Microsoft Software & Systems Academy celebrates 500-company hiring milestone

Jul 11, 2019

Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA), which trains transitioning U.S. service members and veterans for careers in the technology industry, has reached a major program milestone: More than 500 companies have now hired graduates from the program.

Since MSSA’s launch in 2013, a key tenet of its success has been the creation of a robust Hiring Partner Program, which includes Microsoft partners, customers and industry leaders. Graduates of MSSA are guaranteed an interview at Microsoft or at one of these hiring partners, many of which are Fortune 500 companies. The Hiring Partner Program also expanded this year to include graduates of the new Military Spouse Technology Academy (MSTA).

“We are thrilled that so many companies continue to recognize the incredible veteran talent coming out of MSSA,” said U.S. Marine Corps Major General Chris Cortez (Ret.), vice president of Microsoft Military Affairs. “These graduates are mission-driven, adaptable and team-oriented, and together, they are changing the face of the IT industry.”

This new milestone comes as MSSA continues to extend across the country. Last year, MSSA completed its initial coast-to-coast expansion goal of opening 14 MSSA locations in nine regions, with the capacity to graduate 1,000 students per year. Just this week, MSSA also celebrated the ribbon cutting at its newest location: Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, the first technology Career Skills Program for transitioning service members in the state.

As MSSA and its Hiring Partner Program grow together, it has become increasingly clear that the relationship is an advantage to everyone involved. Not only do hiring partners gain access to an impressive, previously untapped talent pool, but they also join a strong partner ecosystem where Microsoft is committed to adding value and helping to generate new solutions and opportunities. It all falls squarely within Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more — and highlights how Microsoft partners are making more possible.

Major companies like Southwest Airlines are among those who have benefitted from hiring the skilled veteran talent coming out of MSSA.

“Military veterans are core to Southwest Airlines and make up 12.9% of our employees today. Within the technology department, we are continuously looking for great people and recognize the value veterans bring to our organization,” said Derek Whisenhunt, head of End User Computing at Southwest Airlines. “The MSSA graduates we’ve hired are exceeding expectations in their roles, add so much value to our teams and are a great fit for our company culture.”

Companies who join the Hiring Partner Program gain access — at no cost — to resources to connect them with fantastic talent, including a resume database and hiring portal. More than 75% of MSSA graduates have active security clearances, and after 18 weeks of immersive training, these graduates emerge ready to enter the workforce and build meaningful careers.

“MSSA provides a real-world program, facilitates hands-on work, and is led by instructors with experience, which clearly shows in the graduates we hire,” said Mike Powers, Veterans and Disabilities program manager for TEKsystems, a Microsoft partner. “I highly encourage employers to utilize the MSSA database and partner program to find employees with a higher degree of readiness for IT, strong work ethic and self-reliance values.”

Microsoft is proud to continue its commitment to the veteran and military community and encourages industry leaders to join the network of companies supporting this incredible talent in their transition to technology careers.

To learn more about hiring diverse MSSA and MSTA talent, visit the Hiring Partner Program page.

For a look at the all the news stemming from Microsoft Inspire — including materials, photos, highlights and more — visit the Inspire microsite.