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Need a job? Microsoft offering free digital skills training

COVID-19 has changed many things about the world we live in, but its effect on the economy is one of the most obvious. Since the start of the pandemic, millions of jobs have either vanished or moved online entirely. And for many workers, this adjustment only adds to the stresses of maintaining stability.

But thankfully, there is hope on the horizon. Where jobs disappeared, new ones are quickly cropping up to take their place — including several that address the specific needs of this moment in history. Tap or click here to see how you can get a job as a contact-tracer for COVID-19 patients.

Small businesses and the health industry aren’t the only ones adjusting to the changes. Microsoft, one of the biggest companies in the world, sees an opportunity to help job-seekers prepare for life under this new normal. And to get them started, the company is offering new training options for a wide range of careers. Here’s a sneak peek at its plans.

Microsoft to add online job-training to its broad range of services

According to reports from Fast Company, Microsoft has set its sights upon helping millions of Americans find new jobs in the post-COVID-19 economy.

As part of a new collaboration with the business networking platform LinkedIn, Microsoft is using the company’s job and economic data to identify the top 10 most in-demand jobs and offer free online courses to help applicants succeed in their careers.

What jobs might those be? Based on LinkedIn’s data, here are the jobs predicted to endure into the next decade:

  • Customer- service specialist
  • Sales -development representative
  • IT support/help desk technician
  • Digital  marketer
  • Project  manager
  • Graphic  designer
  • Financial analyst
  • Data  analyst
  • Network  administrator
  • Software  developer

As you can see, all of these jobs play a vital role in building successful businesses that can survive mandatory shutdowns, outbreak scares, and, most importantly, remote work. Tap or click here to see which work-from-home jobs are currently hiring right now.

Per Microsoft’s plans, the online courses will be offered free of charge to LinkedIn users through the end of the year. All you’ll need to do is sign up for a LinkedIn account, fill your profile out and visit LinkedIn’s opportunities page to participate.

How can these career training courses help me? How will an interviewer know I’ve taken them?

Microsoft isn’t just offering courses, mind you. As part of its job-skills program, the company also plans to offer certification exams at a reduced rate to participants.

These exams would typically cost hundreds of dollars or more under ordinary circumstances. But under Microsoft’s plan, one exam should cost somewhere in the range of $15. This presents a huge opportunity for job-seekers to expand their skillsets and receive credentials that interviewers will accept and acknowledge.

These exams will be fully proctored and available to be taken online at a later date. What’s more, Microsoft plans on eating most of the bill itself. In a statement, the company said it plans to provide “$20 million in financial grants, plus technical support, to nonprofit organizations around the world” that will help administer the tests.

With so many small businesses going under in response to the pandemic, it’s heartening to see one of the world’s largest corporations doing its part to give back to everyday workers. We can only hope this program helps people find long-lasting jobs that can protect them from economic uncertainty during this unusual time.

Otherwise, we might end up with even more hurdles to overcome in the job market. Tap or click here to see a scary simulation of an AI-powered job interview.

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