Microsoft Software & Systems Academy
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) provides transitioning service members and veterans, including those with clearance, with critical career skills required for today’s growing technology industry.
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy provides an 18-week (or two 9-week terms) training for high-demand careers in cloud development, cloud administration, cybersecurity administration, or database and business intelligence administration. Program graduates have an opportunity to interview for a full-time job at Microsoft or one of our hiring partners.
Discover your next career
Cloud Application Development
Become a C# programmer to build local, server based and cloud-stored applications. Concepts include database programming, data integration and manipulation, C# application programming with ASP.net MVC and application development in Azure.
Become a Cybersecurity Administrator who protects an organization’s technical infrastructure and their critical data assets.. Concepts are based on the U.S. National Institute of Science and Technology’s (NIST) Security Framework and (ISC)2‘s body of knowledge. These include understanding network and systems threat landscapes; security policy and governance models; securing access controls; security tools and techniques; digital forensics and cybercrime; and server, client, and Azure cloud hardening and security management across platforms.
Server & Cloud Administration
Become a systems administrator who can install, configure, manage and advance the usage of IT resources on premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid combination to meet the technology needs of major organizations. Concepts include Windows Server workloads, networking, authentication and authorization, cloud models and Azure administration.
* For each Learning Path, Microsoft provides free Microsoft Learn courses to expand your fundamental knowledge of key technology areas and help prepare you to gain one of the required MTA certifications.
CompTIA offers a 26% discount on their exam vouchers and provides online and local instructor-led training to help prepare you to gain one of the required CompTIA certifications. Voucher codes are provided by MSSA Academic Partners.
To begin the application process, first confirm that you:
- Have command authorization, or current honorable service status
- Meet the admission requirements for the University
All applicants must work with with their Base Education Center or MSSA Academic Partner* to gather and submit the following documentation and proofs:
- Valid IT certification (see “Satisfy program prerequisites”)
- High school diploma or GED certificate
- Proof of successful completion of high school algebra (or test out)
- Any financial aid applications (program voucher, GI Bill, or FAFSA)
- Completed and signed application
Additional requirements for active duty service members:
- Attend MSSA Information Session and complete a screening interview with an education counselor
- Submit proof of honorable service status
Additional requirements for reservists or discharged service members:
- Submit DD-214 proof of honorable discharge
- Agree to criminal background check
* To learn more about MSSA or apply for the program, please see program locations below and contact your Base Education Center or MSSA Academic Partner. If you are a transitioning service member not located at a base where MSSA is currently provided, please ask your Education Counselor to connect you to the Regional Career Skills Program Manager for options.
Cloud Application Development
To ensure success in the MSSA program, we expect you’ll begin with a fundamental understanding of the technology taught in your cohort. We require current Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification as a prerequisite for this learning path. Take the online MTA Software Development Fundamentals Training to gain an introductory level of understanding of programming concepts required for this program.
To ensure success in the MSSA program, we expect you’ll begin with a fundamental understanding of the technology taught in your cohort. There are two options to gain the prerequisites required for entrance into the MSSA program:
A) A current Microsoft Security Fundamentals Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification is a prerequisite option for this learning path. To gain certification, take the MTA Security Fundamentals Training to learn how to build a functional and secure network.
B) A current CompTIA Security+ certification is another prerequisite option for this learning path. To access certification training, please check with our MSSA academic partners (ERAU or SMU) for local training partners and discount codes for the exam.
Server & Cloud Administration
To ensure success in the MSSA program, we expect you’ll begin with a fundamental understanding of the technology taught in your cohort. There are two options to gain the prerequisite for entrance into the MSSA program:
A) A current Microsoft Networking Fundamentals Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification is a prerequisite option for this learning path. To gain certification, take the MTA Networking Fundamentals Training to understand the basics of networking and the different workloads that define a comprehensive network infrastructure.
B) A current CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ certification are other prerequisite options for this learning path. To access certification training, please check with our MSSA academic partners (ERAU or SMU) for local training partners and discount codes for the exam.
Top 3 roles
- Software Engineer
- Sales Supporters
- Service Engineers
of students graduate from MSSA
Total number of companies (other than Microsoft) that have hired graduates
Find a Program Near You
MSSA Programs are available at major military locations nationwide. If your base isn't listed, discuss options with your Education Counselor or Transition Center.
Microsoft works side by side with education leaders to help service members advance from the military to a career in IT. Our two Academic Partners, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Saint Martin’s University, partner with Microsoft to offer MSSA at our different locations. Support at these locations is also provided by several top-notch educational institutions and leading technology associations.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
ERAU offers service members educational opportunities through classroom, hybrid and project-based learning, and is the MSSA Academic Partner at several U.S. military bases across the country.
Saint Martin’s University
SMU is the MSSA Academic Partner at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, helping service members prepare for long-term high-paying careers in the technology industry.
Microsoft Software and Systems Academy transitions to virtual instruction during COVID-19 outbreakMar 24, 2020
Microsoft is committed to the safety and health of our Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) students, staff members, partners and community.
New data shows a promising change in perceptions toward hiring veterans. That’s worth celebrating.Nov 11, 2019
Microsoft Military Affairs worked with YouGov on a nationwide survey, which uncovered some very interesting insights and shows how attitudes have evolved when it comes to hiring veterans,
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy celebrates 500-company hiring milestoneJul 11, 2019
Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) reaches a major program milestone: More than 500 companies have now hired graduates from the program.
Navy Times | Out of the Navy and into ITApr 26, 2019
After 20 years in the Navy, Jeff Peterson found a new life and a new career after graduating from Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA).
Air Force Times | Air Force vet gets a fresh startApr 26, 2019
An injury cut Alexandria Lara’s career in the Air Force short. Graduating from Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) allowed her to jump-start her new career in tech.
Marine Corps Times | Marine lands dream career in techApr 26, 2019
Jovan Fitzgerald found fulfillment during his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. After graduating from Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), he was able to find fulfillment in his work as a civilian.
Army Times | From Army to Microsoft in 18 weeksApr 26, 2019
Chetana Adhikari defied societal expectations to achieve her dreams. This led her to the U.S. Army, and eventually—after graduating from Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA)—a fulfilling career at Microsoft.
A Day in the life of three veterans working at MicrosoftDec 11, 2018
Ever wonder what it was like to be a program manager at Microsoft? Hear from three veterans as they walk you through a day in their lives working at Microsoft.
Meeting the demand for cleared veteran talentNov 15, 2018
Equipping people on the front lines of national security with modern skills and technological awareness is paramount, and we’re committed as industry partners to helping along that journey.
Microsoft works with hundreds of hiring partners, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies, to help our program graduates find new career paths. We see our partnership with these military family-friendly companies as critical to addressing the skills gap in the technology industry.
Join our growing list of companies hiring this great talent.