Microsoft launches initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy

Today’s global skills initiative is based on months of planning across Microsoft to provide meaningful help to 25 million people globally by the end of 2020. Our activities will be focused on three areas.

Data and analytics to better understand in-demand skills and jobs

Several years ago, LinkedIn operationalized the world’s first Economic Graph to track workforce trends and provide a window into emerging skills gaps. The Economic Graph is a digital representation of the global economy based on more than 690 million professionals, 50 million companies, 11 million job listings, 36,000 defined skills, and 90,000 schools. In short, it is all the data on LinkedIn and shows available jobs, their required skills, and the existing skills job seekers have.

The Economic Graph also makes it possible to spot in-demand skills, emerging jobs, and global hiring rates. These insights help connect LinkedIn members to better opportunities and assist governments and organizations as they create economic opportunity for the global workforce.

Free access to learning paths and comprehensive resources to help people develop the skills needed for in-demand jobs

To help people pursue jobs in these areas, we are making LinkedIn Learning paths aligned with each of these roles available free of charge through the end of March 2021. Each learning path includes a sequence of video content designed to help job seekers develop the core skills needed for each role. Each learning path is currently available in English, French, Spanish, and German.

LinkedIn Learning’s library for each learning path also includes collaborative courses, all taught by industry-expert instructors, allowing individuals to move through content and demonstrate their learning with a certificate of completion. Covering a broad range of skills from entry-level digital literacy to advanced product-based skills for technology roles, these role-based learning paths provide numerous opportunities for people along a learning continuum to reskill and upskill. We believe these are the types of resources that can place in-demand roles within reach of millions of job seekers.

Connecting skills to opportunities through industry recognized certifications and powerful job seeker tools

Today’s initiative also aims to help job seekers demonstrate their skills to potential employers. This part of our initiative has multiple parts.

First, we will offer low-cost access to industry-recognized Microsoft Certifications based on exams that demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft technologies. We are making exams for these Microsoft Certifications available at a significantly discounted fee of $15 available to those who self-attest that their employment has been impacted by COVID-19. This represents a large discount on the price of exams that typically cost more than $100. We are committed to supporting the integrity of certifications by enabling proctoring safely in an online setting that is accessible from anywhere. The $15 fee will be paid to and will enable third parties to scale to meet the potential surge in examination resources and will support the integrity of the certification by enabling proctoring via a safe, online setting that is accessible from anywhere. We will also work with governments, nonprofits, foundations, and other private sector partners if they wish to absorb this third-party cost.

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Mariam Hamzat

About Mariam Hamzat

Hamzat Mariam is a writer, editor and a campus journalist who has interest in articles and essay writings. She's an experienced SEO expert who has written for many blogs. She currently manages realmblogs.com.ng and works as an Associate Editor at SmartLeaves.

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