Microsoft IT Academy

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and Microsoft IT Academy have announced their partnership to provide 150 Iowa high schools and community colleges with an IT Academy. 100 of those schools will be provided with Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam site licenses, which includes 500 vouchers for those institutions to use. By taking advantage of this offering, this will give Iowa students an amazing opportunity to validate their skills and gain industry-recognized certification - giving them a competitive advantage when applying for college or a career.  All at no cost!

The Microsoft IT Academy program provides a complete IT education solution that bridges the world of education with the world of work. The program is designed to help drive employability, digital literacy, technical and STEM-focused training and certification, and 21st-century workforce development for students.

Who should apply?

The IT Academy program leading to Microsoft certification is ideal for Iowa business and marketing instructors; the program has been recognized in blended learning environments as well, such as English combined with Word and Power Point courses.

Please APPLY HERE while spots remain to show your interest in an IT Academy and MOS site license for consideration. 

To learn more about the certification opportunities and the IT Academy Program, please watch this pre-recorded webinar. Recording ID is: JCB4DJ, Key is not required. 

Have Questions? Contact Ann Watts at watts@IowaSTEM.gov or 515-451-3104. 

IT Academy and Microsoft Certification:

Future Ready Skills for Iowa 

  • A search on one popular job board (Indeed.com) shows more than 2,300 open, unfilled, advertised jobs in Iowa (December 2013) requiring Microsoft skills and certifications.  
  • According to a recent White Paper entitled SKILLS REQUIREMENTS FOR TOMORROW'S BEST JOBS, the only software package called out within the top 20 skills across all (high-growth/high-wage) occupations is Microsoft Office.  (IDC, 2013)
  • IT Academy software and certification benefits, including Excel, Word and PowerPoint certifications, can help Iowa students prepare for STEM and business jobs.
  • Education and industry certification will play an essential role in preparing future IT professionals for the evolving IT organization, and hands-on labs for both training and testing will be essential to ensure practical experience from any selected certification program.  (IDC 2012) The curriculum resources in IT Academy include hands-on labs to help ensure today’s learners both train and certify. 
  • Iowa schools and campuses gain access to online learning, digital books, and instructor lesson plans, certification exams for educators and students, and marketing resources valued at more than $50,000 per location.

Table I:  Summary of IT Academy value of benefits based on minimum of 30 users per location

Instructor/Student Resources:

Valued at over $44,000 per campus

Marketing Resources:

Valued at over $7,000 per campus

Unlimited access to 250 E-Learning courses. Valued at over $38,400

IT Academy Members-only website access delivering information, support and resources.

Ready-to-use customizable lesson plans including links to E-Learning, free demos and videos.

IT Academy Blog; Quarterly Microsoft IT Academy Newsletter; Promotional support

E-Reference providing digital access (for educators) to over 700 technology books searchable by topic, technology and subject (five per campus.) Valued at over $1,250

Co-branded ‘Certificate of Completion’ to recognize student course completion;


Staff Certification Starter Kit; Savings on Microsoft Certified Professional exams for students.  Valued at over $3,955

Digital Microsoft Official Academic Courseware (MOAC) series for MOS and MTA certifications delivering a complete teaching framework developed for educators.  Valued at more than $4,425

Welcome Kit including deployment resources and a membership plaque; Press Kit; videos, posters, customizable flyers - and more!  Valued at over $300

Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) certification providing tools and resources to help IT Academy instructors thrive (one per campus.)  Valued at more than $400

Marketing campaigns and Iowa professional development program including train-the-trainer support.

Digital Literacy Curriculum supporting essential skills; Teaching with Technology Curriculum to help educators integrate ICT into instruction.

Dreamspark Standard or Dreakspark Premium (for Iowa member campuses with STEM departments) [1] for Iowa member campuses with STEM departments; 50 Office licenses per campus (to be used in labs.)   Valued at over $3,499

The curriculum in IT Academy aligns with many Microsoft certifications, such as Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), which has been mapped to the 16 nationally-recognized career clusters.  In partnership with Microsoft, Iowa schools can develop a customized technology learning and certification solution with focus on career cluster impact locally[2].

  • IT Academy curriculum, leading to Microsoft certification, can support partnerships between high schools and the 27 colleges and universities[3] State-wide actively connecting American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations. 
  • While nearly every IT organization is seeking some type of cloud-enabling capability, the workforce doesn't appear to be ready with training and industry relevant certifications among applicants being two of the key barriers cited by employers to closing the skills gap (IDC 2012).  Microsoft has reinvented all certifications, to maintain their market relevance as the industry shifts to the cloud
  • The IT Academy program leading to Microsoft certification is ideal for Iowa business and marketing instructors; the program has been recognized in blended learning environments as well, such as English combined with Word and Power Point courses.
  • Iowa IT Academy campuses receive a teacher certification starter kit to support staff certification attainment, especially in the desired area of instruction.  Staff certification starter kits include 10 Microsoft Office Specialist[4] exams, 10 Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)[5] Exams and 10 Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE)[6] exams (per campus) for instructor professional development.  Teacher Certification Starter Kits are refreshed yearly.