Ask anyone what their biggest concern is when searching for a job, and they will more than likely say that it’s having the kinds of skills that are in demand.
According to a recent article appearing on the HR Dive website, Microsoft and LinkedIn have just launched a global initiative that will help workers get the skills that potential employers are looking for. Their goal is to assist some 25 million people by the end of 2020.
Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, cited the recent COVID-19 pandemic as having illustrated the skills-gap in the nation’s workforce and how essential it is to help workers gain the kinds of skills that are needed in today’s work environment.
The initiative will include Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub and will focus on several crucial areas. LinkedIn will provide real-time data and identify market high demand skill sets. LinkedIn Learning and GitHub will provide free access to educational content specifically designed to help workers receive training and potential certification for those skills employers desire. So far, Microsoft has identified the following as being the most desired skillsets with the highest potential for future growth:
- IT Administrators
- Software Developers
- IT Support and Help Desk Workers
- Project managers
- Digital Marketing Specialists
- Graphic Designers
- Data Analysts
- Financial Analysts
- Customer Service Specialists
- Sales Representatives
- Marketing Specialists
High rates of unemployment due to the Coronavirus pandemic has, in turn, made competition fierce for any open position in nearly every industry. According to a recent study conducted by Glassdoor, the demand for entry-level positions has decreased by as much as 68% compared to the same time last year. These recent grads are competing with workers already have experience for an even smaller pool of job openings.
Through its “Accelerate” program, Microsoft has pledged some $20 million in the form of grants to assist in underserved and minority communities that were especially hard-hit by the pandemic. Because of the disproportionate rates in which workers of color have been affected, the company says that $5 million of these grant monies will go to non-profits based in communities that are Latino and African Americans.