Microsoft Helps 30 Million People to Acquire Digital Skills During Pandemic
Microsoft said it has helped over 30 million people in 249 countries and territories gain access to digital skills, topping its initial goal of 25 million last June. The company is extending its commitment to help 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire in 2021.
From laid-off factory workers to retail associates and truck drivers, millions of people turned to online learning courses from GitHub, LinkedIn and Microsoft during the pandemic to help prepare for and secure the most in-demand roles, including customer service, project management and data analysis. The announcement builds on the company’s efforts to help people by extending through 2021 free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications that align to 10 of the most in-demand jobs. The next stage of the initiative sets a new foundation for a skills-based economy through a suite of new tools and platforms designed to connect skilled job seekers with employers.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen the pandemic hit people who can bear it the least,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “We are doubling down at LinkedIn and across Microsoft with new work to support a more inclusive skills-based labor market, creating more alternatives, greater flexibility, and accessible learning paths that connect these more readily with new jobs.”
“For a long time, the way people got hired was based solely on the job they had, the degree they earned or the people they knew. That’s starting to change. Workers are now better understanding and articulating the skills they have and the skills they need while businesses are looking not just at those familiar credentials but also at the skills that workers from often- overlooked communities have to get the job done. We want to help accelerate that change,” said Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn CEO. “Since last June, Microsoft and LinkedIn have helped more than 30 million people worldwide gain access to digital skills, and today we’re extending our commitment to skills by helping 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire in 2021.”