Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting

Helping Veterans Transition to Civilian IT Careers

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a leading technology association, is partnering with Microsoft Corp. on its flagship program for transitioning veterans, Microsoft Software & Systems (MSSA), to make it easier for more than 35,000 U.S. service members to transition from active duty to high-paying careers in the civilian IT workforce.

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Preparation and Employment

As a result of the partnership, two CompTIA vendor-neutral skills certifications – CompTIA Network+ and Security+ – are now accepted as prerequisites by MSSA, an intensive 18-week training program that teaches transitioning service members the critical IT skills required for today’s growing technology industry careers.

Upon successful completion of the MSSA program, graduates are guaranteed a job interview at Microsoft or one of its more than 220 hiring partners.

Details of the CompTIA and Microsoft partnership were announced in August at the Veteran Employment & Education Committee meeting at The American Legion’s 99th National Conference in Reno, Nevada.

“Microsoft and CompTIA’s partnership to increase education and employment opportunities for our transitioning service members and veterans is the right approach for the IT industry,” said Joe Sharpe, director of the national veteran employment and education division of The American Legion. “Their efforts will be appreciated by those veterans who partake in their work and gain careers in today’s fast growing digital economy. Two of the top IT certification organizations working to expand eligibility into the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy program is a testament on how the IT industry values veterans in their workforce.”

Building on a Track Record of Success

“There are thousands of service members who have already demonstrated their passion for technology by earning CompTIA certifications,” said Chris Cortez, vice president for military affairs at Microsoft and retired major general in the U.S. Marine Corps. “Accepting those certifications as a qualification for MSSA opens the program’s doors wider for more service members, which will empower them to achieve more in their civilian careers.”

Service members who hold either or both of the CompTIA certifications can use them as prerequisites for two of the four Learning Paths in the MSSA program: the Server & Cloud Administration path now accepts CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+, while the Cybersecurity Administration path now accepts CompTIA Security+.

Filling Open Positions in IT

Efforts to facilitate IT certification should be welcome news for companies with IT jobs to fill.

“U.S employers across geographies, industries, and markets are in need of trained and certified technology professionals to remain competitive in the digital economy,” said Joe Padin, vice president for U.S. federal and education sales at CompTIA. “Our military veterans have the right skill sets to fill the tech talent pipeline. CompTIA is pleased to be a part of the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy and to expand our involvement with the nation’s military community by helping our service men and women transition to rewarding civilian careers in the IT workforce.”

“An estimated 1.8 million jobs in the nation’s tech occupation workforce will need to be filled through 2024 due to technology changes, business growth, and retirements,” said James Stanger, PhD, chief technology evangelist for CompTIA. “As employers work to close skills gaps within their IT teams and to ramp up their readiness for emerging technologies they’re placing greater reliance on professional certifications from credible providers.”