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Microsoft team up with universities and colleges to address the technical skills gap in computer science

Colleges and universities team up with Microsoft to address the technical skills gap by building global talent pipelines for AI, data science, computer science and cybersecurity.

Written by Redmond Wash |

Using mobile technlology for data science
'One of the fundamental challenges of our time: closing the skills gap by teaching, training and preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow': Karen Kocher

This Thursday, 11 April, Microsoft Corp. announced new partnerships with global higher education institutions to align and integrate Microsoft’s technical skills programs and credentials to help address the growing 21st century talent gap. The skills programs will help students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow with in-demand technologies in fields like artificial intelligence, computer science, cybersecurity and data science.

Across the globe, there’s a growing skills gap that threatens to inhibit economic growth for workers, businesses and governments. According to ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey, approximately 45% of employers report that skill shortages have a negative impact on their businesses. Microsoft is helping to prepare students and the world’s workforce to effectively move from the classroom to a 21st century career. The use of Microsoft courses by colleges and universities will provide cost-effective educational choices for students, helping them acquire the skills needed to fill the looming skills gap emerging across the global economy.

The incredible transformation we’re witnessing in the 21st century workplace calls out the need for organizations - governments, higher education institutions, employers, the nonprofit sector - to step up and tackle one of the fundamental challenges of our time: closing the skills gap by teaching, training and preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow,

Karen Kocher, general manager, 21st Century Jobs, Skills and Employability, Microsoft.

This is a crucial part of our mission at Microsoft, and we are proud to join forces with these seminal, global learning institutions to help make good on that purpose.

Among the first higher education institutions to collaborate with Microsoft are:

  • Bellevue College is offering a blended and flex-learning model in AI, big data, data science and cybersecurity based on Microsoft courses.
  • Purdue Global University will grant credits toward a full degree when students complete Microsoft technical skills programs in areas like AI, cybersecurity, data science and more.
  • London School of Economics and Political Science is embedding data science skills and knowledge into first-year students’ curriculum.
  • Staffordshire University is delivering Microsoft courses across their student population, integrating modules as part of their “Staffordshire Award” employability program.
  • University of London is integrating the Microsoft Professional Program in Data Science into its new MSc Data Science degree course.

Microsoft’s technical skilling programs prepare workers for in-demand job roles at the forefront of technology, such as data science, AI engineering and Internet of Things (IoT) administration. By creating blended learning programs that include Microsoft technical skills programs, higher education institutions help students and workers earn an industry credential and college credits at the same time, supporting students’ acquisition of skills to help them access new opportunities with the latest technology in today’s rapidly changing workforce.

Our mission at the University of London is to develop internationally aware, innovative and employable graduates,

Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), University of London.

When our students work toward and achieve these ends at university before they enter the workplace, we realize our mission and our graduates can thrive. For this reason, we are particularly excited about our collaboration with Microsoft and its potential to help our students meet and exceed the changing needs of the 21st century workplace.

In addition, in support of assisting students and workers in obtaining the skills and credentials they need for employability, Microsoft has worked with the National College Credit Recommendation Service to determine college credit equivalencies for its technical skills programs, including new Microsoft Azure role-based certifications. Courses offered by Microsoft, including data science, AI, IoT, cybersecurity and computer science, among others, are now eligible to earn college credit at participating universities.

We’re delighted that Microsoft, a global technology leader, has chosen Purdue Global as one of its initial partners to help address the growing challenges of attracting, developing and retaining highly trained workers, while creating a personalized, high-quality educational experience for students,

Dr. Betty Vandenbosch, chancellor of Purdue University Global.

Additional collaborations with universities, colleges and other degree-granting institutions are in development and will be announced in the near future.

Microsoft collaboration logo
'We are excited about our collaboration with Microsoft and its potential to help our students meet and exceed the changing needs of the 21st century workplace'

Notes for Editors

About Bellevue College

With an annual average enrollment of over 32,000, Bellevue College is one of the largest educational institutions in Washington State. BC offers associate degree programs covering the first two years of a college education as well as four-year bachelor’s degrees, certificates and continuing education programs in nearly 100 professional and technical fields, such as information technology, telecommunications, business, education, health and public safety. Visit and learn more at www.bellevuecollege.edu

About the London School of Economics and Political Science

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) studies the social sciences in their broadest sense, with an academic profile spanning a wide range of disciplines, from economics, politics and law, to sociology, information systems and accounting and finance.

The School has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and is one of the most international universities in the world. Its study of social, economic and political problems focuses on the different perspectives and experiences of most countries. From its foundation LSE has aimed to be a laboratory of the social sciences, a place where ideas are developed, analysed, evaluated and disseminated around the globe.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global is the extreme personalization online university, providing students the competitive edge to advance in their chosen careers. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations -- no matter where they are in their life journey.

Purdue Global serves approximately 29,000 students, most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates 14 locations in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University's flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) Indianapolis campus. For more information about Purdue Global, please visit www.PurdueGlobal.edu

Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University is a connected university; connected to the needs of students, academic partners, business and society. Our main City campus in Stoke-on-Trent features excellent learning and teaching facilities and good transport links. We have specialist Centres of Excellence in Healthcare Education at Stafford and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

We were recognised with a ‘silver’ award in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) - confirmation that we regularly exceed national standards for learning and teaching. Excellent employability has contributed to our rise in the UK League Tables and Staffordshire University is celebrating its best ever performance in the Guardian League Tables 2019 - we’re now 44th out of 121 higher education institutions!

We aim to be a leading university for digital technologies building on our proud computing heritage and our strengths in computer games. We are also a national leader in the design and delivery of Higher and Degree apprenticeships. We are connected globally and more than 20,000 people are studying Staffordshire University degrees overseas.

About the University of London

The University of London is the world’s oldest provider of academic awards through distance and flexible learning, dating back to the 1858 Royal Charter, which was awarded to the University of London by Queen Victoria.

In 1858 Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The People’s University’ when its 1858 Royal Charter extended access to degrees to those who could not come to London to study.

Today, students of the University of London’s distance and flexible learning programmes study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes, with some taking the award through self-study or through support from Recognised Teaching Centres across the world. https://london.ac.uk/courses

The University of London’s distance and flexible learning provider has come to be known as the ‘World’s Largest Classroom’, with 50,000 students across the globe, and just under  1.6 million learners on the Coursera online platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), bringing this global reach to just under 1.6 million people around the world in more than 190 countries.

Further information about the University of London is available at: https://london.ac.uk

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft
Tel: (425) 638-7777
Email: rrt@we-worldwide.com

Nicole Beattie, Bellevue College
Tel: 425) 564-2486
Email: nicole.beattie@bellevuecollege.edu

London School of Economics and Political Science
Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 7060
Email: media.relations@lse.ac.uk

Peter Tosches, Purdue University Global
Tel: (901) 692-2220
Email: peter.tosches@purdueglobal.edu

Maria Scrivens, Staffordshire University
Tel: 01782 294375
Email: m.c.scrivens@staffs.ac.uk

Binda Rai, University of London
Mobile: 07920476483
Tel: 020 7862 8545
Email: binda.rai@london.ac.uk

For Editors:

For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com

Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed.

For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at: http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts