In the last couple of years, rapid global changes have caused a demand for new digital skills for the era we live in. In order to prepare new generations for future jobs, two years ago, Microsoft has launched Microsoft Global Skilling Initiative (GSI) and provided online platforms where users can boost their digital skills and gain knowledge about the tools necessary to be competitive in a dynamic job market. Microsoft Global Skilling initiative partnered with governments and numerous educational institutions where job-seekers and underserved people could gain new digital skills that might help them in the hiring process. We talked with two GSI participants who finished Data Analyst learning path. During the program, they got a chance to explore Data analysis, analytics, visualization, Microsoft Excel, SQL, BI, Tableau.
Josip Rosandić, an IT student at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics in Croatia, is finishing his master’s studies of Databases and knowledge bases. His fields of interest are databases, data mining, and machine learning. After completing a Data Analyst course and getting a Microsoft certificate, he got his first job as a Data Engineer.
Only a couple of hundreds of kilometers away, Ivana Topic from Serbia finished the same Data Analyst course. After living in Australia, the process of adapting to a new way of life and finding a job in Serbia was a real challenge for her. With her previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry, she kept on learning new things that resulted in her getting the desired job.
What made you decide to apply for the Data Analyst course?
Josip: I am an overthinker. That is not necessarily a bad trait, but it must be managed well. That is why I love to dig into the data, find out something that I did not know before, and help others see something that is not visible instantly. I also love to read and that is where my passion for knowledge comes to light. My brain is always analyzing, connecting, making assumptions and conclusions, and trying to find something new all the time.
Ivana: I think that during our lives we need to constantly learn and improve ourselves, which is why I apply for various courses from time to time. It is important to gain new skills to stay relevant in the work market but also to be more secure in your own knowledge, since the IT industry is growing exponentially.
Having seen the announcement of the GSI initiative on LinkedIn, I did not hesitate to apply. The profession of Data Analyst, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, is highly useful, so I wanted to go through basic programs like PowerBI so that I could work on various projects in the field.
What benefits did you get from this program?
Josip: With this opportunity, I got a chance to gain some new knowledge and get insight into something that I would have loved to know about, but I did not have an opportunity to try before. Via platforms like Microsoft Learn, LinkedIn Learn, and GitHub Learning Lab, anyone can get a chance to learn another skill. Now I discovered a new niche, found some interesting concepts to explore in detail, and got a certificate to validate my knowledge.
Once you find a topic that you want to be certified in, you can start studying for it since all these study materials are available on the Microsoft Docs platform for free. Once you think that you are ready, you can apply for certification and just follow these steps to get there. I highly recommend any Microsoft certificates to my friends in any of the fields they are into.
Ivana: Since I work as a freelancer, I have always received additional education. The lectures on the course were perfectly designed so I could get involved whenever I had free time. It meant that I could organize my learning time. In addition, all courses were completely free, and contained hours of material that could contribute to career development.
What I have learned made me more confident, so I could step out of my comfort zone and search for more projects that I could work on.
Not so long after passing the exam, you got the job you wanted. Congratulations! How much did GSI program help?
Josip: Thank you! GSI program was definitely very helpful in terms of gaining relevant knowledge in the field. Since my certificate was based on PowerBI knowledge and data analysis, it was an advantage because one of the tools we work with in the company is PowerBI. Gaining knowledge through the certification was an outstanding opportunity to start working on data analysis and to build new knowledge on top of it.
Ivana: Quite a lot! With the skills I have gained from GSI program, now I am able to conclude why something happened by comparing descriptive data sets to identify dependencies and patterns. This helps my company to determine the cause of a positive or negative outcome.
I see now that I have much more confidence with data storage structures, data mining, and data cleansing; in my new project I am juggling with processes to keep all that data confidential.
What steps will you take in the future? Where do you think you will be in the next couple of years?
Josip: In the following years, I see myself in an environment where I can get some experience working on real projects in my field. I am ready to work hard to get to every checkpoint in my life that I want to and to pass them. I hope I will get the chance to try new things in life regarding my work and not be afraid of any opportunity.
Ivana: I hope that I will grow professionally enough and learn more technical skills that include knowledge of database languages. Also, I will work on getting mathematical and statistical skills to help gather, measure, organize, and analyze more complex data and hopefully, one day, I will get to the Project Management role.
Global Skilling Initiative’s goal is to make opportunities for all and provide people with the cloud skills necessary to find jobs. Sign up until June 30th, 2022, and follow Josip and Ivana’s lead in finding the perfect job!