Microsoft MSFT recently announced the launch of a new program aimed at equipping 25 million people around the world with the latest digital skills.
The initiative will bring together resources from every section of the company including GitHub and LinkedIn to help people develop their skills per the requirements of the market. Markedly, the program offers free access to learning materials from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab. It also combines them with Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job seeking tools.
These resources can all be accessed from a central location and will available in English, German, Spanish and French.
Moreover, the company is developing a new learning app in Microsoft Teams that will help companies train new and current employees as the economy starts to re-open and people return to work.
Microsoft’s announcement comes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has led to a global economic crisis. Markedly, coronavirus-led economic downturn has triggered layoffs and pay cuts; with people of color, women and younger workers at the highest risk of job loss.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that in May, unemployment rates were much higher in African American and Latino communities compared with that of white individuals.
Further, lack of skilled workers, particularly from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields in the United States, has been a concern for quite some time. Also, the recent freeze on the H1-B visas is likely to remain an overhang.
Thus, Microsoft’s initiatives are likely to help cushion these companies from the sudden lack of skilled workers from China and India by focusing on creating a highly-trained local workforce.
The company’s efforts are expected to aid jobseekers pursue in-demand jobs, which will accelerate global economic recovery. It is also likely to generate goodwill around Microsoft’s brand and boost investors’ optimism in this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Notably, the company’s shares have returned 30.8% in the year-to-date period compared with the industry’s rally of 23%.
Microsoft Corporation Price and Consensus
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Atlanta Becomes First American City to Benefit
Microsoft recently announced ‘Accelerate: Atlanta’ which marks the first implementation of the company’s initiative in the United States.
The company has partnered with various organizations in the city to improve employability and ensure people can acquire digital skills like AI and Machine Learning that are needed to stay competitive in this rapidly changing work environment.
Markedly, Microsoft is collaborating with civic bodies like the Office of the Mayor of Atlanta and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, as well as academic institutions like General Assembly, OpenClassrooms and TechBridge. It has also inked deals with Accenture ACN in regard to the same initiative.
Microsoft is investing an additional $1 million to help high-risk communities like low-income groups as well as ethnic and racial minorities in the city. Non-profit organizations in Atlanta led African American members will be among the 50 such organizations across the U.S. to receive cash grants to aid in this initiative.
These endeavors are likely to become the first steps toward driving an economic comeback in the United States and ensuring the general well-being of the people.
Other Companies in the Fray
With this announcement, Microsoft has become the latest company to offer free digital learning courses aimed at helping people develop skills and find suitable employment.
Recently, International Business Machines IBM announced the launch of 'SkillsBuild Reignite' to aid job seekers and entrepreneurs in India reinvent their careers and businesses amid the pandemic.
The program expands on the original SkillsBuild initiative which the company had launched in Nov 2019. The revamped program now includes even more coursework which includes financial management, business strategy, digital strategy, legal support, among others.
In March, SAP SE SAP announced a digital learning initiative designed to help students and professionals upskill themselves by offering innovative and interactive educational content.
The initiative is based on three pillars which include massive open online courses (MOOCs), learning journeys for universities and the SAP Young Thinkers program. These offerings can be accessed through the openSAP platform and is available for anybody who wishes to learn during these challenging times.
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