Home Artificial Intelligence 10 years of influence—Vice President of Navy Affairs displays on MSSA’s 10-year milestone

10 years of influence—Vice President of Navy Affairs displays on MSSA’s 10-year milestone

10 years of influence—Vice President of Navy Affairs displays on MSSA’s 10-year milestone


From Chris Cortez, Vice President of Navy Affairs

10 years in the past we created the Microsoft Software program and Programs Academy (MSSA) program to attach the dots between the scarcity of technical expertise and the abundance of under-employed army expertise.  

I and a core group of Veterans working at Microsoft acknowledged the immense influence our army expertise imparted in our method to technical gross sales, engineering, and enablement. We understood that each skilled begins from fundamental abilities and builds from there, and we knew from our personal army careers the work ethic and insurmountable grit that army professionals possess.

We got down to design basic coaching that would get a service member’s boot within the door to an entry-level profession in IT—a area involved about discovering sufficient IT professionals to fill demand. With assist from Frank Shaw, Company Vice President for Communications at Microsoft, we pitched our resolution to Microsoft’s expertise scarcity to Microsoft management.

Months later, and after exploring feasibility with the Division of Protection and garrison commanders at army installations, Microsoft launched MSSA’s first cohorts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  After course completion, we celebrated this milestone second alongside Microsoft President Brad Smith and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA). Primarily based on the enthusiastic reception from veterans and the Division of Protection’s SkillBridge Program, we expanded to lecture rooms supporting army members at bases and installations in California, Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Georgia. By 2019 MSSA established lecture rooms on 12 army bases spanning 7 states, together with Schofield Barracks on Oahu.

Nevertheless it hasn’t all been clean crusing.

We’ve tailored to many curveballs over the last decade, remodeling to remain true to our mission. Simply after we appeared to get it proper and grasp the formulation, COVID occurred.

Transformative modifications in IT demanded revamping of our technical curriculum, which we develop and evolve to fulfill hiring calls for. We’ve frequently refreshed and created studying paths that replicate hiring traits and enterprise wants, and guarantee they equip MSSA contributors with the fitting information and abilities to carry out a profitable job search.

When a world pandemic made in-person instructing unattainable, we pivoted our lecture rooms from in-person instruction delivered by educational establishments to reside digital lecture rooms led by material consultants from Microsoft licensed studying companions. This flexibility enabled us to stay open as a SkillBridge program all through the coronavirus emergency.

As world markets rebalance within the wake of a tepid recession, we centered on creating a complete skilled growth curriculum—together with job search ways, interview abilities, {and professional} goal-setting—enabling veterans to be extra aggressive and empowered of their job search.

On the similar time, Microsoft and the MSSA Hiring Accomplice community proceed to recruit MSSA expertise to begin their tech careers with them.

MSSA graduates information our program with their resilience and proceed to exceed our expectations within the influence they’ve had in a whole lot of firms and merchandise within the IT area.

After 10 years of influence within the army and IT communities, the outcomes are in.

After 10 years, 3,603 army veterans and transitioning service members have efficiently accomplished our grueling 17-week coaching. We’ve labored with active-duty members and reservists from all branches of the armed forces and army veterans from all 50 states.

A whole lot of Microsoft workers had been employed immediately from MSSA, with numerous extra rejoining the corporate later of their careers. We’ve recognized >1,000 firms we’ve labored with to position veteran expertise of their group, and practically 200 sorts of IT jobs.

We’ve labored with graduates like Phuong Baguyos—an Military veteran who, after 10 years out of the workforce whereas elevating her household, adopted her husband’s footsteps and joined one among MSSA’s cybersecurity cohorts in 2018. With encouragement from her cohort and Microsoft mentors, Phuong fought for a aggressive function as a assist engineer and has been thriving in that group for practically six years. Phuong and her husband—an Military veteran and 2016 MSSA graduate who as we speak works as a buyer engineer—have earned at the very least one promotion apiece over their tenures and stay up for their 6- and 7- 12 months anniversaries with the corporate in 2024.  

