Microsoft Software and Systems Academy
Microsoft Software and 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 and Systems Academy provides a 16-to 17-week training for high-demand careers in cloud development or cloud administration. Program graduates have an opportunity to interview for a full-time job at Microsoft or one of our hiring partners.
Take your (virtual) next steps
Shifting from military to civilian life is challenging, especially during uncertain times. But you can do it. Your service has already instilled the skills and experience you need to build a rewarding career in tech. The Tech Transition Toolkit offers simple tips for how you can build a career in tech.
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.
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 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)
- 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.
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 is now offered virtually and is accessible via all military installations nationwide across time zones (EST/CST/MST/PST/Hawaii and Alaska). In-person training is currently on hold due to COVID-19. Select “Find a program by location” to see available courses offered remotely from MSSA sites near you. Select “Find a program by learning path” to view available cohorts based on the path that most interests you.
Microsoft works side by side with education leaders to help service members and veterans advance from the military to a career in IT. Our Academic Partners—including Saint Martin’s University and Microsoft Learning Partners Opsgility and United Training—partner with Microsoft to deliver MSSA virtually and in person. Support is also provided by several top-notch educational institutions.
Opsgility has been an integral part of the Microsoft Cloud learning ecosystem since 2013, enabling students with new skills through instructor-led and hackathon-style training, plus on-demand features for continuous learning.
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.
United Training designs learning programs to help individuals accelerate their careers through short-term training, certification preparation, and career readiness—whether transitioning out of the military or currently enlisted and looking to the future.
Deepening our investment in the military community: Why we’re fully funding Microsoft Software and Systems AcademyJan 27, 2021
It’s no small feat to start a new career. In a time of ongoing economic uncertainty and acute societal stressors, attempting to do so can feel downright daunting. For the nearly 200,000 service members who will transition out of the United States military this year, joining the civilian workforce presents a very real, intensified challenge.
MSSA graduates in action: Helpful tips for the job searchOct 27, 2020
Microsoft Military Affairs is committed to helping transitioning service members and veterans find new, meaningful careers, but right now the job market is as challenging as it has ever been.
To recruit and retain top talent, be sure your company is veteran-ready, not just veteran-friendlyOct 19, 2020
Nearly 200,000 military members transition out of service each year (according to the 2019 LinkedIn Veteran Opportunity Report), and their experiences make them a tremendous talent pool for corporate America. But hiring veterans is still viewed as “a box to check” by too many companies.
Why mentors are pillars of MSSA—and essential to helping students succeedJun 29, 2020
Mentorship has always been a pillar of MSSA because we know how important it is to take a holistic approach to supporting members of the military transitioning to the civilian workforce.
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.
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.
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.