IT Career JumpStart

Dec 9 2013   7:16PM GMT

First Batch of MS Software and Systems Academy Grads Honored

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

In other blog posts here and elsewhere, I’ve mentioned the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy, a military-oriented offshoot of the company’s IT Academy program which has branches at high schools, community colleges, technical schools, and even some four-year colleges and universities around the US (and all over the world, actually). A pilot program had been set up this past summer, which put a group of 22 service men and women through a 16-week training program at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JGLM) set up in partnership with a local St. Martin’s University campus in Washington State. This first batch was honored last week on campus in a ceremony described in this story from the JBLM newspaper, The Northwest Guardian, entitled “Service members looking to the future.” Senator Patty Murray gave the ceremony keynote, as a key contributor to the “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” legislation passed by the Congress in 2011 that helped provide funding for this venture.


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This first group of attendees generally signed up to start the 16-week program in or before August, leading to a completion date in late November. The curriculum included course elements on the C# and R programming languages, along with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, to help equip them to work in and around Web development projects (here’s a brochure that describes the program in PDF format, including entrance and qualification criteria). According to the Northwest Guardian story, many of the initial program graduates “…were offered jobs that start [in] January,” including Sgt. Bergan (pictured above).

Microsoft has indicated it will hire some of these graduates itself, while others will go to work at technical staffiing company Launch Consulting, to work as contractors for Microsoft and other high-tech employers. So far there’s been no precise word on what kinds of certifications are being conferred at the successful conclusion of the 16-week program, but my “educated guess” is that it’s either one of the MTA or MCSD credentials with a Web programming focus. I’ve got a call into Lorna White at Microsoft to try to tease out this all-important detail, and will modify this blog post as soon as I find out!

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