Microsoft launches new AI skills training initiative

Microsoft Dev Box
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced the debut of a new AI Skills Initiative.
  • AI skills are ranked third among most organizations in terms of priority.
  • It's also launching a Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge.

Microsoft recently announced the launch of a new AI Skills Initiative. In the past few months, the Redmond-based giant has adopted generative AI technology across its products and services following its extended relationship with OpenAI after making a multi-billion dollar investment.

Many organizations have followed suit and have been adopting the technology gradually. As such, it's important for employees to equip themselves with the necessary skills to leverage this emerging technology. 

As Kate Behncken, Microsoft Philanthropies CVP, noted in a LinkedIn post, the initiative will "help people and communities around the world learn how to harness the power of AI."

According to the World Economic Forum, AI skills are ranked the "third-highest priority for companies’ training strategies," with analytical and creative thinking topping the list.

As such, the new initiative will place people in a better position to fully maximize the potential of generative AI. Those who enroll in the program will have access to new and free coursework developed with LinkedIn, after which you'll get a Professional Certificate on Generative AI in the online learning market.

Through this new coursework, workers will learn introductory concepts of AI, including a look at responsible AI frameworks, and receive a Career Essentials certificate when they pass the assessment.


s cited in Microsoft's latest Work Trend Index report, generative AI technology can be used to redefine how people work. Per the statistics shared, 69% of the participants in the survey indicated that they spent a great deal of time sourcing information, with 70% indicating that they'd leverage AI capabilities to get this done faster. 

The initiative is in place to help employees achieve this, as it is designed to help them "stay ahead of emerging skills gaps and take advantage of these new technologies."

To achieve this, Microsoft is debuting a Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge alongside, Microsoft’s AI for Good Lab, and GitHub. The program will be used to develop and explore how institutions can leverage AI technology to train workers and enhance their skills. 

Besides the financial aid, Microsoft will also grant awardees access to Microsoft events, Azure-based cloud computing resources, cohort experience, and more.

Moving forward Microsoft has highlighted that it'll continue equipping people with digital skills across the globe via its Skills for Jobs program as well as continue helping people unlock new career goals that are focused on cybersecurity as well as "new in-demand jobs in the digital economy."

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.