“A new generation of 21st-century infrastructure calls for new investments that will broaden access to the digital devices and broadband connectivity that have become the lifeblood of commerce, healthcare, and education. And it similarly calls for a renewed commitment to the education and skills that a new generation of technology has made essential for people’s personal progress,” Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, said.
Microsoft said new challenges to meet this goal with a more diverse workforce now confront a broader array of educational needs and opportunities. Many industries require that people fill gaps in their current skill sets, which requires employers and employees to identify those necessary skills.
People also want to learn new skills as 30.7 million people in 249 countries and territories took advantage of the free access on LinkedIn Learning to more than 500 courses that teach skills for in-demand roles.
Also, people are good at identifying the right skills needed for most in-demand jobs, including the extensive uptake in courses that address horizontal skills, including the three most popular LinkedIn Learning pathways for soft critical skills: diversity, inclusion and belonging, and digital transformation.
LinkedIn announced that it is working on a widely accepted skills taxonomy in the LinkedIn Skills Graph to create a common skills language for individuals, employers, educational institutions, and government agencies.
LinkedIn will pull data from its Economic Graph to help people identify skills that map to in-demand jobs of potential interest. It also will extend to the end of 2021 the free course offerings from the skilling initiative on LinkedIn Learning.
The new Skills Path will bring together LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments to help recruiters source candidates based on their proven skills.
Microsoft is also encouraging young students to get involved with these digital skills by launching a Minecraft: Education Edition, a beginner skill map in Microsoft MakeCode, and a new Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles with Microsoft MakeCode curriculum using MakeCode Arcade for high school students.
Microsoft said it is also strengthening its work in Microsoft Philanthropies to advance digital equity through nonprofit partnerships that serve those hit the hardest by the COVID-19 downturn, including Black and African American communities in the United States, according to a blog post that contains additional details about all of the new initiatives from Microsoft and LinkedIn.