Microsoft strives for 1,000 graduates every year in veterans program

by: Patranya Bhoolsuwan Updated:

Four years after it launched, Microsoft Software & Systems Academy has now grown from operating at one base to seven others across the country.

The 18-week training program launched at JBLM in 2013.

It provides extensive training on information technology (IT) skills for military members who are transitioning to civilian life.

KIRO 7 caught up with one of the graduates today at a Veterans’ Appreciation Event at Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond.

Anthony Seo is now working as a software engineer for Windows.

He graduated from MSSA in 2015.

“Now being on the other side, I see how many of my skills do translate,” says Seo. “Teamwork, communication and collaboration.”

About 700 students graduated from the program since it launched four years ago. The goal is to have 1,000 graduates every year.

We talked to Microsoft’s vice president of military affairs, Chris Cortez. He says the program is successful because it continues to fill a big gap in high-tech jobs, not just in the Puget Sound region but across the country.

“There are nearly 500,000 open roles in IT industry across the country,” says Cortez. “With thousands of them here at Microsoft.”

Microsoft hires about 20 percent of graduates from the academy.

Many other students ended up being hired by one of the company’s 240 hiring partners including Facebook and Expedia.

Read more about the program here


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