On Saturday, Aug. 19, at the National Veterans Employment Summit, Thomas Dawkins -- Microsoft director of workforce development and career-centered learning -- shared the news that Microsoft is partnering with CompTIA, the leading provider of IT certifications. The partnership will make it easier for transitioning service members and veterans to enter the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) and earn the skills for a career in the IT industry.
The initial announcement was made available this past weekend during Military.com's National Veteran Employment Summit, which was held in conjunction with the American Legion's 99th national conference in Reno, Nev.
MSSA is an intensive 18-week training program that teaches transitioning service members the critical IT skills required for today's growing technology industry careers. Microsoft employees also serve as mentors for the program by connecting the class through Skype and offering real-world advice, soft-skill training like resume writing and interview skills and providing constant support and direction for cohort members. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are guaranteed a job interview at Microsoft or one of its more than 220 hiring partners, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, including Dell, Expedia, Accenture, the Department of Defense, Facebook and many more.
Since MSSA was established in 2013, applicants have been required to hold specific Microsoft technology associate (MTA) certifications to qualify for a designated learning path. However, more than 35,000 active-duty service members and Department of Defense employees today hold current CompTIA certifications, which are required for a large number of military and DoD roles.
The streamlining of certifications ensures that applicants who are clearly qualified for the program can save time by leveraging their CompTIA certification in lieu of the MTA. Applicants who don't have MTA or CompTIA certifications now have more choices and flexibility.
To make it even easier for applicants to acquire the certification that best fits their goals, CompTIA is offering service members a steep discount on the cost of certifications. For more information on the discount and registration, applicants should contact the academic partner administering MSSA at their location: Saint Martin's University at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at other program sites. Microsoft Virtual Academy will continue to offer free courses to qualify for MTA certifications.
Visit the MSSA information page to learn about certification, prerequisites, learning paths and more.
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