In its partnership to provide advanced technology skills and certification for high-demand jobs to U.S. service members transitioning from active-duty and military veterans, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus and Microsoft Corp. will expand its Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) program in 2018 with the Jan. 8 opening at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. (18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Va.), will include Embry-Riddle President Dr. P. Barry Butler and Microsoft Senior Director, Department of Navy, Marc Langlois as well as Microsoft and Embry-Riddle representatives, MSSA students, and military and government dignitaries.
MSSA launched in 2013 to active-duty military members and has been available since 2016 at eight Embry-Riddle Worldwide campuses in the U.S. The program is an intensive 18-week program that teaches transitioning service members and veterans the critical Information Technology (IT) skills required for today's growing technology industry careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 50 percent of the jobs in the U.S. require technology skills. These skills are vital to the approximately 200,000 service members expected to transition from active-duty service each year.
Current Embry-Riddle Worldwide campuses delivering the MSSA program include Camp Pendleton (Calif.).; Ft. Campbell (Ky.).; Ft. Bragg (N.C.); Ft. Benning (Ga.); Colorado Springs (Colo.); Oceanside (Calif.); San Diego (Calif.); and Joint Base San Antonio (Texas). With the addition of Quantico and Jacksonville, Fla., this month, other Worldwide campuses slated to launch the program in the next few months include Norfolk, Va., and Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“We’ve seen incredible success in this partnership with Microsoft to provide innovative technology-specific job skills to our nation’s military,” said Embry-Riddle Worldwide Chancellor Dr. John R. Watret. “More than 500 students have participated in our program to date, with 94 percent completing the program. And with the addition of the MSSA program specializing in Cybersecurity Administration at our new campus at Quantico, we’re excited and honored to expand opportunities and access for those who give so much to our country.”
As an education partner for the MSSA program, Embry-Riddle provides online learning, classrooms, virtual labs, presentations, hands-on exercises and certification testing in three distinct specializations to meet those demands – Server & Cloud Administrator, Cloud Application Developer and Cybersecurity Administration. Microsoft and industry partners provide professional career skills training, mentoring and job placement services.
Upon successful completion of the MSSA program, graduates receive 15 to 18 academic credit hours toward a Technical Management associate or bachelor’s degree; Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and other Microsoft certifications; and are guaranteed a job interview at Microsoft or one of its more than 280 hiring partners including Dell, Facebook, Expedia and the Department of Defense with an average starting salary of $70,000.
Embry-Riddle Worldwide serves more than 23,000 students online and at 125 campuses in the United States and globally including 17,000 active-duty and student veterans. The university’s tradition of educating service members began in 1970 at Fort Rucker in Alabama and has grown to include base locations in Europe, the Middle East, Japan and South Korea.
“We’re excited about our future with Microsoft and are exploring additional opportunities for the program,” said Angela Albritton, Embry-Riddle Worldwide Director of Military Relations and Strategic Initiatives.
About Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA)
The government estimates technology occupations are projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. MSSA, the first-of-its-kind industry program to provide formal training for service members before their separation date, helps them develop the career skills necessary to meet the technology industry's high demand for cloud developers, cloud administrators, database and business intelligence administrators, and cybersecurity administrators. Upon completion of the program, participants gain an interview for a full-time job at Microsoft or one of its participating partners.
Launched in November 2013 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the program has expanded to several bases and maintained employment rates greater than 90 percent, with starting salaries averaging $70,000. Microsoft is also seeing a retention rate of greater than 90 percent – compared with most veterans who stay in their first job less than two years. Microsoft works with hundreds of partners to hire, train and support veterans' employment and educational opportunities. Graduates have gone on to work for over 240 different companies, including Dell, Expedia, Microsoft, Accenture, the Department of Defense, Capgemini and many more. In addition to technical skills, MSSA focuses on soft skills, helping service members brush up on resume and interview techniques.
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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.