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Microsoft is offering low-cost certifications to job seekers

The company says improving digital skills is key to helping the economy recover.
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Young student watching lesson online and studying from home. Young woman taking notes while looking at computer screen following professor doing math on video call. Latin girl student studying from home and watching teacher explaining math formula on video chat.
Ridofranz via Getty Images

Microsoft believes that one of the best ways to help the economy rebound and reduce the staggering rate of unemployment is to help workers learn new digital skills. Today, it announced an initiative designed to train 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year. The initiative will blend new and existing resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft, and it will provide low-cost Microsoft Certifications.

LinkedIn Learning “paths” aligned with tech roles like software developer, project manager, IT administrator and data analyst will be free of charge through the end of March 2021. Those include video content available in English, French, Spanish and German. Microsoft Learn will be available for free, and job seekers pursuing developer roles can access GitHub Learning Lab.

Microsoft is dropping the cost of Microsoft Certifications exams to $15 (if users “self-attest” that their employment was impacted by COVID-19). Usually, those exams cost more than $100. Participants can schedule an exam from September to the end of the year, and they’ll have until March 31st to complete it.

Finally, a new learning app in Microsoft Teams will help employers upskill new and existing employees. LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and third-party trainers will provide the class content. Microsoft says this is especially important because employer investment in training has declined and stagnated over the past two decades.

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