Microsoft Launches Wave of Local Training, Certification Events

REDMOND, Wash. — March 9, 2009 — Today Microsoft Corp. kicked off Microsoft Skills Week, a wave of more than 175 partner-led events in North America designed to help IT professionals and developers develop and validate their skills, network with industry leaders and achieve Microsoft Certified Professional status. Microsoft Skills Week will run March 9-13, followed by a series of events culminating at Tech•Ed in May. Microsoft Skills Week events will showcase more than 100 Microsoft Certified Partners for Learning Solutions and the value they deliver to individuals and organizations.

Skills Week events will also draw upon each partner’s expertise and provide access to Microsoft technical specialists and reduced rates on training resources. Together, these resources will help attendees stay competitive in today’s job market, and organizations increase their collective technology expertise and operational efficiencies.

“These events accelerate skills development that will differentiate individuals, organizations and our partners,” said Deborah Ziegenhorn, director of U.S. Partner Skills Development at Microsoft. “By working with Microsoft Certified Partners for Learning Solutions, Microsoft is enabling these partners to extend their market reach, reduce costs, increase profitability and deliver innovative solutions that help customers realize their full potential.”

According to Lutz Ziob, general manager of Microsoft Learning, Microsoft Skills Week is an important effort that brings Microsoft and its partners together to help people get the skills they need to be successful in today’s economy.

“We’ve worked with our partners to provide a wide range of training and certification opportunities at each Microsoft Skills Week event,” Ziob said. “We are thrilled to be co-launching a national outreach to individually help IT workers get affordable and relevant technical skills that will enable them to get a job and stay employed.”

Microsoft Skills Week events will include the following skills development and career assistance programs as part of its offerings:

  • Access to Career Assist. An offering through Microsoft Learning’s Second Shot Program. Second Shot gives individuals the opportunity to retake a Microsoft Certified Professional exam for free should they fail. The Career Assist Package gives individuals who register for Second Shot by June 30 the opportunity to purchase a Microsoft E-Learning Collection for $35 (U.S.) — a 90 percent price discount in most cases. The online programs provide specific tools to help users develop technical skills and prepare for Microsoft Certified Professional exams. The discounted collection purchased with the Career Assist Package will be available for 90 days after activation.

  • Exam Crams. Quick study sessions to prepare individuals for Microsoft Certification exams.

  • Live Meetings. Sessions with Microsoft technical specialists and legendary Microsoft Certified Trainers who will demonstrate technologies to enhance training and answer questions to enable individuals to prepare for examinations.

  • Exam discounts. Opportunities to get certified on-site at events while saving up to 40 percent on exam fees.

More information on Microsoft Skills Week and local events is available at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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