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Georgia Launches Microsoft IT Academy Program

High school students in Georgia will now have access to technology training and certification through Microsoft IT Academy. The Georgia Department of Education has announced a partnership with Microsoft to make the program available to more than 460,000 students in 463 high schools across the state. So far, 200 schools across the state have shown interest in implementing the program.

Georgia will incorporate the IT Academy into several of the clusters in its Career Pathways initiative, which will launch in the fall of next year. Under the Career Pathways initiative, students will choose a career path in high school and tailor their course selection for that career path. According to the Microsoft in Education blog, there are almost 10,000 unfilled jobs requiring Microsoft software skills available in the state of Georgia, and this program is intended to help students gain the skills they need to fill those types of jobs.

"We are committed to giving Georgia students the skills they need to be ready for whatever they want to do after high school, whether it be college or a career," said John Barge, state school superintendent, in a prepared statement. "We want to produce a technology-savvy workforce by ensuring access to these resources in every high school across the state."

The IT Academy provides students with hands-on experience with Microsoft software, including office productivity, collaboration, and enterprise applications development software, as well as hundreds of Web-based e-learning courses, according to Microsoft.

Features of the Microsoft IT Academy program include:

  • The latest Microsoft software for student labs, classrooms, and computers;
  • Access to Microsoft e-learning courses;
  • Learning management system (LMS) to help teachers track and monitor student progress through the e-learning courses;
  • Discounts on courseware for academic institutions;
  • Online access to 127 Microsoft Press books;
  • Subscriptions to Microsoft TechNet, an online resource for IT professionals; and
  • Marketing tools to promote the association with the Microsoft brand and official certifications.

Five other states have already implemented Microsoft IT Academy, including North Carolina, Washington, Virginia, Hawaii, and Louisiana.

Further information about Microsoft IT Academy is available on the Microsoft site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].