Microsoft's IT Academy to be available in 385 Washington State libraries

Microsoft continues to promote IT education efforts as a way to help fill what it claims are a surplus of open computer science jobs. Today, the company announced a partnership with the state of Washington that will see Microsoft's IT Academy online training program become available for people to use at 385 Washington State public libraries.

Washington State first made the Microsoft IT Academy available for students in its public schools in 2011. Today's announcement means that Washington has become the first state in the U.S. to offer IT Academy courses in both public schools and libraries. In its own blog post, Microsoft said that since it launched in the state, the IT Academy has helped over 16,000 Washington public school students and teachers earn their certifications.

The press release states:

The Washington State Library Microsoft IT Academy offers three levels of technology courses: Basic digital literacy proficiencies, Microsoft Office training, and advanced skills for IT professionals. Participants can achieve certification following successful completion of a series of courses by testing at certification centers, or they may choose to complete selected courses without certification.

While taking the IT Academy courses are free, participants must still pay to become certified. Microsoft says that in the past 12 months 1.4 million students have earned their Microsoft certifications worldwide.

Source: Washington State Library | Image via Microsoft

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The cost of this program is hidden though: the students will be trained for MS products, so vendor neutrality -if there was such thing in the IT industry ever- is immediately lost when you join to the program. These people will promote MS products in the future, so its purely an investment from MS. Not a bad thing basically, but just dont look at MS as a group of saints from now jut because they offer free training. It has its price...

Microsoft Academy is an amazing free resource for the IT; lots of courses, webcasts and all of those are free; i'm only short of time to learn more and more, because i like the knowledge.