COVID-19 is more than a public health crisis; its impact reaches the economy and employment. Millions of Americans are now jobless and unsure of what to do next. The answer could be upskilling, and this initiative has support from some of the most successful companies in the world.

Dr. Glenn Ricart, founder and CTO of US Ignite, has a long history of insight into the world of tech and business. He worked on the development of the first internet service provider (ISP). He also served as a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) liaison during the Clinton administration.

Upskilling has become a buzzword, as unemployment numbers go up. It’s certainly a feasible path. Access to skill training hasn’t always been easy. Now Microsoft and others have developed plans to do just that.

Microsoft, in partnership with LinkedIn and GitHub, announced its upskilling program. The program will offer free digital skill training and low-cost certifications to help 25 million people the path to acquiring digital skills. Based on the data for most in-demand jobs from LinkedIn, the initiative provides upskilling for 10 roles, including software developer, project manager, and digital marketer.

Microsoft isn’t the only company providing free and accessible upskill training. Ricart stated, “Google has 136 free courses. Facebook offers digital skills, as does Amazon. There are other ways to learn, as well, with Coursera or MIT classes.”

Will digital classes be enough for someone to transition to a new occupation? “The classes will build confidence and skills. The particular skills that these companies are training for are what they want to hire. It’s a good time to prepare yourself for the future and the new tech world,” Ricart commented.