Microsoft IT Academy will be set up in every high-school in the state of North Carolina throughout the course of 3 years. This will increase MS IT Academy’s user base from the current 9,000 globally in 100 countries to around 211,500 and making N.C the first state to adopt it statewide. From Microsoft’s blog:
“[...] IT Academy students in Florida high schools have outperformed their peers on standardized tests. In schools across the country, teachers have used the IT Academy curriculum for students to earn early college credits. That’s right, the certification exams in the IT Academy are recognized for college credit!”
Microsoft is obviously pushing hard towards the education sector, and it seems its’ IT training and certification program does have a steep value for some. Nonetheless, IT Academy is not its only education targeted product, as MS is also working with N.C. schools to roll out Microsoft DreamSpark and CareerForward, the first is a program providing free access to MS designer, developer and gaming tools via download, and the latter is a free online learning program focusing on career preparation.
Despite of their great efforts, Microsoft is not the only one who realizes just how huge the education sector’s untapped potential is. Google is also working hard on promoting Google Apps for Education, as IBM is also closely following this trend with its own Smart Cities Challenge, focused among education and other areas. In other N.C. news, the state was chosen by Facebook for its new data center.