Microsoft Learn for Educators (MSLE)

A rich source of learning content to weave into college curriculum.

April 19, 2024

Through MSLE, colleges can access cutting edge learning material that teaches cloud, cloud security, and AI. It focuses, of course, on the Microsoft Azure suite, but also teaches critical skills about DevSecOps, coding and automation, data science, security engineering, machine learning, and so much more.

Educators have an easy way to incorporate Microsoft curriculum into college programs. It’s called Microsoft Learn for Educators. These courses are meant to augment the college degrees that students earn. Along with the Microsoft training, students can also earn Microsoft certificates that are highly sought after in the industry today. 

Read the program overview at Learn.Microsoft.com.

One or many of the Microsoft offerings can easily be woven into a college program. These online technical courses are more than just about how to use Microsoft products. They also include broader topics like Artificial Intelligence, Data Management, Information Security, Software Development and so much more.  

The types of courses include mini modules, full learning paths, and challenge projects. The training materials include videos, text, graphics, hands-on exercises, and practice exams. 

Apply for Free

Educators who apply can sign up for either the “Individual Educator” program, or the “Educational Institution” program. Community and Technical colleges are eligible as are some STEM-focused secondary schools. Faculty at these institutions gain access to all Microsoft curriculum and teaching materials within Microsoft Learn for Educators.  

These resources from Microsoft can be woven into your existing learning programs. The content is always up to date and cutting edge. Students who complete these courses and pass the exams will earn in-demand Microsoft certifications, boosting their employability. 

Free Access to Lab Exercises

 If your college participates at an institutional level, that means you will have free access to lab seats for your students. These are Azure-based exercises that help your students to learn with hands-on activities. These lab seats are in addition to the Azure sandbox that comes as part of a Microsoft Learn account for students. 

The basic Microsoft Learn, on the other hand, is for anyone to sign up and access training material for free. However, the Microsoft Learn for Educators program comes with extra support for teachers and a long list of extra benefits. Furthermore, when a college becomes a member of the American Council on Education (ACE), they can grant college credit to students who earn Microsoft certifications. 

Earn Industry Certifications

Educators should guide students along a prescribed learning path designed by Microsoft. The learning path leads students into a “Role” which is aligned to a career path. Security Engineer and Security Operations Analyst are just two of the many career paths. The training focuses mainly, but not entirely, on the usage of Microsoft products within those career paths. 

After completing the training and passing exams, students earn a certificate. The certifications are divided into the categories of Beginner, Associate, or Expert. For example, becoming a Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate requires passing two exams: AZ-100 (Azure Infrastructure and Deployment Exam) and AZ-101 (Azure Integration and Security Exam). Exam vouchers are normally $165, but discounts for students are available through Microsoft Learn for Educators. 

Faculty members who sign up and use curriculum from Microsoft Learn for Educators in their classrooms are encouraged to earn the certifications themselves before teaching the courses, but this is not required.   

Train the Trainers

Members of Microsoft Learn for Educators have access to educator prep sessions, downloadable teacher’s guides, and office hours with Community Managers. free practice assessments, and free/discounted certification exam vouchers. Exams are administered by Pearson VUE. 

Cloud skills are indispensable in any cybersecurity training program. However, deciding upon a vendor to showcase in the training is difficult. Microsoft offers a very popular cloud service, Azure, which is widely used and the skills for which are in high demand. However, Google, Amazon, IBM, and Oracle also offer highly popular cloud services. All these vendors provide quality training and well-respected certifications.  

Furthermore, each of these vendors offers an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to augment the business operations of their consumers. Developing AI skills is the logical next step after learning a vendor-specific cloud platform because, often, the AI feature is an integrated part of the vendor’s cloud suite. It is increasingly apparent that AI skills give graduates a leading edge in the hiring competition. 

The Challenge of Choosing a Vendor

It is very difficult to develop skills in cloud, cloud security, and artificial intelligence unless you choose a vendor platform to examine.  There are open source and vendor agnostic certifications in these areas, but they are not easy to find, nor are they as well respected in some fields. Employers usually adopt cloud and AI products from one particular vender. They logically, therefore, seek employees with skills and experience on that platform. The challenge for colleges is to train students effectively on these platforms. Training on all major cloud vendors is an unreasonable load. So, educators should discover the vendor favored by most employers in their local region and focus on that. 

If your institution lands upon Microsoft Azure, these articles will be of interest. 

Case Study:  https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/1356642981406022367-ncl 

https://www.pluralsight.com/resources/blog/cloud/6-azure-jobs-you-can-get-with-an-azure-certification 

10 Microsoft Azure Certifications To Advance Your Career | Indeed.com