Microsoft Software & Systems Academy helps military personnel trade their rifles for keyboards


Being in the military teaches a wide variety of skills: team-work, leadership, crisis management, the list goes on. Despite this, there is a large gap between military existence and civilian life, many skills simply do not translate and many more prove to be difficult to explain, especially to civilian employers.

In full knowledge of this, Microsoft has created the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Microsoft Software & Systems Academy, a 16-week intensive course that helps active military personnel prepare themselves for the transition to a career in civilian technology. Alongside the teaching of very specific technological skills, such as programming and coding, soldiers are given training in softer methods for success, including interview training and resume writing. Taught by MSSA graduates and Microsoft employees with military experience, this program offers a guaranteed interview for a place at Microsoft for each attendee and guaranteed interviews at other tech institutions should they choose to pursue a different route.

Across the sixteen weeks the course runs for, attendees are given highly intensive training, sometimes lasting for as much as up to 10 hours per day. Despite this, it offers peer-to-peer support throughout, making help available at any time should it be required. Building on the foundation of military skills already attained, this offers military personnel a way out, and indeed a future of their own making.

Do you think more military personnel should be encouraged to enter the tech industry? Let us know in the comments below.

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