By Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education
As students and teachers head back into the classroom this fall, many will be thinking about what's next – specifically, how today's education will translate to tomorrow's most sought-after jobs. Recent Pew Research found a skills gap in education, concluding that today's education system is not adequately preparing students for the jobs of the future. In fact, IDC research commissioned by Microsoft found that this skills gap could be closed by focusing on communications, knowledge integration and presentation skills; combined with a solid competence in the productivity tools of Microsoft Office that facilitate 21st century work. And, with the job market beginning to tighten, having the right skills translates to finding the best jobs.
To check your eligibility and learn more about Office 365 ProPlus go to self-service sign-up page.
Check out the Office blogfor even more information on this amazing offer.
To that end, I'm pleased to share some very exciting news: Beginning today, students in the U.S. are eligible for free Office 365 ProPlus from their school using a new self-service sign-up process that gives them all the benefits of Office 365 ProPlus including all of the familiar (and professional grade) Office applications like Word, PowerPoint and OneNote. Also included is 1TB of storage on OneDrive for Business, Office Online and more. The new self-service sign-in is quick and easy for students, but still allows school IT managers to maintain all the control, flexibility and security that Office is known for while reducing the amount of administrative work needed to provide these free services to students. This same service will be available worldwide in the next few months.
Office 365 ProPlus benefit is an update to last year's well received "Student Advantage" program, and was created to address the very real needs of our fast-changing global economy. According to the IDC data, the high-growth/high-salary occupations of the future consistently require a high level of competence in communication, knowledge integration and presentation (CIP) skills. And many 21st century employers specifically require Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office-related skills. In fact, the only software package called out within the top 20 skills across all occupations is Microsoft Office.
For today's digital natives, Office 365 Education matches their anywhere, anytime learning style, putting them on a path to succeed. With tools like Lync, they can seamlessly collaborate with students in classrooms around the world. And with OneNote, students can keep class notes, photos, and important information in one, easy-to-find location that's available on all of their devices (PCs, Macs, Windows Phone, iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, Android Tablets) and now even wearables. Students can type directly into their notebooks, capture and convert photos of whiteboards and handouts, even record meetings or voice memos, and they're all available from any device with a simple search.
We're also excited to announce that faculty and staff will soon be able to access the same Office 365 ProPlus benefit as students. This means that any organization purchasing Office for all their faculty and staff can now include an Office 365 ProPlus subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty and staff. Extending the Office 365 ProPlus benefit to teachers and staff ensures that educators have access to all their Office documents across all their devices, at work or at home. It also means that teachers are using the same technology and features as their students. With Office 365 ProPlus, teachers get continual updates, which means they are always using the latest, best version of Office. They can install Office on up to five PCs or Macs and can unlock the editing capabilities of Office apps for iPad. Using their Office 365 ID also means they can access the same Office content while on the go with the mobile apps on Windows Phone, iPhones and Android Phones. Teachers can take advantage of great Office apps and add-ins like Office Mix to record and publish class lectures. They also get plenty of storage space with the 1TB of storage on OneDrive for Business.
At Microsoft, we are committed to making both the technology and the programs needed for college and career readiness available to as many students as possible – an imperative in today's market, where worldwide youth unemployment is continuing to rise . The new Office 365 ProPlus benefit, along with the more than 30 programs included in the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative – which was developed to close the opportunity gap between those who have access to the skills and training they need to be successful, and those who do not – are just some of the many ways Microsoft works to to inspire and prepare students for success in the global workplace of tomorrow.
Check out the Office blog for even more information on this amazing offer.
To check your eligibility and learn more about Office 365 ProPlus go to self-service sign-up page. For more information on the benefits of Office in education visit Microsoft in Education. Students can also explore additional deals and resources Microsoft has to offer students.