Today Microsoft announced a new Azure Skills Training Program for partners and customers, who wish to upskill on Microsoft Azure platform.
This program is available for any/all to leverage, despite being published on the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) website. This means, you do not have to be an existing Microsoft partner registered on MPN site, for being able to leverage the offer.
There were two linked official announcements made by Microsoft executives on this:
- Post by Julia White (Corporate Vice President, Azure + Security Marketing) here
- Another post by Gavriella Schuster (Corporate VP, WW Partner Group) here
Since the announcement is primarily marketing english as usual, let me decipher and summarize on what is being really offered by Microsoft.
What is Microsoft offering through this new program?
- Free Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – Online videos, demos, labs, graded assessments, office hours etc.
- Currently 6 courses already exist, and 6 more to be added in coming months
- When you complete a MOOC, you will get digital certificates for completion. You could then automatically add them to your LinkedIn profile (expected as now Microsoft owns LinkedIn)
- MCP Certifications – Discounted certification(s), if you choose the relevant option within this offer. This will Include Linux certification (LFCSA) from Linux Foundation to fulfill requirements for MCP: Linux on Azure (Coming Jan 2017)
You can see the program offer options in the screenshot below:
Why is Microsoft offering this program?
Microsoft does realize that the way Azure platform has been rapidly changing too frequently, whatever learning material already exists out there, or going to come out, is very quickly getting outdated. For Instance, you will not see many books/ebooks on Azure, because by the time these books are published, already the Information contained in them get significantly outdated. Same is the case with online video courses, or other learning materials on Azure, and the likes.
While rapid vertical/horizontal progression of Azure is a good thing from platform maturity/diversity/stability perspective, same has proved very challenging for partners or Individuals looking to develop/refine their Azure skills, or consider Azure as a platform to pursue new business opportunities on.
Hence, Microsoft needs to constantly lead the way by offering new learning programs like these to ensure that the partner community and associated ecosystem remain committed on Azure (and not lose interest because of challenges around rapid platform changes), and are able to quickly develop/leverage necessary skills for meeting their business needs.
You can access this program offering on MPN site from here: New Azure Training Program
Now Microsoft has also put the Azure Skills program on its Azure website: Azure Skills Training
On accessing the above URL, you will be directed to page shown in the screenshot below. Here you will see usual marketing content, and a table with the 3 Azure training options Microsoft is offering under this program.
You will need to register with MS Learning (your Microsoft Live ID like Outlook.com won’t readily work here, unless you already registered with MS Learning in the past).
Once you register and login, you will see the following page (under the Free option) as shown in the screenshot below.
Hope this post was helpful to you. In case of any questions/feedback, please feel free to comment below.