Microsoft Announces Plan to Train Veterans for Tech Jobs

Redmond, Wash. — Nov. 4

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a new program to provide software development training and testing to U.S. active duty service members transitioning out of the military.

The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy aims to offer U.S. veterans the opportunity for new careers in the growing technology field. The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy consists of a 16-week course to prepare U.S. service members to obtain the certification required for technology careers such as a developer, applications engineer and IT project manager.

Beginning as a pilot program with Saint Martin’s University at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington — the largest military installation west of the Mississippi — the program will be available later this year on key bases in California and Texas, with additional locations to be announced in coming months.

Active duty service members transitioning from all branches of the military as well as members of the National Guard and Reserves returning to their civilian jobs are eligible for the academy.

In addition to receiving a Microsoft IT Academy-powered curriculum provided by Saint Martin’s University, service members who complete the pilot program will be hired into entry-level roles as software testers by either Microsoft or Launch Consulting, the technology consulting firm administering the program.

The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy was inspired by the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, legislation that was signed into law in 2011. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., allows service members to begin the employment process before their separation from the military to facilitate a seamless transition from the military to other jobs.

The program is run on the base, allowing active-duty service members to receive training during the final stage of their military service. In December, the first group of 22 participants will complete the program.

The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy is part of the company’s broader efforts, through programs such as Microsoft YouthSpark, to help young people gain the critical technology skills required for today’s jobs.

Source: Microsoft Corp.