by Mike Neil, Corporate Vice President, Cloud + Enterprise
Over the last 20 years there have been many technology transitions led by IT professionals. With each technology transition, the role of IT professionals changes. We are in the middle of the cloud technology transition and IT professionals are not always leading this transition. Microsoft is here to support IT professionals as they lead their companies to adopt the cloud with two new programs – Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials and the Microsoft IT Pro Career Center.
There is a significant opportunity for IT professionals to adopt the cloud. IDC believes that while IT employment worldwide will grow about 4% every year from 2015 to 2020, cloud-related positions will grow at more than three times that rate. By 2020, more than 1 in 3 IT positions will be cloud related.
To capture this opportunity, IT professionals need to rapidly familiarize themselves with cloud technologies, and evolve their skills. Microsoft is listening to the needs of IT professionals and today is addressing the most common questions we hear: “How do I to get started with cloud?” and “How can I advance my career using cloud?”
1) Get started in the cloud with the FREE Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials annual subscription.
Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials provides IT professionals with access to cloud services, training, support and certification. Details include:
- Free Azure credits to try cloud scenarios like backup, disaster recovery, security & dev/test.
- Free Pluralsight subscription for on-line training.
- Free Priority support in the TechNet forums.
- A free phone support incident for Azure or on-premises products.
- A free certification exam voucher. 
- Extended trials of Enterprise Mobility Suite and Office 365.
2) Advance your IT career in cloud technologies with the FREE Microsoft IT Pro Career Center.
Microsoft IT Pro Career Center provides IT professionals with cloud career paths, curriculum to learn the cloud roles, and industry insights. Details include:
- Map your IT cloud role.
- Follow a learning curriculum for your chosen cloud role.
- Evolve at your own pace & learn with your peers.
- Discover which cloud roles are in demand and their salary ranges.
- Get insights on your personality traits and how they matchup to cloud roles.
- Hear from industry experts about the trends in cloud roles and skills you need.
Diana Carolina Torres Viasus, a Cloud & Datacenter Management Infrastructure Engineer who is an early adopter of IT Pro Cloud Essentials said: “The best investment you can make is to educate yourself. When Microsoft gives us all these benefits, I feel that we are really connected to each other.”
To see a demo of Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials, check out the video below:
As cloud technology is quickly evolving, we’ll be sure to evolve these programs. Please tell us what you think and don’t forget to Join today!
 IDC Market Spotlight, sponsored by Microsoft, “Cloud Driving Big Changes in IT Organizational Skills”, February 2016
 Limited supply. First come, first served.