Jason Hong, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s school of computer science, joined Daniel Litwin, The Voice of B2B, to talk about Microsoft’s initiative to combat the devastation COVID-19 has wrought upon the job market. The tech giant, one of the largest companies in the world, has pledged to offer free digital training for the top ten jobs as per LinkedIn’s job demand metrics. The question is how effective it will be.

“I think this initiative by Microsoft has a strong potential to be a win-win for everybody involved,” said Jason. He explained how it will be good for job seekers, it will strengthen the pools of talent for recruiters, it will be good for Microsoft and their proprietary LinkedIn platform, and it will be good for local governments to whom Microsoft has promised access to data for planning purposes.

Daniel and his guest then talked about whether or not there should be more collaboration between Microsoft and government powers in the initiative, as well as just how effective this sort of training could be for a post-COVID economy. “Not all jobs can be trained easily online,” noted Jason. He also pointed out that Microsoft will probably be biasing the training towards the use of their own tools, so applicability might be limited in scope. 

In his final statements, Jason pointed out how demographics can play to unknown biases amongst recruiters and wondered how Microsoft might address that with this bold initiative of theirs.

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