One Way Microsoft Might Elevate America and the IT Community

By Phil Butler

mselevatorMicrosoft just announced Elevate America, a program and a new website geared to help job seekers hone their technical skills. The site allows users to access several of Microsoft’s beginner training programs like “How to use the Internet”, along with more advanced programs leading to Microsoft certification. As a broader initiative, Elevate America engages state and local governments to help retrain displaced workers in IT skills. Nearly 4 million jobs have have been lost since the recession started. Making It training and certification more available is one way Microsoft and others can at least raise hope.

This news coincides with the National Governors Association meetings in Washington. According to the press on the Microsoft site, the first states to provide Elevate America to their residents will be; Florida, New York and Washington. In light of Microsoft’s own cutbacks, one has to wonder if Elevate America is more of a PR move than a true initiative. Regardless of its intended PR value however, the scope of help offered to under-trained individuals is much needed.

Elevate America

Elevate America

Elevation Techniques

According to Microsoft’s own press, the company will be providing over 1 million vouchers for access to their eLearning courses and some Microsoft certification testing. Other intermediate goals are also revealed:

  • Expanded access to basic technology literacy and skills training
  • Basic-level IT training through Microsoft Unlimited Potential
  • Intermediate technology training courses, online-instructor-led, certification exams
  • Vouchers for eLearning courses offered by Microsoft
  • Vouchers for certification exams for Microsoft business certification
  • Grants and software to community partners for in-classroom training capacity
  • Discounted membership rates for institutions

Resources For Forward Motion

The Elevate America site is a wealth of information resources. From basic IT skills to certifications, if nothing else, the new site offers a starting point for engaging new It professionals with intermediate level training and testing. The site links directly to Microsoft’s learning data base, while providing extended discovery capabilities and information about Elevate America’s current and future strategies.

MS Learning Data Base

MS Learning Data Base

Microsoft has already had in place any number of initiatives on a worldwide scale. Whether Elevate America is a hurried creation to direct at problems in the US or not, interfacing with states and other corporations can only be helpful to people in transition. The company’s Unlimited Potential outreach, though obviously market centric, is now employed with the Elevate America program as well. The biggest advantage of the Elevate America site is in it ability to center all Microsoft resources for people, it makes a great hub.

One Unlimited Potential Outreach

One Unlimited Potential Outreach

Altruism Or Not – People Need Training

As others have suggested, training future MS certified workers is in the corporation’s best interest any way. But, in the end, the motivation doesn’t really matter does it? In providing great resources, needed MS certification incentives, better access to a great knowledge base, and potentially much wider involvement, Microsoft is once again leading. In the absence of a more ambitious program by a major US corporation, MS is at least elevating IT trainees.

  • Cue various comments about how evil microsoft are… </snark>

  • Kristen Nicole

    Interesting concept. What took Microsoft so long to do this at this level, and does its necessity for increased features that require direct branding and involvement on an individual level have anything to do with offering such competitive options?

    ~Kristen Nicole

    • LOL @ The evil Microsoft, and branding individuals with the mark of the M. LOL. I reserved my opinion as much as possible, but yeah, they are evil. Actually, it appears the website just inserted a landing and tied it to existing MS pages. I could be wrong, but they likely put some wired coder to task in a dark room for 20 hours and POOF – Altruism. :) It is more fun to hammer them isn’t it.


  • Mark

    Is this only for Americans ?

  • Mark

    Great way to Isolate the rest of the world go America go.You started the banking crisis and ran the worlds economy into the dirt and now you want to elevate america good luck you miopic dimwits.

    • Lol Mark. Yes, let’s go geocentric.



    MS Certified Nonse: Oh, here we go again. Masses flocking to schools to get MS certified, to meet the so called tech shortage. People studying materials from the Microsoft Press, at Microsoft Certified Acadamies, with Microsoft Certified instructors. Only to then witness over saturization of techs due to lay-offs from offshoring. Don’t fall for this nonse. Hasn’t any one questioned why Microsoft keeps claiming that there’s not enough “smart people” as they put it, when they themselves push these certificaitons? Funny how they have to import people, when they themselves have access to the largest pool of “certified professionals” Wake up, people.

    • Changed, I think you just hit the nail on the head. MS just got through training some of the 5 thousand they are laying off with the same stuff. Well, if Web 3.0 comes around, there will be jobs for everyone right?


  • Well predicted, PatrickSamphire! :-P

    As per most of their corporate site, it’s not exactly ease-of-use to get to the basic learning materials for novice/intermediate computer users (that are not geo-limited, for the record)… Microsoft really need to join up their thinking a little on this, ;)

    Best Wishes,
    -Ben Vail

  • ty

    mark, why should we americans bother helping you blokes? help yourselves for once, i mean really, stop blaming america for your own countries predicaments.

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