Getting a job isn’t easy. It’s expensive and time-consuming. You spend hours putting together a beautiful CV, only to be told you need at least five years of experience to get the job. That’s fine. The McDonalds across the street probably has lower standards.
But what about those jobs that feel really out of reach? You know the ones we mean – where you need years of education to even send an email to the receptionist. Breaking into the digital economy is difficult, but not impossible. Especially if you were one of the 80 million folks Microsoft took under its wing after it first launched its Global Skills Initiative.
Microsoft takes the lead
Since the program’s launch in 2020, it’s brought 680,000 South Africans into the so-called ‘digital fold’. Okay, nobody really calls it the digital fold. We’re hoping it catches on. Of those 680,000, 30,000 have completed learning paths, and 460 have gone on to collect an official Microsoft certification.
Microsoft and LinkedIn are back with the next stage of the program. The two companies are providing free access to 350 courses, with six Career Essential Certificates on offer to get into the top spots within the digital fold.
Linking up with potential employers
“Digital skills are now more important than ever as almost every job requires some level of digital competence. The new courses and certificates aim to empower unemployed South Africans by providing them with the relevant digital skills to secure in-demand jobs in the digital economy,” says Lillian Barnard, CEO of Microsoft South Africa.
A lofty goal. But a rather important one, especially in South Africa. When talking actual numbers, Microsoft’s eventual goal is to train and certify 10 million people around the world by 2025. There are also 50,000 LinkedIn Learning scholarships on offer to the best of the lot that completes their ‘skilling journey’. A number of those could well be from South Africa.
The new courses on offer are available in seven languages; English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese. Using LinkedIn, Microsoft has identified which roles in the digital economy are currently in great demand. Roles like project manager, business analyst, software developer, data analyst, systems admin, and administrative professional.
You can sign up on LinkedIn for the relevant courses. Once you’ve found your niche, get practicing. GitHub is a handy tool that’ll probably come in handy for that. Once you’re all smart, finding a job is the next step. Fortunately, you’ll already be on LinkedIn. You can use it to help find the perfect job to match your new set of skills. You’ll be handed a little badge to show potential employers that you can do what you say you can.
Once you’ve found an opening, check back on LinkedIn’s page. It has a hub for people looking to improve interviewing skills that features tips to help them land a job.