Welcome to the weekly review of news, events, and opportunities for Microsoft IT Academy.

Virginia Statewide IT Academy, Best Practice

The Virginia Department of Education has created the Virginia Microsoft IT Academy website to build awareness around their statewide IT Academy. The site features the program overview, benefits, and provides guidance to teachers on how to implement the program in their classrooms. IT Academy Community members are also provided a legislative report, giving them a clear understanding of the background, goals, and progress of the program.  IT Academies throughout Virginia are also highlighted on an interactive map.

Microsoft IT Academy Monthly Webcast Recap

The March ITA Monthly Webcast is now available on-demand (member sign-in required). The March webcast featured “Preparing for Tech Demand in the Workforce,” presented by Keith Loeber, Director of IT Academy, who shared his insights on the escalating demand for IT technology skills and, in turn, the need to prepare students as cloud computing transforms the IT landscape. 

Whether a student seeks a career in IT or another field, achieving certification is an invaluable benefit.  For students preparing for college, surveys show that more recruiters are using assessments that incorporate experience beyond grades—and Microsoft Certifications demonstrates the mastery of the business and technical abilities that set students apart from peers.   As high school students enter the workforce, certification speaks to hiring managers about commitment, hard work and follow through--and all of those messages benefit the job candidate. 

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certified students work more efficiently at their jobs because they can fully leverage Office features and functionality.  Employers know MOS certified students are more productive than those without certification.   Certification validates an employee’s skills as well as gives those new to the workforce—like your students--the confidence they need.

Coming April 25thRegister for the April 25th webinar, Best Practices from IT Academy Members from around the World where we’ll feature your peers sharing their best practices for implementing IT Academy tools and resources to best  manage their classrooms and guide their students to graduation and  successful employment.

Skills Gap and Global Economy

A new survey by CareerBuilder examines skills gaps in the 10 largest world economies, confirming that IT and engineering jobs are the most difficult positions to fill, and reinforcing the effect these vacancies have on the bottom line. Read the article on the Workbuzz blog.

With the growing concerns about the global skills gap, Microsoft IT Academies around the world continue to see the positive impact it offers by providing the skills students need to be successful in college and careers.

New Zealand and IT Academy Partnership Growing

Ten Microsoft IT Academy schools in New Zealand will receive 1000 certification exam vouchers and many resources to help their students gain important skills.    Discover how the IT Academy is expanding in New Zealand and what this means to its students.

Certification Creates a Bright Future for Alabama Students

Eighteen students from Autauga County Technology Center in Prattville, Alabama recently became the first group from the local school to earn Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) credentials.  Read more about this exciting first!

Other News

Second Shot Offer Ending June 30, 2013
Do you know about Second Shot?  This special offer gives your students a free second chance to pass a Microsoft Certification exam if they don't pass the first time.  The offer ends June 30, 2013, so get your exam vouchers now and take exams by June 30.  For IT Academy members, sign into the member site and go to Second Shot

Take the Latest Jump Start Courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy
Free Jump Start courses from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) are a great way for your students to acquire in-depth IT knowledge and valuable guidance on applying the latest technology from Microsoft.  Add this to your IT Academy curriculum!

We'd Like To Hear Your Story

 Madeleine Bolitho, a former student at Toowoomba Christian College in Queensland, Australia recently shared her certification story and how IT Academy prepared her for success in the workforce.

I graduated from Toowoomba Christian College in 2012.  Microsoft IT Academy has been a substantial contributor to my current success. When I first started the IT Academy, I had limited knowledge of the Microsoft programs. I found immediately that the courses have a fantastic self-paced schedule with step-by-step modules that are really easy to follow. Through the Microsoft IT Academy program, I completed a Certificate in Business Administration which requires high competency in Microsoft Office programs. Since completing the Microsoft courses, I have now been employed by the Education Department and use my computer skills constantly in every day office work.

 

How has IT Academy made a difference to you and your students?  We’d like to hear from you!  Share your inspiring story in a brief email with photos and your contact information to ITASuccessStories@microsoft.com.

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