We additionally labored with 2017 graduate Dave Porter, a veteran of the Military’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment, who leveraged his time at MSSA discerning his pursuits as a technologist within the protection area. Dave landed a task at Microsoft as an account govt on Microsoft’s U.S. Military account group, the place he helped safe HoloLens enterprise with the Military, travelling to Afghanistan a number of occasions to develop the know-how and enhance its utility and wearability for the troopers who’d use them. He’s now a senior director supporting the U.S. Air Power and Area Power.

These are solely a handful of the 1000’s of gifted professionals who bought their begin in IT, partially, by way of MSSA. Learn extra in regards to the influence MSSA graduates are having in IT in our sequence ‘10 heroes for 10 years’, the place we profile an MSSA graduate from every year of our program.

The MSSA group has enduring impacts in IT, past the know-how they construct and affect.

Right here at Microsoft, MSSA contributors and alumni led the way in which to boost our Veteran-ready practices:

Since 2017, 687 Microsoft workers have volunteered to mentor MSSA contributors—monitoring practically 40,000 mentor hours. Mentor hours helped fund the development of a brand new dwelling for the Gary Sinise Basis RISE recipient Ian Prescott, a 2022 MSSA graduate. A overwhelming majority of MSSA mentors proceed to volunteer for added cohorts, and some even think about it a spotlight of their job.

MSSA alumni helped to originate the Navy@Microsoft Worker Useful resource Group and advocate for firm sponsorship for community-building occasions and programming—making Microsoft a extra Veteran-ready place to work.

Our alumni efficiently advocated for Microsoft to incorporate army group illustration in self-reporting initiatives that assist army inclusion in our annual Range & Inclusion report. Advocating for army group illustration as a demographic helps Microsoft to grasp its group make-up and lead the trade in advantages like job safety throughout prolonged army deployments for army reservists.

Our graduates additionally served as a proof level in our advocacy for Microsoft to think about equal expertise as equal to training necessities in job adverts and recruiter screenings, eradicating obstacles for veterans getting into the workforce.

And within the IT area at massive:

MSSA’s progressive curriculum and hiring fashions have been acknowledged as a ‘greatest observe’ within the veteran skilling sphere, extending past the Microsoft and MSSA Hiring Accomplice group to have a constructive influence on veterans’ profession transitions. Our coaching and hiring mannequin have been leveraged by town of Los Angeles, which launched a first-in-the-nation Los Angeles Veteran Know-how and Coaching Academy in 2021—adopted by town of Chicago and Prepare dinner County, Illinois with Chicago Prepare dinner Know-how Academy in 2022.

We’ve additionally cultivated a Hiring Accomplice community of over 1,000 particular person firms that interview and rent MSSA contributors immediately from their cohorts—a community that channels MSSA expertise to Microsoft companions and buyer organizations.

We’re not solely profitable—we’re infusing our success all through the IT trade.

Once we set out on this journey in 2013, we made a wager that army expertise was greater than geared up to talent up and fill the IT abilities hole then rattling the IT trade.  What we didn’t foresee is the dedicated and impressed community of advocates for army expertise we’ve developed on this decade.

We’re grateful to the over 1,000 Microsoft companions that infuse army expertise all through our trade by bringing MSSA graduates onto their group to begin their civilian careers. Corporations like Southwest Airways, a Microsoft accomplice who developed their Warrior Rent program to onboard MSSA graduates to their engineering methods, proceed to put money into veteran expertise alongside Microsoft.

Wanting ahead

Roughly 200,000 service members go away the U.S. army every year. Every of them embarks on a profound private and profession transformation crammed with thrilling changes, selections, and alternative.

As we glance again on a decade of the Microsoft Software program and Programs Academy, we’re honored—and so proud—to have served every of the three,604 army veterans we’ve been capable of work with as they embark on the subsequent section of their profession journey. We’re thrilled to deepen ties with our 3.6k-strong community of MSSA Alumni by way of the MSSA Alumni Community. We’re enthusiastic to proceed to fulfill the problem and accountability of working with this unbelievable inhabitants to realize significant careers in IT—and open the doorways to new cohorts of veterans when our subsequent cohorts start in January.



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