N.C., Microsoft partner to provide IT training to students

Posted November 15, 2010

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— Microsoft announced Monday that North Carolina is the first state in the nation to launch the Microsoft IT Academy Program at all public high schools.

The IT Academy "provides students with real-world technology skills they need to be successful in college and their careers," according to a Microsoft news release.

Under the agreement, teachers will also receive Microsoft learning curricula as well as professional development support and resources to help them tailor their instruction.

Monday's announcement took place at Wake County's Leesville Road High School, one of the 37 high schools currently piloting the program.

An additional 20 school districts have agreed to field-test the program in select high schools, beginning in January 2011 in time for the second semester of the school year. North Carolina Department of Public Instruction leaders say they anticipate all of the state's 628 public high schools will participate in time for the 2011-12 school year.

Students are able to earn certification as Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) or Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) by completing the coursework and passing certification exams.

The program features access to online learning content, official Microsoft course materials, instructor resources and support materials including lesson plans, software licenses and professional, industry-recognized certifications.

There are currently 9,000 Microsoft IT Academy Program members in more than 100 countries, and the North Carolina school system's adoption of the program is the largest in the world to date.

"The ability to effectively use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access is an essential skill in most businesses and offices today," State Superintendent June Atkinson said in a statement.


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  • rroutput Nov 15, 2010

    Open source is failing. Apple has 7% or so of the CONSUMER market and .0007% of the business market. Shops are abandoning anything Java now that Oracle owns it.

    Microsoft is still at the top of their game. Good for the kids that someone wants to introduce them to the tools they'll actually use on the job.

  • itsnotmeiswear Nov 15, 2010

    Whether they maintain their certification or not, this is a real opportunity for the kids to actually learn something useful to them getting a job in the future. You can make a good living just solving workflow problems with Office application integration for people that don't have time or an interest to learn the tricks.

  • james27613 Nov 15, 2010

    You don't have to be in school to use MS software to learn.

  • james27613 Nov 15, 2010

    Certificate, diploma, hammer or a lathe, computers, etc are just tools of the trades.

    You must know how to use them properly.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 15, 2010

    Good move by Microsoft. Hook em young. I will stick with my open source free applications.

  • seeingthru Nov 15, 2010

    I am going to jump on the physical therapy wagon as these kids will be getting computer overuse injuries at a much earlier age--big market there thanks NC

  • ThatGuyAgain Nov 15, 2010

    MSFT has been doing very well for a long, long time by wooing users and developers with free (or very, very cheap), very robust development and educational tools. Some folks hate any entity that is very successful in business (specifics like Microsoft, McDonald's, Wal-Mart come to mind, as well as abstracts like "Wall Street" and "them thar big corporations") and lots of them have recited their thoroughly memorized talking points in this thread. The talking points are tired, boring and ancient history, but folks keep reciting them anyway. Yawn.

    I've been in IT for ~30 years and for most of that time I've been hearing "NEXT year is the year of Unix" (or Linux or some variant) and the shrill, sometimes almost paranoid rantings of the Apple evangelicals. What a bore.

    This looks like another successful move for Microsoft that will likely add more value to graduates of NC public schools than anything any teachers' union or the DOE is capable of even imagining. Good on Microsoft.

  • Nunya123 Nov 15, 2010

    Yes. Mac's are taking market share. They are up to 6.8% worldwide. That only leaves 92% as windows/MS and 1% linux. Better jump on that wagon cause it is certainly rocketing off.

  • davidgnews Nov 15, 2010

    The classes and certs may be 'free' while in school, but that's where it probably ends. Training and certs are also a revenue stream for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Red Hat, etc. It also costs to re-up the certs from year to year and keep up with new features, etc.

  • Cragsdale Nov 15, 2010

    MCP is just as useless in the IT world as Network+ and A+ certifications. So unless Microsoft is footing the whole bill, this is a complete waste of money for these kids at this level of learning imo.