Microsoft Software & Systems Academy
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) provides transitioning service members and veterans 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.
Database & Business Intelligence Administration
Become a Database Administrator with a focus on Business Intelligence (BI) to configure, build and manage critical business data enabling organizations to make data-driven decisions. Concepts include administration, database programming, database development and management, data manipulation, creating BI environments and scaling cloud database services on 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 Virtual Academy 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.
Database & Business Intelligence Administration
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 for Microsoft Database Fundamentals as a prerequisite for this learning path. Take the MTA Software Database Fundamentals Online Training to gain an introductory level of understanding of database 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 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.
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. For more information about MSSA, see http://military.microsoft.com/mssa.
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 Military Affairs plays a critical role in building the workforce of tomorrowApr 13, 2018
Last week, during a panel discussion about building the Workforce of Tomorrow, U.S. Marine Corps Major General (Ret.) Chris Cortez, vice president of Microsoft Military Affairs, spoke about how Microsoft's values are shaping the company's impact on the future of the technology industry.
Microsoft advances Microsoft Software & Systems Academy expansion goals with Quantico ribbon-cutting ceremonyJan 9, 2018
On Monday, the company held its ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) on Marine Corps Base Quantico.
MSSA now accepts CompTIA technology certifications, making program access easier for more than 35,000 service membersAug 22, 2017
Microsoft and CompTIA are making it easier for transitioning military service members and veterans to earn the skills for a high-paying career in the civilian IT industry.
Microsoft classes teaching soldiers technologyJun 5, 2017
About 500 soldiers leave the military every month in Colorado Springs, and now the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy is bridging the gap to civilian careers in information technology.
Veteran finds passion to lead in techJun 5, 2017
Lacking discipline, Zachary Moore joined the Marine Corps. After leaving, he was ready to learn and enrolled in Microsoft Software & Systems Academy, where he put all his effort into becoming a professional. See his journey from Marine to IT services supervisor at CKE Restaurants.
Microsoft earns award for its sustained support of Reservist and National Guard membersMay 19, 2017
On May 18, Microsoft received the 2016 Extraordinary Employer Support Award from the U.S. Department of Defense in recognition of its sustained support of National Guard and Reserve military members.
How life changed in one moment for this MarineApr 14, 2017
After leaving the Marines and working odd jobs for five years, Andrew Richardson discovered MSSA by chance and tapped into his passion for programming.
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.