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We’re living through a transformative period for working practices. Organisations of all kinds have adopted new digital ways of working to keep their staff functioning remotely. But it’s not only WHERE we work – it’s HOW we work that’s changing.

A survey by the auditing firm EY has found that almost half of company bosses in 45 countries have decided to accelerate plans for automation and AI. In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates that such technologies could displace 75 million jobs by 2022, and create 133 million new ones – as companies redefine goals for productivity and collaboration. And make no mistake: technology will be at the heart of the strategy.

It’s a change that will prove wholly irreversible. The genie cannot, and will not, be put back in the bottle.

Opportunity to boost your digital skills

This extraordinary acceleration in new digital ways of working is putting pressure on everyone to skill up and avoid widening the digital skills gap that already exists in so many businesses.

For nearly everyone, 2020 has seen life turned upside down. One thing we know for sure is the job market will soon look different, as economies look to rebuild and reinvent, many through technology. As we all look ahead and work to prepare for that new reality, this moment could present a unique opportunity for individuals to invest in their own digital skills and gain certified qualifications to improve their employability.

Investing in your digital skills today can open doors to new opportunities either within your current field or possibly in an entirely new one. Enhanced digital skills can help boost your self-confidence, increase your job satisfaction, add more value to your work, and even increase your salary.

Whatever your motivations, courses and certifications are a great way to start. In fact, another report by Global Knowledge in 2018 found that gaining qualifications resulted in:

  • 70% improvement in on-the-job effectiveness
  • 22% (U.S.), 9% (worldwide) salary increase over non-certified staff
  • Faster job performance (40% of respondents)
  • Ability to implement system efficiencies (30% of respondents)

Start your learning journey with Microsoft

The great acceleration in new digital ways of working – coupled with the fact that 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using the Microsoft cloud – means there’s no better place to develop relevant and high-value skills than Microsoft.

The Microsoft Level Up portal offers many free courses and digital events to suit almost all learning styles, needs and abilities. The courses are designed to help you learn about and level up on the company’s three core cloud-based products: Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 and/or Microsoft Dynamics 365.

You can learn at your own pace and work towards certifications that prove you’re up-to-date with today’s in-demand skills for technical, functional consultant and sales roles.

Microsoft Azure

Azure is Microsoft’s industry-leading cloud platform – used by organisations of all kinds in virtually every country on the planet. Level Up offers an array of Azure courses, online events and certifications. The portal helps you quickly find what you need, from getting started with ‘Learn the Azure Basics’ to advanced data science skills with ‘Learn AI with the AI Business School’.

Plus, with Azure Heroes, you can get recognised for your contributions in the technical or developer community. If you, or someone you know, is making a positive impact – submit a nomination today and you could be awarded with a unique, blockchain-based ‘badger’.

Click here to learn more about Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is the enterprise productivity cloud that brings together Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility and Security. That means world-famous apps that virtually everyone of working age will recognise, and some they may not.

Level Up contains learning paths and certifications to help you boost your skills across the whole spectrum of Microsoft 365 applications. For 2020, the remote working courses are especially relevant: ‘Manage team collaboration with Microsoft Teams’, ‘Deliver remote desktop and apps from Azure with Windows Virtual Desktop’ and ‘Protect enterprise information with Microsoft 365’.

Click here to learn more about Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Talent Portal

Dynamics 365 is a comprehensive suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.

If you’re an ERP or CRM professional, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Talent Portal gives you the opportunity to apply for jobs or projects with trusted Microsoft Partners who will help you get trained.

You can also develop new skills within Microsoft technologies through free, official Microsoft online courses and guidance all the way to your first Microsoft certification exam.

Click here to learn more about the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Talent Portal.

Now you can boost your career with free online courses and certifications.

Discover the Microsoft Level Up programme and start upping your cloud skills.

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