Microsoft has announced the worldwide launch of the Office Student Advantage program. Though the announcement of the program was made earlier in October 2013, yesterday it became officially available for over 35,000 educational institutions worldwide.
Microsoft Office Student Advantage Program
Microsoft’s Student Advantage program is aimed at making students proficient in Office 365 so that they are updated with the recent productivity tools like Excel, Word and PowerPoint. This knowledge in turn would help them excel in the classroom and the workforce. Microsoft mentioned the need for such a program as necessary because the employers today looks for students that have knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially the PowerPoint and the Word.
At the Office blog, Microsoft said
“All schools and universities that license Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can now also provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. We’re already working with schools that have signed up for Student Advantage, including the Sao Paolo State Department of Education (SEE), which is providing access to Office 365 for over four million student”.
Further speaking on the Student Advantage program, Microsoft gave an example of a 2013 study by Harris Interactive and Chegg which say that less than two of five hiring managers find students or recent graduates prepared for a job in their chosen fields. Microsoft said that Student Advantage will help students develop necessary skill sets as sought by most employers.
Microsoft also cited the 2013 study by IDC, and mentioned that employers are looking for candidates that have 20 specific skills for high-growth, high-wage occupations. Coming in at number 3 on this list is proficient with Microsoft Office, with proficiency with PowerPoint and Word specifically highlighted at #11 and #13 on the list. But, now with the Student Advantage program available worldwide, students would benefit highly from using Office 365 as they will know the most up to date versions of the productivity tools that can help their chances of grabbing a good job.
Many would argue that this move by Microsoft could well be part of its strategy in countering other productivity tools like Google Drive and Open Office. However, we are definitely not complaining as students are set to benefit from the program and on the other hand Microsoft brand is set to establish a long term association with the schools.