Microsoft launched its "Workforce Readiness Campaign" in conjunction with EDUCAUSE last week in Anaheim, California; and IT Academy participated in both events. Two pieces of news followed us home. First, a new IDC white paper study—Skills Requirements for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs: Helping Educators Provide Students with Skills and Tools They Need—has identified 20 of the most common skills in demand for the top 60 high-growth, high-salary jobs of the future. These jobs are expected to account for 11.5 million new hires and 28% of job growth by 2020. Skills cited in the report include:

  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Detail attentiveness
  • Microsoft Office
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills

Not surprisingly, Microsoft Office skills rank high. The study also makes clear that tomorrow’s jobs are going to require both hard and soft skills—a message we try to signal often on Born to Learn but can be lost in the mix when covering the critical and growing technology skills gap. The study highlights how education leaders need to consider the value of technology for building skills required in the workplace versus acquiring technology to check it off a list. In other words, educators need to put the technology to full use.  We were thrilled that an ITA graduate from Utah was featured in this campaign, as highlighted on the Microsoft on the Issues blog in an article by Cameron Evans, chief technology officer, U.S. Education. 

Where IT Academy Comes In

With 15,000 programs in 130 countries, IT Academy reaches 8.5 million students and educators every year. In the past 12 months, we’ve issued 1.4 million certifications including Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), which covers the universally applicable Microsoft Office skills cited in the IDC study.  

Triumphs come to the fore every day. One recent story comes from Utah, where Dallas Pederson landed a technical job with American Red Cross after receiving certification in high school. A year later he took a job with Executech as a network administrator/IT Consultant.

“Experience is everything in IT and certifications are the quickest way to get you on your way,” Dallas says.

Read more about the study: