Preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders

Rebecca Gibson spoke to Andrew DeBerry, Worldwide Public Sector Education – Sales Operations and Strategy at Microsoft, to find out more about the company’s Student Advantage programme

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 17 June 2014
Preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders

What is Microsoft Student Advantage?

Student Advantage is central to Microsoft’s commitment to student development and regional economic development. Through the programme, students can use our most advanced cloud productivity platform to access an ‘anywhere anytime’ learning environment. Office 365 also helps students to develop skills that will benefit both them and their communities long after they have graduated.

Who is eligible for the Student Advantage programme?

Any academic institution that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. This amounts to more than 35,000 institutions worldwide.


What is included in the offering?

Office 365 ProPlus, which is also available offline, includes all the familiar and full Office applications and can be installed on  up to five devices per student. It can be combined with Microsoft’s other cloud services – such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online – through Office 365 Education to give students access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies.


Why did Microsoft introduce Student Advantage? 

Currently, there is a growing disconnect between the skills of new graduates and the competencies they need to fulfill job roles in the continually evolving 21st century economy. According to McKinsey & Company’s Education to Employment study, while more than 25% of young people in Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US are unemployed, only 43% of employers in these countries are able to find enough skilled entry-level workers to take high-paying jobs.


IDC’s Skill Requirements for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs study highlights communication skills, detail orientations skills and Microsoft Office proficiency as the top three most valuable skills that will be needed by tomorrow’s leaders. Through the Student Advantage programme, Microsoft can prepare students to become productive members of society, empowering them to become tomorrow’s leaders.

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