Empowering teams, strengthening organizations with Microsoft Applied Skills

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Community Hub.

Cloud computing and the rapid pace of emerging technologies have made identifying and upskilling talent an increased challenge for organizations. And AI is further widening this skills gap. A recent IDC infographic, commissioned by Microsoft, highlights that organizations are adopting AI, but a shortage of skilled employees is hindering their AI-based initiatives, with 52% citing a lack of skilled workers as the top blocker. 1 


We’re seeing more organizations use a skills-first approach to address the challenge of attracting, hiring, developing, and redeploying talent. This new shift in talent management emphasizes a person’s skills and competencies—in addition to degrees, job histories, and job titles.  


At Microsoft, we value our people, their skills, and the impact they make. We follow the skills-first approach for our employees’ development, and we want to enable you to do the same as your organization pursues the opportunities for growth and innovation presented by cloud and AI. That’s why we’ve evolved our Microsoft Credentials, to give you the tools you need as you invest in and expand your workforce. Our credentials offer organizations the flexibility to grow the skills needed for critical roles with Microsoft Certifications, and the agility to expand the skills needed for real-world business opportunities with Microsoft Applied Skills. 


Take on high priority projects with Applied Skills 

We developed Microsoft Applied Skills, new verifiable credentials that validate specific real-world skills, to help you address your skills gaps and empower your employees with the in-demand expertise they need. Applied Skills credentials are earned through interactive lab-based assessments on Microsoft Learn, offering flexibility with optional training that accommodates individual learning journeys. Your team members can earn credentials at their own pace, aligning with project timelines. 


Recently, we've received outstanding feedback regarding the significant value-add of Applied Skills from Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications and technology company: "There are so many opportunities for us to leverage this across our skilled workforce at Telstra," notes Cloud and Infrastructure Lead Samantha Davies.  


Applied Skills could also be useful to prepare their teams before they start work on highly technical new projects. Charlyn Tan, Senior Chapter Lead, Cloud Engineering, points out that, “Being in a company with multiple technology stacks integrating and interacting with each other, it is important to have multiple scenario-based learnings for our people to upskill and experiment before they jump into the actual production environment.” 


Watch this video to see how Telstra plans to integrate Applied Skills as part of their broader skilling strategy moving forward.



Here are a few more ways Microsoft Applied skills can help your organization:  

  • Identify talent for projects: Whether you want to maximize the skill sets of your own team members or recruit new talent, Applied Skills helps you identify the right people with the specific skills required for critical projects.  
  • Accelerate the release of new projects or products​: Applied Skills can help your team quickly acquire, prove, and apply in-demand skills so projects move forward with increased success and reduced cost.  
  • Retaining and upskilling talent​: Applied Skills can help team members demonstrate their technical expertise so they can advance in their career and make an impact on projects that involve emerging technologies including AI.



Snapshot of Microsoft Applied Skills benefits to organizations 


Upskill your teams in AI—and more—with Applied Skills  

Applied Skills credentials provide a new way for employees to upskill for key AI transformation projects and help you assess how your organization can best leverage AI.  


Today, we're releasing two new credentials to support analytics scenarios that are key to enabling machine learning models training and AI development.  


These new credentials complement our current portfolio of Applied Skills and certifications that are focused specifically on AI (with more to come): 


Along with Data and AI, we currently offer more than 20 Applied Skills spanning across the following solution areas: Infrastructure, Digital and app innovation, Business applications, Modern work, and Security. Explore all Applied Skills credentials.



Snapshot of Microsoft Applied Skills credentials currently available 


Learn more   

Explore Applied Skills today and invest in a nimble and resilient workforce ready to take on new projects, no matter how specialized. Through a variety of resources available on Microsoft Learn, we ensure that we’re partnering with organizations like yours to help you address challenges and maximize opportunities with comprehensive credentials and skilling solutions.  


Be sure to follow us onX and LinkedIn, and get subscribed to “The Spark,” our LinkedIn newsletter, to stay updated on new Applied Skills as they are released.  


Related articles 

Announcing Microsoft Applied Skills, the new credentials to verify in-demand technical skills 

Navigate the skills-first landscape with Microsoft Learn 

Microsoft Learn for Organizations: Jump-start team technical training  

Bridge the skills gap with Microsoft Learn for Organizations collections 



1 SOURCE: IDC Infographic, sponsored by Microsoft, The Business Opportunity of AI, IDC #US51315823, November 2023 

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