Microsoft Datacenter Academy coming soon to Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta Technical College is partnering with Microsoft to establish a Microsoft Datacenter Academy training lab in Atlanta, Georgia. The memorandum of understanding signed by Dr. Victoria Seals, President, begins the process for deploying a lab on the college campus. The Microsoft Datacenter Academy program comprises a mock datacenter complete with a donation of servers and other technical training equipment to ensure students receive hands-on training for entry level technology careers in their communities. The partnership will also provide funding for scholarships or certifications for underrepresented groups in the IT sector, including women, African American, Hispanic, and Indigenous students, and opportunities for mentorship and internship in Microsoft datacenters. “Partnerships like this are critical in building a skilled workforce, but more importantly, in providing access and opportunities for the communities that we serve. Microsoft is serving as a game changer for our students, and we are very excited for what’s to come,” stated Dr. Seals.
The collaboration is part of the Microsoft Datacenter Academy program, a workforce development program sponsored by the Microsoft Datacenter Community Development team. The program helps build digital skills and provides career pathways in the growing information technology sector for residents of communities in which Microsoft operates datacenters. The comprehensive curriculum at Atlanta Technical College will prepare students for entry-level IT career pathways with numerous opportunities for employment. In addition to the core classes, students can work towards earning CompTIA A+ or Server+ certifications, which are industry recognized credentials. Students who earn IT credentials have an increased chance at earning more than non-certified individuals. For example, CompTIA reports 32 percent of certified professionals receive a salary/pay increase, promotion, or some other type of reward from their employer for achieving certification. value-of-it-certifications.pdf (comptia.org)
As Microsoft expands its cloud operations into Atlanta, Atlanta Technical College is excited to take this opportunity to partner with Microsoft in pursuit of the college’s mission to prepare students academically and empower them to become lifelong learners. For those wanting to earn a degree or certification at Atlanta Technical College, students have the option to pursue an associate of applied sciences degree or just take a continuing education course for exam preparation. One value is that both options will utilize the new lab to have an immersive experience with technology. “Being able to physically pull a server from a rack, remove the cover and work on component parts or practice troubleshooting, truly provides students with an advantage”, states Anthony Putorek, Senior Workforce Development Program Manager, Microsoft. Feedback from other Microsoft Datacenter Academy graduates echo how valuable the hands-on labs were in preparing them for a datacenter technician or other entry level position. Being comfortable and familiar with the equipment is an advantage, especially in a job interview with technical questions. Preparing students for high-demand jobs in technology is a priority as the digital workforce continues to expand into every career pathway.
“Partnerships like this are critical in building a skilled workforce, but more importantly, in providing access and opportunities for the communities that we serve. Microsoft is serving as a game changer for our students, and we are very excited for what’s to come”—Dr. Victoria Seals, President, Atlanta Technical College