Microsoft Software & Systems Academy for Military and Veterans
Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) for Military and Veterans
The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) provides transitioning service members and veterans with the essential skills necessary to secure employment in today’s growing technology industry.
The MSSA offers a 16 to 17 week training for careers in cloud development and cloud administration, which are areas in extremely high demand. Graduates of these programs will have the opportunity to interview for open positions at Microsoft or one of their hiring partners.
Fully Virtual, Fully Funded for Military and Veterans
In early March, Microsoft announced that the MSSA program would be 100% online, and the 16-17 week course would be fully funded. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment on the cost of fully funding MSSA.
The MSSA and DoD’s Skillbridge program pair up extremely well in preparing members of the military community for careers in technology. The move to virtual learning brought on by the pandemic enables students to learn these technical skills from anywhere, and without using their GI Bill benefits.
The MSSA program transitioned to a virtual format in March 2020 at the onset of COVID-19. However, the permanence of the online delivery, and the funding, began in February 2021. This format complements the flexibility required by those transitioning from the military.
Learning Paths and Career Opportunities
Cloud Application Development
The purpose of this program is to mold veterans into C# programmers who “build local, server based and cloud-stored applications.” The learning path covers concepts like database programming, data integration & manipulation, C# application programming with ASP.net MVC, and application development in Azure.
Check out some Potential Careers in this job field.
Server & Cloud Administration
This program prepares veterans to become system administrators who can “install, configure, manage and advance the usage of IT resources on premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid combination to meet the technology needs of major organizations.” The topic areas of instruction include Windows Server workloads, networking, authentication and authorization, cloud models, and Azure administration.
Check out some Potential Careers in this arena.
Additional Program Benefits
For each of these learning paths, “Microsoft provides free Microsoft Learn courses to expand your fundamental knowledge of key technology areas and help prepare you to gain one of the required MTA certifications.”
Additionally, CompTIA offers a 26% discount on their exam vouchers, while also providing online and local instructor-ed training to help prepare you to gain one of the required CompTIA certifications. These voucher codes are provided by MSSA Academic Partners.
If you’re a military spouse, Microsoft has previously hosted a Military Spouse Technology Academy which aims to “provide an intensive training program designed to empower military spouses with in-demand digital skills that can lead to well-paying and meaningful careers.” This is an annual program. There have been no announcements for 2021 and beyond. Please check back for updates on this program.
Finally, Microsoft works with hundreds of hiring partners to assist program graduates find new careers after training is complete. Many of these hiring partners are Fortune 500 companies! Microsoft and its military family-friendly Hiring Partners feel it is critical to address the skills gap in the technology industry.
This opportunity is open to both current and transitioning service members, so take your next Virtual Steps today!
If you are interested in applying to the MSSA program, email MCSAops@microsoft.com to sign up for weekly information sessions.
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About the author
Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.