Digital skills have continually been a necessity in the last few decades but the need for them has become more glaring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has shocked the world into recognizing the looming economic crisis and the extent to which digital skills will play a role in rebuilding businesses and economies. In short, the demand for technology is higher now more than ever.
Among the companies that have always been at our fingertips in terms of digital skills is Microsoft and it is only fair that it is leading the way in enabling the same. The company has announced a new initiative aimed at empowering 25 Million people worldwide by the end of the year. This initiative is to bridge the employment gap and to make sure that as the world recovers, no one is left behind.
Microsoft is looking to do this through use of data to identify in-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them, free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills that these positions require and low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs. These resources can all be accessed at a central location, opportunity.linkedin.com, and will be broadly available online in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish.
In addition, Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help non-profit organizations worldwide assist the people who need it most. One-quarter of this total, or $5 million, will be provided in cash grants to community-based non-profit organizations that are led by and serve communities of color in the United States. The company is also pledging to make stronger data and analytics — including data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph — available to governments around the world so they can better assess local economic needs.
More details on this initiative on the official Microsoft Blog.