Military Times

Spouses to be eligible for Microsoft IT training

Microsoft plans to expand its IT training program to military spouses, an official said.

The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy is a 16-week, accelerated learning program that provides job skills education on IT technologies that can help active-duty service members transition into competitive IT careers.

Classes now are held on three military installations — Fort Hood, Texas; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; and Camp Pendleton, California. Microsoft works with those installations' command, education and training centers, along with authorized academic partners, to provide the training.

A Microsoft announcement on expansion of the program is expected to come in June or July, said Thomas Dawkins, a senior business manager for Microsoft.

In six to 12 months, the company plans to make the training available to spouses as well, Dawkins said. The training may be on a campus near an installation or on the installation itself, he said.

"We do a lot of work to mold the program to support the needs of the base," Dawkins said.

The program can support about 50 students at Hood and Lewis-McChord, and about 30 at Camp Pendleton, for each 16-week cycle, Dawkins said.

Those who complete the course with passing scores are guaranteed a job interview for a full-time job at Microsoft or one of its participating Microsoft Certified partners.

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