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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the global economy. Society is slowly reopening, yet it’s becoming increasingly clear that despite us getting closer to the ‘normal’ we saw at the beginning of 2020, there are going to be many critical differences. Millions of jobs have been lost as business adjust to cope with these changes, and we, as Microsoft, have an opportunity to help those who are unemployed and need to reskill to land their next position.

We’re excited to provide learning and employability tools to help 25 million people around the world gain the skills they need to skill up and pursue roles that are in-demand in an increasingly digital economy. Using existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft, this initiative will be grounded in three areas of activity:

  1. Using data to identify the jobs with demand, as well as the skills people need to fill them;
  2. Free access to learning paths and content so that people can develop the skills needed to fill these positions;
  3. Low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people to pursue new jobs.

By looking at LinkedIn’s Economic Graph data, we identified the jobs that have the greatest number of openings, have had steady growth over the past four years, pay a living wage and require skills that can be learned online. As a result, ten learning paths aligned with these jobs and four learning paths focused on helping build critical soft skills are now available for free on LinkedIn Learning through 2020. These involve roles such as Software Developer, IT Administrator and Data Analyst.

While not all of these ten roles are applicable to developers and IT Pros, you can find the full list of these ten roles on the announcement blog. LinkedIn also offers general resources on how you can improve your job applications, which you can find on their jobs page.

The lockdown will accelerate digitisation, absorbing 149 million new jobs by 2025. This graphic shows the rise in new jobs.

There are some great, free resources on LinkedIn that can help you reskill for your next role, but Microsoft Learn is also there if you want to dive deeper into specific areas for developer and IT Pros. With the continuing digitisation of jobs as a result of the pandemic, there’s no better time to get prepared. Here are ten roles that’ll continue to increase in demand over the next five years, and their learning paths.


1. AI Engineer

Whether in the cloud or hybrid environments, AI Engineers develop and deploy cognitive services, machine learning, and knowledge mining solutions to help their organisation stay ahead of the game. With the UK facing an AI skills gap, there’s no better time to try it out.
Become an AI Engineer

2. App Maker

You build apps with low-code techniques to simplify, automate, and transform business tasks and processes.
Become an App Maker

3. Data Analyst

You make data easy to understand through designing and building data models to drive meaningful business value.
Become a Data Analyst

4. Data Engineer

You design and implement the management, monitoring, and security of data solutions.
Become a Data Engineer

5. Data Scientist

You’re skilled in technology and the social sciences, using your expertise to experiment and develop solutions to complex business needs using big data.
Become a Data Scientist

6. Developer

You design, build, and test the software and systems that make technology work, from commercial apps to enterprise cloud solutions.
Become a Developer

7. DevOps Engineer

You lead people across the organisation to create the processes that oversee code releases along with managing the development cycle to continuously deliver business value.
Become a DevOps Engineer

8. Functional Consultant

You’re a domain expert who helps others implement the latest technology solutions to meet their needs.
Become a Functional Consultant

9. Security Engineer

You’re responsible for the design and implementation of digital security controls, managing access, and protecting your data in cloud networks and hybrid environments.
Become a Security Engineer

10. Solutions Architect

You use your technical expertise to integrate and optimise technologies across an organisation, tailoring your solutions to meet developer and business needs.
Become a Solutions Architect


Take advantage of Microsoft’s free learning resources

Microsoft offers a wide array of learning paths, so if you’ve got the drive to skill up or reskill, we’ve got the resources you need to accomplish this. Here are some of the ways you can get started on your skills journey:

You can join us on Learn TV where you can find live streams, shows, and videos from people around the world for everyone to watch, interact, and learn from for free. It runs 24/7, with short intermissions between sessions, so be sure to check the session guide to the right of the video player which displays all of the upcoming talks and when they start.

Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn are also valuable, free resources. Whether you’re just starting or an experienced professional, our hands-on approach helps you arrive at your goals faster, with more confidence and at your own pace.

There are also a collection of free and paid courses on LinkedIn Learning on a variety of topics, including various aspects of Microsoft Development.

Every month, the Microsoft UK team sends out newsletters full of technical articles and learning materials. Signing up to these newsletters will give you a new selection of resources each month to look through, which is a good, low-effort way to get another stream of content coming through that’ll help you with skilling up. You can sign up for them here.


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