Microsoft and LinkedIn offer 14 free learning paths for highly in-demand careers

SOURCE: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images/AFP
Those looking to upskill or change careers should look into these 14 learning pathways going for free until March 2021.

By U2B Staff 

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Microsoft has joined other tech giants and companies in offering free online courses to upskill and boost careers, through learning pathways as part of a global skills initiative.

Hosted on LinkedIn Learning, all 14 learning pathways come with a free certificate of completion that can be added to a LinkedIn profile to gain visibility and employability. They will be free of charge until the end of March 2021.

The learning paths consist of a series of online videos available in the following languages: English, French, Spanish and German, and most of the courses are technical – although a few are designed to help learners develop soft skills.

It was no simple decision to offer these learning pathways, as Microsoft used LinkedIn’s Economic Graph as a critical planning resource for this initiative, by identifying the key jobs and horizontal skills that are most widely in demand and then creating learning paths for these via LinkedIn Learning.

The Economic Graph is a representation of the global economy based on more than 690 million professionals, 50 million companies, 11 million job listings, 36,000 defined skills, and 90,000 schools, effectively compiling all the data on LinkedIn to reveal available jobs, their required skills, and the existing skills job seekers have.

According to the statement, “Using this data, we identified 10 jobs that are in-demand in today’s economy and are well-positioned to continue to grow in the future. These 10 jobs were identified as having the greatest number of job openings, have had steady growth over the past four years, pay a livable wage, and require skills that can be learned online.”

Each learning path includes collaborative courses taught by industry-expert instructors, covering a broad range of skills from entry-level digital literacy to advanced product-based skills for technology roles.


In addition to these courses,  free and in-depth technical learning content are also now offered through Microsoft Learn for those who want to delve deeper into the learning paths.

The statement reads, “For roles that are more technical in nature, job seekers can go deeper on specific role-based Microsoft technologies with Microsoft Learn modules, gaining the most in-demand skills on widely used technologies.

“We will also enable job seekers pursuing developer roles to access the GitHub Learning Lab to practice their skills. GitHub Learning Lab is a bot-based learning tool that uses repositories to teach technology, coding, Git, and GitHub via real-life, demo-based modules.

“This means that as job seekers engage in learning paths, they will have the opportunity to practice newly acquired skills by completing realistic projects in a personalized GitHub repository.”

Microsoft has also slashed the costs of Microsoft Certifications based on exams that demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft technologies, offering a significantly discounted fee of $15 available to those who self-attest that their employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

Here is the full list of the 14 learning pathways now offered on LinkedIn Learning by Microsoft for free:

  1. Become a Software Developer
  2. Become a Sales Representative
  3. Become a Project Manager
  4. Prepare for CompTIA Network+ Certification
  5. Become a Customer Service Specialist
  6. Become a Digital Marketing Specialist
  7. Prepare for the CompTIA A+ Certification
  8. Become a Data Analyst
  9. Become a Financial Analyst
  10. Become a Graphic Designer

Soft Skills Courses:

  1. Finding a Job During Challenging Economic Times
  2. Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills
  3. Digital Transformation in Practice: Virtual Collaboration Tools
  4. Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All