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Microsoft Launches Free Online Modules on Tech Resilience for Students and Professionals

All modules are available for free on Microsoft Learn to help anyone in tech, from student to employee, to hone important non-tech skills

Microsoft added nine new learn modules to its’ Tech Resilience Curriculum. Available for free on Microsoft Learn, these modules help everyone, from student to employee, mentor or manager to hone important non-tech skills and foster a more inclusive and diverse workplace in the Information Technology ecosystem, said a press release from the company.

This curriculum was developed in partnership with Mount Holyoke’s Metaview Mentors to build a research-based toolkit involving core psychological, educational, and team-based concepts and skills as part of a different kind of “learning pathway” for the tech industry. Microsoft launched this curriculum in 2020 as a pilot and was able to connect with over 1,200 students across 190 universities, 97% of whom declared this had a profound impact teaching them skills they can apply in school and their lives.

The program was also piloted at Microsoft and evolved on learnings from employees in the IT industry, helping make it relevant at scale. Employees found the materials helpful in their own learning and development, especially in group-learning contexts like a mentoring ring which helps to develop a common language and creates an environment to share strategies. Revisiting these concepts prepared employees to maximize their impact at many different levels.

The approach for the tech resilience curriculum outlines clear and simple skills to making belongingness, growth mindset and other core problem-solving and collaboration strategies top of mind and actionable. The toolkit of the curriculum consists of videos, activities and reflection questions. These skills can be used to challenge our conceptions of what’s taught in computer science, learn new and critical skills for the workplace, and build flourishing and healthy communities. The tech resilience curriculum modules are organized across three principles:

Recognize discomfort: In tech, we are lifelong learnings and are always going to be pushed to learn something new. Programming requires learning; it’s not an innate skill. Struggle, challenge and discomfort can be part of learning computer science. Great programmers are made through practice and experience.

Strategize solutions: Strategic problem-solving abilities to plan, iteratively test, evaluate and refine work are necessary for group or individual projects. How we approach something can be as important as the final solution, technical skills aren’t enough. Making space to recognize and strategize around the role emotions play is essential for succeeding in computer science and at work.

Pivot and Persist: Learning how to react to and recover from unexpected disruptions or setbacks is an important ability to hone. Understanding and naming what is happening, disentangling what we do and do not have control over, and regrouping with new strategies helps improve persistence and the ability to bounce back or pivot, rather than panic, in the face of difficulty. We can learn to pivot a difficult situation into a productive one. Those who wish to learn can visit the official website to take the modules for free.

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