Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has offered an IT Academy program of classes to high-school students for a while now, and now the State of Georgia has put forth some money to allow the opportunity for students from poorer school districts to have access to the classes that may lead to professional certifications.
The Georgia State Department of Education recently paid $600,000 for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to offer its IT Academy courses – in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – in those school districts that could not afford the program, so students in those districts could have the same opportunities as those in other districts who already have the course offerings.
The Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) IT Academy features high-school-level STEM courses that help prepare students for a career in a technology field – and some will even lead to industry certificates. Microsoft says it is offering services to the schools that are worth about $23 million per year, though the actual figure all the districts in the state pay for the courses was not disclosed.
“Technology has so changed our world, and we have to recognize that,” said John Barge, Georgia state schools superintendent. “This is an incredible benefit to all students in Georgia.” He added that these classes also help with the state’s new school performance measurement process, which determines a school’s success partly on how well the schools prepare students for college and/or careers.
One senior at a Fayette County high school said he expects to graduate in the spring with a certificate in small-business administration after completing his Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) IT Academy classes.
This opportunity to provide real-world technology and engineering courses to students has been one of the ways Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has performed outreach efforts, and the investment is not lost on investors in Microsoft stock, liek hedge-fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, who had a $234 million investment in Microsoft at the end of June after increasing his stock hold by 2 percent during the quarter over the previous quarter.