Microsoft has a very long track record in the training industry since it was founded a very long, long time ago. But ever since Satya Nadella took charge as CEO, Microsoft has been really changing things up. It’s done everything from opening its ecosystem, to creating free tools and training resources for professionals and developers to get up to date on all its offerings.

What is the Microsoft Professional Program?

The Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) is a collection of courses that teach skills in several core technology tracks that help you excel in the industry's newest job roles.
These courses are created and taught by experts and feature quizzes, hands-on labs, and engaging communities. For each track you complete, you earn a certificate of completion from Microsoft proving that you mastered those skills.

You can find it here: Microsoft Professional Program

What categories does the program offer?

Currently, there are eight categories:

  • Data Science
  • Big Data
  • Front-End Web Development
  • Cloud Administration
  • DevOps
  • IT Support
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Entry Level Software Development

Why should I consider participating?

The Microsoft Professional Program provides real-world skills and hands-on instruction that keeps pace with the technology industry. These courses can be rigorous but rewarding, with the flexibility to master skills at your own pace, and a robust capstone project that demonstrates your knowledge. Not to mention you get the important credentials employers want.

What can I expect from the categories?

Let's take the DevOps course as an example. It offers 8 courses, 8-16 hours per course and 6 skills, in which you will be using VSTS, Visual Studio, Azure Container Service, Application Insights, Selenium and Operations Management Suite. The courses you’ll take are:

  • Practices and Principles
  • Infrastructure as Code
  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
  • Configuration Management
  • Testing in Continuous Delivery Pipelines
  • Database Integration in Continuous Delivery Environments
  • Application Monitoring
  • Final Project

It seems pretty robust for just an introductory course on DevOps. And even though this won't get you one of Microsoft's certifications I highly recommend these courses as a free resource for anyone trying to get into the tech industry and specialize in any of the industry’s most relevant career paths.

But there's no certification

No, but there are Microsoft Professional Program Certificates for anyone who completes a full category.

Final thoughts

I think it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting in IT or if you’re a long-time veteran. Acquiring relevant skills and polishing them are two very important activities. And Microsoft has done a great job in providing resources that may be invaluable to a IT professional’s career. So, go ahead, I dare you, take a dive into the Microsoft Professional Program and pursue even greater heights in your life as a IT ninja.