- Coding Dojo and Microsoft together announced Nov. 24 that Coding Dojo users will be able to earn Microsoft Azure certification through the platform as part of Microsoft’s global skills initiative to skill 25 million workers by the end of 2020.
- Students will learn Azure basics and deploy projects built on the cloud computing platform. Graduating students can then take part in three separate certification programs and take the final exam at a discounted price, the announcement said.
- "Our vision is a connected system of learning that helps empower everyone to pursue lifelong learning," Microsoft General Manager of Global Technical Learning Alex Payne said in a statement.
Microsoft announced its global skills initiative in June in response to the widening skills gap exacerbated by the societal effects of COVID-19; the skills gap must be "closed with even greater urgency to accelerate economic recovery," Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog post.
As part of this initiative, Microsoft announced "Accelerate," a program also focused on reskilling, mainly for underserved communities, and featuring in-demand skills. Accelerate partners with local businesses and programs, as noted in the announcement that Accelerate would be coming to Houston, Texas, to offer workshops to groups such as veterans, transitioning workers and local students.
Amazon, too, has sponsored training for its cloud program; cloud computing is one of the more in-demand skills in recent years, according to LinkedIn. In October, Amazon Web Services announced it would expand its job training program for unemployed and underemployed individuals to five more U.S. cities. The training focuses on "technical, behavioral and mindset skills" for entry-level cloud careers.
More broadly, technical skills remain in high demand, even in tough economic times prompted by COVID-19. In an October survey by the Consumer Technology Association, 80% of tech leaders surveyed said they need more workers with technical skills and 75% said it is difficult to find them.
In response, some industries have begun to turn to microcredentials — programs like the Coding Dojo partnership that grant certification in any number of skills — to prepare a new generation of workers when traditional schooling hasn’t responded fast enough.
"I think our world is evolving so rapidly," Tara Ataya, VP of People at Hootsuite, previously told HR Dive, "and this boils down some of the specifics around what areas companies are focused on in terms of talent.