Building a pathway to the Cloud through our new Skill Forward programme

Dr. Kevin Marshall

Dr. Kevin Marshall

Head of Education, Microsoft Ireland

Read Time, 4 min.

The past years have demonstrated in a very real way the power of Cloud technologies. Put simply, without the Cloud, we would not have been able to work or learn from home nor would we be witnessing the pace of digital transformation that is underpinning our economic recovery.

Cloud technologies are now critical to every industry and permeate every part of our society and as such, we know that many of the in-demand jobs in both the technology sector, but also increasingly traditional sectors require Cloud skills.

That’s why we launched our Skill Forward programme to help people develop their Cloud skills, achieve industry-recognised certifications, and boost their employability. The Skill Forward programme is comprised of eleven webinars covering Azure, Security, Azure AI, Power Platform, and Data.

The certification programme is available to participants at no cost and will take them on a learning journey, which includes a full day of virtual training webinars, full access to the latest learning materials, and a practice exam.

Once completed, participants can schedule and take the exam via an online testing platform and receive an industry-recognised certification in Cloud skills. For those who don’t pass the exam the first time, there is the opportunity to take the exam a second time at no cost.

To ensure the webinars are of benefit to people of various backgrounds and experience levels, Microsoft Ireland is making two programmes available. The first is targeted at university students and educators and provides five cloud training modules and certifications at no cost. The second is aimed at learners who are either starting out on their career in tech or are mid-career and looking to enhance or develop new skills. Specifically for this group, the no cost training has been designed to enhance the learners’ skillsets to complement their current technical abilities.

Skill Forward is one of a number of learning pathways that Microsoft Ireland is making available through its ‘Pathways for Life’ programme, which consists of a diverse range of educational and training initiatives that have been developed for people of all ages, experiences and ambitions to help them to participate fully in the digital economy.

Microsoft Ireland has a long track record of investing in and developing digital education and training programmes, many of which are included within Pathways for Life such as Dream Space, an immersive STEM experience aimed at primary and post-primary students; StepIn2Tech, a digital skills training programme that provides learners with the introductory digital skills that are required to gain in-demand jobs in the tech sector ; PHD courses; and numerous re-skilling and IT literacy initiatives tailored for people of varying educational qualifications and work experience – or none.

In building upon our Pathways for Life education and training programme through the launch of the Skill Forward cloud skills certification programme, our ambition is to empower people and organisations across Ireland with the in-demand Cloud skills to unlock their potential and participate fully in our digital economy.

If you are a student or an educator interested in availing of Microsoft’s Cloud Ready Skills initiative log onto European Skill forward | Powered by Cloud Ready Skills. If you are mid-career or looking to change your career pathway log onto Datacenter – Skill forward | Powered by Cloud Ready Skills.



Exam Code

Registration LinkCertification
University Students & Educators
October 13thPower PlatformPL-900WesternEurope_FY22_H1-PL-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsPower Platform Fundamentals PL-900
October 20th & November 15thSecuritySC-900WesternEurope_FY22_H1-SC-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsSecurity Fundamentals SC-900
October 27th & November 3rd            AzureAZ-900WesternEurope_FY22_H1-AZ-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsAzure Fundamentals AZ-900
October 29th & November 1stDataDP-900WesternEurope_FY22_H1-DP-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsData Fundamentals DP-900
November 22ndAzure AIAI-900WesternEurope_FY22_H1-AI-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsAI Fundamentals AI-900
Early / Mid-Career Learners
October 14thAzure AI FundamentalsAI-900Datacenter Skilling AI-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsAI Fundamentals AI-900
October 28thAzure FundamentalsAZ-900Datacenter Skilling AZ-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsAzure Fundamentals AZ-900
December 1stSecurity FundamentalsSC-900Datacenter Skilling SC-900 | Microsoft | Powered by Cloud Ready SkillsSecurity Fundamentals SC-900



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