Microsoft Systems Academy now free for transitioning service members


By Julia LeDoux

February 9, 2021

Transitioning service members will no longer have to use their GI Bill funds to attend the Microsoft Systems Academy.

“MSAA is now fully funded by Microsoft and is permanently offered online,” said Chris Cortez, vice president of military affairs at Microsoft.

“MSSA is one of only a few corporate-sponsored programs that train active duty service members and veterans for technology jobs,” he told Connecting Vets.

MSAA was founded in 2013 and is a full-time, 16-18-week tech training program that provides its graduates with a solid theoretical foundation. It uses practical, hands-on exercises, labs and certification testing to prepare students for tech jobs in any industry.

Nearly 200,000 service members transition out of the military each year and seek civilian jobs. Cortez said Microsoft believes it is its role as an industry leader to encourage veterans to see computer science and STEM careers as a viable path when transitioning to civilian life in the public or private sector.

“I strongly believe one of the key steps needed to foster a successful and inclusive economic recovery is expanded access to digital skills that drive our modern workforce,” he explained. “Our increased investment in MSSA stems from our long-held recognition of the value service members and veterans bring to business and our desire to continue developing and championing this diverse talent pool, not only for Microsoft but for the good of the economy overall.”

Cortez added that the development of a sustainable and scalable training program and job placement model for transitioning service members also helps Microsoft and other IT leaders attract high potential, diverse talent with solid skills.

“Beyond this, service members are trained in nontraditional settings that hone their ability to handle situations under pressure,” he said. “That experience fosters and refines traits such as loyalty, a focus on mission over self, and a drive to support one’s team—desirable traits in every industry.”

Over 95% of MSSA graduates are either employed or opted to complete their college degree.

To learn more about the program and how to enroll, visit the website. You can also email to receive an invite to weekly information sessions, a mandatory part of the application process, held every Tuesday at both noon and 3 p.m.

Reach Julia LeDoux at

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