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