Microsoft and LinkedIn extend their global skills initiative with more free learning opportunities

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Microsoft announced today that it will be extending its global skills initiative that officially launched in June 2020 to help workers hit by the ongoing pandemic. Through its partnership with LinkedIn, Microsoft has already helped over 30 million people in 249 countries to learn digital skills, but the two companies are now taking additional steps to help job seekers adapt to a skills-based economy.

First of all, Microsoft and LinkedIn are extending to the end of the year the free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications that align to 10 of the most in-demand jobs. The professional social network will also leverage its Economic Graph to help users better identify the required skills for in-demand jobs of potential interest.

Microsoft and LinkedIn also announced their commitment to helping 250,000 companies to make skills-based hires in 2021. To accomplish that, the two companies are launching new tools such as LinkedIn Skills Path, a new hiring tool that combines LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments. The professional social network has also expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph and introduced new personalized profile features for LinkedIn members.

Microsoft is also doing its part with Career Connector, a new online service that will help 50,000 job seekers to secure a tech-enabled job over the next three years. Career Coach, a new Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn will also help higher education students to better understand job market trends and get in touch with mentors and peers.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen the pandemic hit people who can bear it the least,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “We are doubling down at LinkedIn and across Microsoft with new work to support a more inclusive skills-based labor market, creating more alternatives, greater flexibility, and accessible learning paths that connect these more readily with new jobs,” the exec added.

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