Considering a career change or looking for a job? Go online to shift your ideas about a career in IT

LONDON, April 28, 1999 — Have you ever thought IT could be for you or have you always thought it was just for ‘techies’? Today Bill Gates announced a new UK initiative to encourage people outside of IT to change their view and consider a job in IT. The Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative kicks off with the release of a new web site, designed to provide a launch pad for anyone open to considering a career in IT and highlighting the unlimited potential for everyone.

Supporters such as Manpower, Prince and GP are innovating with new approaches that help people make the shift into their first IT jobs. This initiative has received a very positive reception from DTI, ITNTO and ESSNTO, as it adds further weight to ongoing industry and Government efforts to address the demand for IT skills.

David Svendsen, chairman of Microsoft Ltd, comments:
“We have a peculiarity with IT where the image of the industry is one of innovation and excitement, yet the image of the occupation is one of ‘nerdiness’ and isolation. People don’t see that the reality of IT work is very different, with a tremendous need for communication and creative skills, and a huge range of possibilities for all. It’s great to be working with supporters to bring about a real change in attitudes, reaching out to those outside IT and encouraging them to make the shift to IT. We recognize that a concerted effort is needed from all parties to gear up for the employment challenges of the next millennium.”

The web site, found at will provide

  • Real life examples of success stories from male and female trainees as young as 20, who, after taking training courses, have moved into highly rewarding IT positions less than a year after taking their qualifications.

  • A first point of call for anyone considering a move to IT, encouraging people to change their view of IT, shift into IT, and bring their non-IT skills with them from all walks of life. An aptitude assessment will help people decide if IT is for them.

  • A gateway to a wealth of information and ideas, with links to organizations, agencies, industry bodies and useful resources that can answer any immediate concerns and provide further details on how to proceed, making it easier to get skilled and move into IT jobs.

A supporting marketing campaign will focus on raising awareness of IT careers and the web site through career advisors, job centers, colleges, universities and training organizations. This campaign will invite comment and responses from these communities for input to future revisions of the web site, thereby increasing its value.

The Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative aims to increase the pool of IT practitioners in the UK, through positively promoting the benefits of a career in IT, encouraging more people to choose a career in IT, and assisting peoples move into IT. It includes a number of innovative programs with partners to raise awareness of the opportunities of work in IT and to make it easier for people to shift into training, work experience and their first IT job.

The initial version of the site will be launched on 28 April, 1999 at the Institute of Directors annual convention. The announcement will be included in a live satellite address from Bill Gates at the Royal Albert Hall.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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