Today, Microsoft Canada and 12 post-secondary institutions announced the Canada Skills Program.
Launching this fall, the program will bolster the data & AI skills and employability of more than 4,500 students in diploma, degree and continuing education programs.
The Canada Skills program provides opportunities for students to acquire in-demand digital skills and certifications enabling them to graduate with both a Microsoft certification, as well as their institution’s credential.
“The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation at unimaginable rates, making skills in cloud, data and AI more important than ever,” said Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada.
“Microsoft developed the Canada Skills Program to help strengthen the innovation economy by building a talent pipeline equipped with the skills they need for future success.”
To facilitate the Canada Skills Program at local institutions, Microsoft is training and certifying almost 100 faculty as Microsoft Certified Trainers at colleges, polytechnics and universities, providing the fundamental skills that are in high demand as the economy emerges from the challenges caused by COVID-19.
Institutions will combine Microsoft’s curriculum alongside existing coursework to skill students in Data and AI technologies and prepare students to take industry-recognized Microsoft Certifications including Azure AI Engineer, Azure Data Scientist, Azure Data Engineer, Azure Administrator, Azure Solutions Architect and Azure Fundamentals.
“The global economic recovery will be significantly rooted in innovations which require these skills,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education, Microsoft. “As a global technology leader, we have a responsibility to ensure future generations of workers have the tools they need to succeed, and to help strengthen our economies overall.”
The first 12 post-secondary institutions to sign on with the Microsoft Canada Skills Program are:
- British Columbia: University of British Columbia; Vancouver Community College
- Alberta: University of Calgary; Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; Red Deer College; Southern Alberta Institute of Technology; Bow Valley College
- Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
- Ontario: Seneca College, Humber College; Ontario Tech University; Algonquin College
The Microsoft Canada Skills Program is the company’s latest initiative aimed at giving Canadians the skills they need for the digital economy.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a global skilling initiative to help 25 million workers who lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, providing free training and access to learning tools across Microsoft, LinkedIn and GitHub.