Microsoft to provide Wayne State University with tech jobs training curriculum

Microsoft has taken a greater interest in Detroit of late. Last year, the company moved its regional headquarters downtown, and Microsoft-owned LinkedIn secured a permanent office downtown as well. 

This month, Microsoft and Wayne State University announced that they will team up to improve job prospects in the tech industry by providing its Microsoft Professional Program curriculum free of charge. Training in the curriculum includes materials on cloud computing, data analytics, cybersecurity, AI engineering and more. WSU is one of only a handful of universities across the country piloting this initiative. 

"At Microsoft, we want to empower everyone to achieve their career aspirations and make sure they can succeed in a technology-driven society," said Karen Kocher, global general manager, 21st Century Jobs, Skills and Employability for Microsoft. "We aim to move people and technology forward together. We are proud to work with Wayne State as the university provides leadership and opportunities at a key moment in Detroit's history."

Detroit has been steadily growing its startup culture with new companies being incubated in various training and business programs at spaces like TechTown and Grand Circus. But it's very much an open question of whether there is enough local talent to fill jobs as those companies grow. 

"Student success and employability are tied together," said Wayne State University Provost Keith Whitfield. "We want our students to reach their graduation day, and we also want them to have great jobs to go to the following week. Moreover, we want the businesses and industries in Detroit and Michigan to view our graduates as integral to their growth and success."

According to Crain's Detroit Business, it still hasn't been determined how many classes or which professors will utilize the curriculum, but it will likely be implemented in the next fall semester. 
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Aaron Mondry.

Aaron Mondry is a Detroit-based freelance writer. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @AaronMondry.