We are so excited to launch the #WICxSkillsReadyChallenge, leveraging Microsoft Applied Skills. This new challenge aims to prepare individuals of all genders to validate specific skills related to real-world technical scenarios through Microsoft Applied Skills, a verifiable credential that increases trust with hiring and existing managers in an AI-centric economy. Applied Skills can be earned through interactive lab-based assessments on Microsoft Learn, offering flexibility with self-paced learning paths that accommodate your individual learning journeys. Learners can fit skill development into their busy schedules and take Applied Skills at their convenience.

According to the 2024 Work Trend Index Annual Report from Microsoft and Linkedin indicates significant demand for AI skills, with 66% of leaders saying they would not hire candidates without these capabilities. However, research from Salesforce shows 60% of public sector IT professionals cite a shortage of AI talent as a top challenge. The #WICxSkillsReadyChallenge addresses this skills gap through on-demand skill development, self-paced learning paths, and enhanced credibility through Microsoft verifiable credentials, this program is empowering the workforce for an AI-centric future.

“In addressing the escalating demand for AI talent and the glaring skills gap, Women in Cloud is steadfast in its commitment to bridging this divide through strategic partnerships, scalable distribution, and community engagement,” asserted Chaitra Vedullapalli, President of Women In Cloud. “By empowering underrepresented populations, especially women and individuals of color, with access to cutting-edge technology and skill-building opportunities, we aim to pave the way for a diverse workforce poised to excel in an AI-centric future. Through the strategic utilization of the Microsoft Applied Skills credentials and collaborative community partnerships, we are delivering concrete and impactful workforce development solutions that will equip individuals with the necessary skills and confidence to thrive in the burgeoning $7 trillion AI Economy.”

Empowering Predictable Success with Microsoft Applied Skills

Participating in the #WICxSkillsReadyChallenge is really simple.

  1. Apply for the challenge
  2. Visit Microsoft Learn to earn your credentials
  3. Get engaged, recognized and celebrated plus have access to opportunities.
  4. Share your earned credentials on professional networks like LinkedIn

Exclusive Benefits and Industry Networking

Participants of the challenge will gain exclusive access to a suite of benefits designed to enhance their learning experience and career prospects. This includes access to advanced learning modules, direct mentorship from industry leaders, fostering valuable connections, participating in monthly challenges, with benefits totaling $4500.

A Call to Action

Participants are invited to join this exciting challenge and take the first step towards transforming their careers with Microsoft Applied Skills. For more information on how to participate, visit https://womenincloud.com/appliedskills/