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woman working on her computer 2020 has been a year like none other. COVID-19 has brought about not only a public health crisis, but an economic one as well. But historically, skills training has not reached the people in underserved communities who need it most, such as people of color, people with disabilities, and women.

Enter the Global Skills Initiative, a program by Microsoft and nonprofit partners to help job seekers gain the skills they need to succeed.

Learn new skills to increase employability

Whether you’re looking to become skilled in a new career path, to upskill, or to reskill, the Global Skills Initiative is here to help you. Anyone can access free online training and low-cost certification opportunities across the 10 most in-demand careers for the digital age. The 10 jobs identified are those that:

  • Have the greatest number of job openings.1
  • Show steady growth over the past four years.
  • Pay a livable wage.
  • Require skills that can be learned online.

Explore skills training pathways

Are you hungry to learn, gain new skills, and grow your economic opportunity? No matter your background, age, gender, or ability, you can build a better future. Start developing your skills for free with learning paths from LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn, and then practice tech skills in the GitHub Learning Lab.

STEP 1 (for everyone): Choose a learning path for one or more in-demand jobs on LinkedIn Learning

Ever thought about becoming a software developer? Want to know what a project manager does? Curious about digital marketing or graphic design? Explore the top 10 most in-demand jobs now. Select a LinkedIn Learning path and get started. Each course is taught by industry experts and is self-paced, meaning you can go through the content as quickly or slowly as you want.

STEP 2 (for technical roles and roles that require additional skills or certification): Deepen your technical skills and earn certifications on Microsoft Learn

Whether you’re just starting or an experienced professional, Microsoft Learn helps you meet your goals faster, with more confidence, and at your own pace. Want to learn principles of cloud computing? Or become a pro at building with Power BI or Power Apps? Microsoft Learn allows you to discover the power of Microsoft products through step-by-step guidance.

If the job you want requires deep technical knowledge or certification, you can earn a Microsoft Certification through Microsoft Learn. Those who self-attest that their employment has been impacted by COVID-19 can get certified for $15 through the end of December 2020. You can schedule your certification exam from September 2020 to the end of the year, and you’ll have until March 31, 2021 to complete the exam.

STEP 3 (for roles that require technical practice): Demonstration-based, hands-on programming modules on GitHub Learning Lab

With GitHub Learning Lab, you can grow your technical skills by completing fun, realistic projects built by GitHub’s community. Work on your own copy of a real project, get helpful feedback from a friendly bot, and learn how to follow a real workflow. Whether you need an introduction to HTML, to dive deep on DevOps, or to learn how to create an open source program, GitHub is a great place to do it.

Become a well-rounded job seeker

Searching for a new job can feel overwhelming, especially in a challenging economy. The Global Skills Initiative extends beyond technical skills to make sure you have the skills and support you need to conduct a successful job search. Courses include:

Choose a path today and start learning relevant skills for in-demand jobs:

Learn more about the Global Skills Initiative

Through the Global Skills Initiative, Microsoft and partners have committed to helping 25 million people worldwide gain new digital skills by the end of 2020. These newly skilled workers will be ready for the 149 million new jobs expected to be created by 2025 as a result of digitization.

The initiative has already launched Accelerate: Atlanta, the first local US implementation of the Global Skills Initiative. With support of the Atlanta Mayor’s office, Accelerate: Atlanta brings together civic, learning, and corporate partners to provide skills to build a more inclusive workforce for all. Microsoft is backing the effort with over $1 million in investments, focusing on nonprofit organizations led by and serving underrepresented communities. Accelerate: Houston was also recently launched, with more cities planned for the future.

Find updates and resources on the Global Skills Initiative or get started on your next new skill for a boost of confidence today and satisfying employment in the future. Microsoft is committed to providing meaningful support for you and millions of others in your career journey.


1 Number of job openings posted globally on LinkedIn in 2020.