- A training program facilitated by New York-based coding program General Assembly and Microsoft aims to upskill 15,000 workers in artificial intelligence (AI) over the next three years. No financial details from the partnership were immediately disclosed.
- The project will leverage General Assembly's 22 U.S. campuses to boost the number of AI-skilled staffers in the marketplace. A Microsoft spokesperson told CIO Dive the software company will look to the pipeline of workers for its talent needs.
- The deal gives 2,000 workers a shot at transitioning into AI and machine learning roles in the first year of the partnership. Another 13,000 will be upskilled in the coming three years.
Beyond the training program, the partnership's broader effect on the tech workforce is in the creation of General Assembly’s AI Standards Board, which will band together reps from companies in AI and features Microsoft as its founding member.
The board hopes to create a set of industry-standard AI skills credentials with guidance from Microsoft, which itself offers a three-month online training program aimed at AI. The move is a response to the projected expansion of the AI skills market: Industry demand could create 133 million new roles by 2022, according to the World Economic Fourm.
Tech employers have begun to look more closely at candidates with IT certifications over those with four-year degrees, one study suggests. And this partnership is another signal of the job market's gradual shift toward automation. Players across the tech industry like Amazon or Google know that access to sufficient AI talent is critical to their long-term strategies, and Microsoft's no different.
Unsurprisingly, the impact of the shift toward automation will be felt beyond the tech industry. A report from the Brookings Institute projects 25% of the U.S. workforce will face a high exposure to AI and automation in the coming decades, with 70% of jobs involving predictable physical and cognitive tasks facing high risk of substitution.