microsoft Launches Vet-Friendly IT Training Program

Soldier uses a computer in college.

Are you worried about where to find employment once you leave the military? If you have any technical aptitudes, you should consider the IT industry. It’s a lucrative business and there’s no shortage of open positions. If you’re up to the challenge, Microsoft provides a program called the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) to develop aspiring IT professionals and help them secure employment. Those who successfully complete the program will be given the opportunity to interview for a full-time position with Microsoft.

Not sure if the MSSA is a solid bet? According to Microsoft, the program features a 91% graduation rate, and the average salary for employed graduates is $70,000. Furthermore, it’s not just Microsoft that hires graduates: there are a total of 81 companies that hire graduates of the MSSA program.

How to Prepare

Before joining the MSSA, you need to have an active interest in IT and command authorization as well as an active honorable service record. Think about which career path you’d like to pursue and gain the appropriate MTA certification. Microsoft provides multiple exams for each of the three specialties (IT infrastructure, database, developer). To gain an MTA, you only need to pass a single exam. Optional training is provided for most of the exams, and each course takes roughly three days. Be aware that each exam costs $115 to take.

  • Server & Cloud Administration cohort: Take the Networking Fundamentals Training to find out how to put the many pieces together to build a functional and secure network.
  • Database & BI Administration cohort: Take the Database Fundamentals Training, designed for individuals seeking to learn database fundamentals, including relational databases, database management systems and database components.
  • Cloud Application Developer cohort: Take the App Development Fundamentals Training and explore introductory concepts for HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript.

Required Documents

  • Copy of your service record for Education Center
  • Resume
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Successful completion of high school algebra
  • Gain a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification

Steps to Join

Whether you’re active duty or discharged, the steps to joining the MSSA are simple.  Just make sure that you have a particular IT field in mind, and that you are able to earn an MTA certification. Active duty service members must:

  • Secure command approval to participate
  • Complete and sign an MOA and return it to the education office
  • Submit a resume, proof of honorable service status, proof of math requirements and financial aid applications (program voucher, GI Bill, Tuition Assistance or FAFSA)
  • Begin thinking about your specific IT career path by reviewing Microsoft Virtual Academy training options (see Preparation section below).
  • Gain a MTA certification

 Discharged service members must:

  • Submit a resume, DD-214 proof of honorable discharge, criminal background check, high school diploma or GED, proof of math requirements, and financial aid applications (program voucher, GI Bill or FAFSA)
  • Begin thinking about your specific IT career path by reviewing Microsoft Virtual Academy training options (see Preparation section below).
  • Gain a MTA certification

To learn more about MSSA or apply for the program, please contact your Base Education Center.

  • If you are not located at a base where MSSA is currently provided, please contact your Command for a transfer. Transfer requires proof of housing, transportation and food allowance.
  • For more information, contact the MSSA Operations team at
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