MSSA now accepts CompTIA technology certifications, making program access easier for more than 35,000 service members

Microsoft is partnering with CompTIA, the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications, to make it easier for transitioning military service members and veterans to enter Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) and earn the skills for a high-paying career in the civilian IT industry. Starting now, CompTIA certifications are accepted as prerequisites for two of the four Learning Paths in the program: the Server & Cloud Administration path now accepts CompTIA Network+ certification and the CompTIA Security+ certification, while the Cybersecurity Administration path now accepts the CompTIA Security+ certification.

MSSA is 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 program, graduates are guaranteed a job interview at Microsoft or one of its more than 220 hiring partners. Since MSSA was established in 2013, applicants have been required to hold specific Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications to qualify for a designated Learning Path. However, more than 35,000 active-duty service members and Department of Defense employees today hold current CompTIA certifications, which are required for a large number of military and Department of Defense roles.

Microsoft is passionate about supporting service members through their journey to civilian life and is happy to offer service members additional avenues to qualify for the MSSA program. Now, MSSA applicants who are clearly well-qualified for the program can save time by leveraging their CompTIA certification in lieu of the MTA to apply for the program. By now accepting either CompTIA or MTA certifications for MSSA, Microsoft is empowering more service members who have already demonstrated their fundamental IT skills and their passion for technology.

“U.S. employers across geographies, industries and markets are in need of trained and certified technology professionals to remain competitive in the digital economy,” says Joe Padin, CompTIA’s vice president for U.S. federal and education sales. “Our military veterans have the right skillsets to fill the tech talent pipeline. CompTIA is pleased to be a part of 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.”

Applicants who have not yet earned either MTA or CompTIA certifications now have more choices and flexibility as they prepare to transition to civilian life. And to make it even easier for MSSA applicants to acquire the certification that best fits their goals, CompTIA is offering them a 26 percent discount on the cost of CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications. For more information on the discount and registration, applicants should contact the academic partner administering MSSA at their location: Saint Martin’s University at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at other program sites. Microsoft Virtual Academy will continue to offer free courses to qualify for MTA certification.

“There are thousands of service members who have already demonstrated their passion for technology by earning CompTIA certifications,” says Chris Cortez, retired Marine Corps major general and now vice president of Military Affairs at Microsoft. “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.”

The initial announcement of this partnership was made available this past weekend, during the Veteran Employment and Education Committee meeting at the American Legion’s 99th National Conference in Reno, NV.

“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,” says Joe Sharpe, director, National Veteran Employment and Education Division, 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 Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is a testament to how the IT industry values veterans in their workforce.”

Visit the MSSA information page to learn about certification, prerequisites, Learning Paths and more.