REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 23, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its Skills 2000 Educator Training Initiative to provide technology training to instructors at high schools, colleges and universities nationwide. The training program is part of the Microsoft® Skills 2000 initiative, which also includes student recruitment, internship and job placement programs aimed at narrowing the gap between the number of open jobs in the information technology industry and the inadequate number of skilled professionals to fill them. Microsoft expects to train 100,000 students by the end of the academic year 1998.
Educational institutions eligible for the training initiative must be part of the Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program (AATP), or be in the process of applying to join AATP. AATP is a formal technology training and support program to help certify high school, vocational, community and four-year college students as Microsoft Certified Professionals who are highly trained in development tools and system products. Launched in 1995, AATP will include more than 500 schools by the end of the academic year. The number of students trained through the program grew at a rate of more than 400 percent between 1996 and 1997.
Workforce Demand for Skilled Computer Professionals
As one example, the U.S. Department of Commerce recently estimated that in the next seven years, U.S. companies will require more than 1 million new IS workers. Microsoft estimates that more than 41,000 jobs are open worldwide at Microsoft Certified Solution Provider companies. The problem is that high schools, colleges and universities are not graduating enough students with the technology skills to fill the growing demand from information technology companies. The National Science Foundation has reported that in the United States from 1986 to 1994, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer science dropped 43 percent.
The educator training initiative will provide AATP instructors with eight days of instructor-led training on the Microsoft Windows NT® operating system for the nominal courseware cost of $150 – a $2,850 training value.
“Academic institutions providing technology training to students is an important solution to fueling the IT workforce with skilled professionals,” said Nancy Lewis, general manager of worldwide training and certification at Microsoft. “This training initiative triples the number of instructors trained on Microsoft technology, enabling academic institutions to provide students with skills that are highly sought after by hiring managers in the IT industry.”
Skills 2000 and AATP Provide Internships and Job Placement
Skills 2000 includes an investment by Microsoft to facilitate internships and job placements between AATP students and Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) organizations. Microsoft has contracted with Quantum EDP Recruiting Services to help place AATP students with MCSPs. Microsoft is also sponsoring nationwide Career Expos in 16 cities across North America through Oct. 29, enabling MCSPs to recruit job applicants. Skills 2000 also includes a relationship with The Monster Board, a leading recruitment advertising agency, enabling AATP students to post r
s online and browse job advertisements by MCSPs free of charge.
AATP Equips Students With Knowledge and Hands-On Job Skills
The Microsoft initiative has helped Wyoming experience phenomenal success in training students and placing internships, through the Microsoft Wyoming Technology Workforce Development project. Wyoming has developed a statewide infrastructure to offer job skills training based on Microsoft networking and business applications technologies. Currently, 11 Wyoming high schools and two community colleges are Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program institutions. This year, more than 200 Wyoming high school students are studying Microsoft technology, and many will be hired as interns or employees in local businesses.
“By integrating Microsoft training in our schools and by developing internships in local communities, Wyoming has developed a model for training students on technology skills that track to real jobs, both in sparsely populated rural communities and in our urban centers,” said Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer. “The success of our initial pilot project demonstrates the value of relationships between public education and Microsoft.”
In Dallas, Richland College has been offering both credit and continuing education Authorized Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) courses since 1995 under the Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program. Richland College’s AATP program continues to grow; currently, it has more students requesting training than it can accommodate – an important factor in a college climate where enrollments have been dropping.
“The incredible demand for authorized Microsoft training has presented us with a wonderful problem – the need to constantly train new instructors and set up new labs,” said Ann
Beheler, professor and AATP coordinator at Richland College. “With the help of Microsoft, our programs are definitely paying off as we see graduating students obtain valuable jobs in the high-tech industry as a result of their training.”
How to Join
More information on the Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program and the Skills 2000 Educator Training Initiative is available on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/aatp/ . Locations for the Skills 2000 Educator Training Initiative are Boston; Charleston, W.Va.; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Irvine, Calif.; Minneapolis; New York; Newark, N.J.; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Raleigh, N.C.; Riverton, Wyo.; Saratoga, Calif.; Seattle; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington, D.C.
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