This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Community Hub.
You may have seen some of our recent content about the growing shift to a skills-first economy1, a global trend towards hiring based on specific, relevant skills rather than focusing solely on college degrees or prior experience. This priority shift in hiring may leave you with many questions about the impact to your own career—like which skills are in-demand, how to learn them, and how to prove you have them. Luckily, answering those kinds of questions is at the heart of everything Microsoft Learn does. In this blog, we’ll cover nine features that you can leverage to help you navigate the skills-first economy and stay ahead of the curve.
Identify the right skills
Ultimately, navigating a career in the skills-centric job market comes down to developing and highlighting the skills that organizations are looking for—and that starts with knowing which skills to learn. To figure this out, there are a few questions to consider (along with some tools we’re highlighting to help).
#1 Our monthly newsletter, “The Spark”
What skills are in-demand? In addition to highlighting news and updates on Microsoft Learn, The Spark is our monthly roundup of blogs, research, and other content featuring data and insights we think you’ll find valuable in navigating your learning. Check out the latest edition!
#2 Career pages
What skills are interesting to you? Especially if you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to grasp what roles and technologies actually do. Career pages decode actual job-market roles into what they require you to do and what skills are needed to be successful. If you’re early in your career (or wanting to make a change) and not sure which direction to go, check out our Career paths.
#3 It’s your AI learning journey
What is your starting level of familiarity with AI skills, and what resources would be most helpful for you based on that starting point? According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Work report, AI is the #1 most in-demand technical skill in the job market2. This short questionnaire surfaces learning resources to help you build AI skills based on where you are now. Try it now to be pointed directly to curated Collections for deepening your AI skills, whether you’re just starting out or trying to help your organization adopt and use AI. Take the questionnaire.
Develop the skills
Well, clearly this is where we focus a lot of our attention (we’re not called Microsoft Learn for nothing!). There are tons of tools on Learn designed to help you become an expert in in-demand technical skills, so we’re surfacing a few options here that represent a breadth of learning preferences and that enable you to segment learning into individual skills.
#4 Self-paced training
Once you’ve identified which skills will help you in your chosen career, self-paced training is both free and always-on on Microsoft Learn. With Collections and Learning Paths, self-paced training is extremely customizable to help you learn exactly the right skills for the job you want. Browse training.
#5 Virtual training days
Virtual Training Days offer more structure than self-paced training, and often feature skill-specific topics to help you in your learning. Explore upcoming events.
#6 Series on Shows
Many series are focused on individual skills or skill sets—like The AI Show Live, which has over 288 episodes about what’s new in AI, or Let’s Learn .NET, which teaches the fundamentals of C# and .NET at a beginner level.
#7 Instructor-led training
Instructor-led training (ILT) is great for those who prefer a classroom setting (in-person or virtual). ILT courses are led by a global network of Microsoft Certified Trainers and Training Service Providers to ensure you can connect with an expert in your time zone and in your language. ILT courses are often credential aligned, so set you up directly for proving your skills. Browse courses.
Prove the skills
One of the defining elements of the skills-first economy is proving you have the relevant skills for a job role. To do this, we’re highlighting two industry-recognized solutions that together make up Microsoft Credentials.
#8 Microsoft Certifications
Certifications are role-based or rooted in Fundamentals and represent a curated set of skills to help you be successful in a given role. Certifications are aligned to real-world job roles and help prove you have a broad set of skills required for those roles. Check out our certification catalog.
#9 Microsoft Applied Skills
Microsoft Applied Skills represent a deeper level of knowledge in specific or scenario-based skill sets. Applied Skills can help prove individual skills for a unique role, adding new or specific skills to your toolbox to stay on top of emerging technologies, or many other different scenarios where validating an individual skill can help you to tell your story. Explore Applied Skills.