Microsoft has announced a Microsoft Professional Degree (MPD) program at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. The program aims to impart the skills and knowledge required in a twenty-first century workplace, says Microsoft.
MPD has been launched on edx.org in collaboration with Harvard University and MIT. There’s only one program on offer at the moment and it’s a ‘degree’ in data sciences. Microsoft sees the program as an opportunity to “close the skill gap” seen across industries. The aim is to provide professionals with real-world knowledge and hands-on experience that they can use to further their careers and meet market needs.
Microsoft currently sees a huge skill gap when it comes to data sciences, and one can understand Microsoft’s perspective when you look at the investment in big data, cloud services and more. The degree in Data Sciences offered by MPD comprises of 10 courses. While the courses are free, one must purchase a certificate upon completion. The prices aren’t that high as the first certificate is $25 (around Rs 1,700) and the price of the subsequent certificates varies between $49 (Rs 3,300) and $99 (around Rs 6,700).
“At Microsoft, we believe the approach and tools used for learning need to continually evolve to meet the demands of our device-centric and data-driven world,” says Alison Cunard, GM, Microsoft Learning Experiences.
Partners include DDLS, Fast Lance and NIIT Ltd., says Microsoft. 200 partners and around 650 employees are evaluating the program and giving feedback on its various aspects. The idea is that fresh graduates and mid-career professionals can both have a platform for enhancing their skill sets.
Google recently announced its Android Skills and Certification program in India in a bid to get fresh, skilled developers on the Android platform. The certification program itself is free of charge, with only the certification exam requiring Rs 6,500.
It’s interesting that large companies are taking matters into their own hands and looking to train an entirely new breed of professionals with very specific skill sets. It’s good for the industry and good for the students as well.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.