Microsoft Corporation is partnering with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to prepare active duty soldiers for a career outside of the military and in the tech industry.
“They’re learning programming essentially. They’re gonna learn how to code in NC sharp, SQL server, they’re using platforms like Azure, and they’re essentially getting ready to become software engineers and software developers in the industry,” Matthew Gonzalez, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Fort Benning Campus Director, said.
10 active duty soldiers are participating in the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy on post. The 18 week program provides the soldiers with professional developing training, resume tips along with assigning mentors to help them through this program.
Candina Janicki is the site manager on post and says the soldiers are guaranteed a job interview with Microsoft, but they are highly eligible for jobs with other companies as well.
“The average national salary coming out of this program is $75,000. We have a 93 percent hire rate. About 93 percent of our students do get hired,” Janicki said.
This is is the seventh cohort of the course. Sergeant First Class James Smelser is an active duty soldier transitioning to civilian life. He says he always had a passion for I.T. and when he heard about the opportunity he was all in.
“I enjoy all of it. I need all of it. The I.T. industry because I don’t have a background in it is difficult. The course hands down is professional, quality, it’s giving me the tools that I need to succeed once I get out of this course,” Smelser said.
Smelser says without the MSSA program on post he wouldn’t be able to pursue his dreams. He says getting his certification in November will open him up to a large pool of opportunities in Fort Benning.
If you would like to learn more about this program or apply for the next training. There are briefings every Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Soldier For Life Center on post.