Lifelong learning is the way to stay on top of the curve

Lifelong learning is the way to stay on top of the curve

Did you know that the lifespan of a skill is shrinking from 26 years to 5 years? In five years, the current skillset will be worth about half as much as it is worth today. Today, knowledge is the ultimate currency and skilling is a core tool for career development, advancement, and achievement of wanted business results. As more skilled workforce strongly contributes to economic growth and competitiveness, we are committed to ensuring greater access to digital skilling opportunities. No company can bridge the digital skills gap alone, so we have been actively working with governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations to expand access to digital skilling in Central and Eastern Europe.

Learning is a skill itself and developing that talent is fundamental for an individual’s growth. For anyone who wants to acquire a new skill or improve or upgrade an existing skill to strengthen their career path, there are opportunities to be explored. You just need to know where to look for them.

Everyone should have access to the opportunity to learn new skills

Developing new digital skills in the new age is not just highly recommended but inevitable. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as the adoption of technology increases. Therefore, Microsoft Global Skilling Initiative (GSI) partnered with governments and numerous educational institutions throughout CEE where job seekers and underserved people could gain new digital skills that might help them in the hiring process.

Regardless of the age, profession or location, everyone can embark on a free journey to find the most demanding jobs today. With the highest growth in Data and AI demand, learning programming, storage, networking, security, deployment, IT administration, and managing systems has never been more accessible.

“In today’s challenging times, more than 670,000 people from 25 Central and East European countries, including the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine, benefited from skilling programs. Fourteen thousand people from these countries completed learning paths and got the best practices for job searching and interview prepping to put their best foot forward. Courses are available on LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and Github platforms, and the long-wanted job is just around the corner. Learning is free; participants can learn at their own pace and take as many courses as they want”, said Andreas Fibiger, Philanthropies Lead at Microsoft.

Continuous improvement for successful career journey

As the skills required for any job are changing rapidly, even the most promising hires may feel like their skills are misaligned as their roles evolve. A strong learning and development function can help ensure employees’ skills are aligned with their roles, which in turn could help improve employee retention. Ema Popova, Senior Sales Manager at Microsoft, said supporting partners’ and customers’ desire to build their employees’ technical expertise is very important.

“We are working closely with organizations to help them learn the necessary skills with Azure and other Microsoft technologies to empower their success and enable them to operate in a hybrid environment. With combinations of self-paced learning, virtual training events, instructor-led training, and industry-recognized certifications, employees can stay up to date and enhance technical skills and knowledge of new technologies. More and more requests coming from not only business customers but also governments to have a training cloud/hybrid path built for their administrators, architects, security experts and developers. We see companies and organizations wanting to attend and learn about cloud economics, benefits, and innovations. That is the way they can succeed and overperform in an age where digital is at the core of every aspect of our lives,” said Ema Popova.

Enterprise Skills Initiative (ESI) is made of interactive courses, role-based training curriculums, and Microsoft Certifications in a platform that is accessible to participating organizations. Participants can easily sharpen their technical skills and knowledge of the most innovative solutions by enrolling in interactive courses and training designed for their role and advance their careers by getting certified. With Microsoft Learn, Microsoft Training Days employees can explore a topic in-depth through guided learning paths and interactive, hands-on modules and sign up for digital events with live moderators supporting attendee questions. After that, participants can prepare for Microsoft Certification exams listening to the sessions that provide practical details and guidance.

Lifelong learning is the way to stay on top of the curve

Certificate – A new passport for the future

Even highly skilled IT professionals need extra knowledge. With certification, experts can get an opportunity to train and develop a specialized skillset, earn recognition, and validate their technical knowledge. Certificates show that not only do people take their career seriously enough to spend time and money on continuing education and expanding abilities, but they also have knowledge in their field that not everyone will possess.

“One of the best ways to boost your IT career is to get a Certification. Whether you work (or want to work) as an IT professional, analyst, developer, system, or database administrator, a Microsoft Certification can help you prove your skills and increase your chances of getting hired or promoted. By attaining Microsoft certifications, you give employers and potential employers concrete evidence that you have the proper knowledge and expertise to be a valuable asset. Certifications show you are keeping pace with today’s technical roles and requirements,” claims Anna Kolchak, Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft.

Technical Skilling (TSI) is there to help experts deepen their technical capabilities and master Microsoft solution areas. It can help developers, data and AI&IT professionals to get the skills they need to cover all the aspects of digital transformation, all within the proper security considerations. The program consists of technical workshops that are experiential learning assignments where attendees collaborate to solve challenges, brainstorm new strategies, apply new concepts, and practice new skills. TSI Champs are Subject Matter Experts for certification areas, and they drive certification learning activities, including MC Learning days, exam preparation sessions, and support in Q&A. As a part of the CEE TSI Certification Community, they also leverage learning resources and contribute to the Certification Learning Teams group. Certification Champs share their knowledge and support in the certification preparation. Their expertise and experience make them a great asset to learners.

“I am happy to share the passion and knowledge I gained in the last eight years working with Azure and Microsoft 365 platforms, either by discussing the geeky details or knowing the fundamentals. In this fiscal year, we have already set up several workshops for preparing specific exams, and you can always look at recordings and provided resources. Joining the TSI Champ community is a fantastic opportunity to connect with people and strengthen your knowledge. I strongly believe that technical knowledge is the key ingredient to success for all of us. There is nothing more powerful than showing your customers or partners how tech savvy you are,” said Luka Perne, CEE Multi-Country region TSI Certification Champ.

Skilling supports CEE (Central and Eastern European) countries to grow. Microsoft’s research Digital Futures Index shows that more digitally advanced countries are more innovative, have better economic opportunities, and better societal measures. Skilling programs such as GSI, ESI, and TSI provide new digital knowledge all around the globe and are focused on everyone that needs it, whether they are students, job seekers or professionals who need more information in their area of expertise. Getting inspired and learning from each other is as important as learning together. Organizations, companies, and their people have found a way to make a difference while sharing awareness of the importance of education, striving for growth, and new experiences. Together with them, Microsoft continues to be on its mission to empower every person and organization to achieve more.

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