Helping 25 Million Job Seekers Get Back to Work

June 30, 2020

This year is unlike any other. We’re enduring a global pandemic that’s taken lives and impacted the well-being, health, and jobs of so many people around the globe. And with the reality of systemic racism in our country front and center, we have a critical and shared responsibility to create a better, more inclusive future for the Black community.

We are all also facing an economy that has changed dramatically. In the U.S., the unemployment rate swung from 50-year lows to 70-year highs in just three months. And the impact has been felt disproportionately by people with low incomes, women and underrepresented minorities. An important step in accelerating economic recovery and making sure it’s inclusive, is providing easier access to digital skills for those hardest hit by job losses.

That’s why today we, as part of the Microsoft ecosystem, are excited to launch a global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of this year. Our goal is to help those who have become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis get the skills they need to land their next job. By giving free access to the skills and training that job seekers need to get jobs, we hope to do our part and help connect job seekers around the globe to new opportunities. And to help the groups hit hardest by job loss, Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organizations worldwide. We at LinkedIn are proactively reaching out to hundreds of nonprofit and community partners and thousands of nonprofit customers to make sure that they know about these available resources. 

We’ve worked together across Microsoft to make all the resources available for free for everyone in one place — It’s ambitious, and it's just the beginning, but we’re excited to help job seekers land their next job.  

Helping People Get Back on Their Feet

Through LinkedIn’s Economic Graph, we are able to digitally map 690M professionals, 50M companies, 11M job listings, 36K skills, and 90k schools on LinkedIn, to identify in-demand skills, emerging jobs, and global hiring patterns. These insights help us connect LinkedIn members to open opportunities. And by partnering with governments, nonprofits and organizations around the world, we help them use these insights to create economic opportunity for the global workforce. 

Using this data, we identified 10 jobs that are in-demand in today’s economy and are well positioned to continue to grow in the future. These 10 jobs were identified as having the greatest number of job openings, have had steady growth over the past four years, pay a livable wage, and require skills that can be learned online. 

Today, we’re making the 10 LinkedIn Learning Paths aligned with these jobs available for everyone for free. Each learning path includes a sequence of video content aimed at helping individuals broadly develop the core skills needed for a given role. These paths will be available at no cost through the end of March, with updated or revised content to be added as needed, and are available in English, French, Spanish and German. In addition, Microsoft Learn is offering free and in-depth technical learning content that also supports these roles and job seekers pursuing developer roles can access the GitHub Learning Lab to practice their skills.

All you need to do to get started is visit to see current job opportunities and the different learning paths available. The 10 role-based learning paths are: 

  1. Software developer - Become a Software Developer

  2. Sales representative - Become a Sales Representative

  3. Project manager - Become a Project Manager

  4. IT Administrator - Prepare for CompTIA Network+ Certification

  5. Customer service specialist - Become a Customer Service Specialist

  6. Digital marketer - Become a Digital Marketing Specialist

  7. IT support/help desk - Prepare for the CompTIA A+ Certification   

  8. Data analyst  - Become a Data Analyst

  9. Financial analyst - Become a Financial Analyst

  10. Graphic designer - Become a Graphic Designer

In addition, we’ve seen a strong acceleration in the need for soft skills. Given the complex and challenging work situations many of us are facing, it’s no surprise that employers are looking for collaborative professionals to help lead teams through change. Today we are also making available for free 4 learning paths focused on helping professionals come up to speed on these skills as quickly as possible: 

  1. Job seeker - Finding a Job During Challenging Economic Times

  2. Critical soft skills - Master In-Demand Professional Soft Skills

  3. Digital transformation - Digital Transformation in Practice: Virtual Collaboration Tools (combination of digital fluency and remote work)  

  4. Allyship and Inclusive Conversations - Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All

For each of the 10 role-based learning paths, people will have free access to rich and comprehensive content from the LinkedIn Learning library of courses, all taught by industry-expert instructors. And at the end of each path, job seekers will receive a certificate of completion, which they can post on their LinkedIn profile to let recruiters and their network know about their acquired skills.

  • Learning Path

These learning paths cover a broad range of skills—from entry-level digital literacy to advanced product-based skilling for technology roles—which provide numerous opportunities for people to reskill and upskill, placing roles that are in-demand within reach of millions of job seekers. 

Helping Job Seekers Land the Job

Almost as important as learning and showcasing new skills, job seekers also need the tools to increase opportunity and connect directly with jobs. To help job seekers through that last mile of landing a job, we’re also providing free tools and resources for job search and placement. Here are just a few ways we’re committing to help:

  • #OpenToWork: We’re making it easy for impacted job seekers to indicate to employers and the LinkedIn network that they are ‘Open To Work’ through a simple profile photo frame. Through this flow, members can indicate the type of jobs they are looking for and location where they are willing to work.

  • Offer Help: We’ve made it easier for our members to share that they are willing and able to provide a helping hand to others in their job hunt and career with a simple post. Members can indicate how they can help, whether it’s making introductions, reviewing resumes, or providing general job seeking guidance.

  • Interview Prep: When a job seeker gets to that interview phase, we want to help them demonstrate their skills through effective interviewing. So we are offering free interview prep tools, including a newly launched feature leveraging Microsoft-AI for real-time feedback on your answers.

  • Labor Market Insights: To help shed light on the rapidly changing economy, we’re also making available some of the labor market insights from LinkedIn’s Economic Graph. Using this new interactive tool, policymakers and the public can search and download data on which companies are hiring, what jobs are available, and what skills are needed in over 180 countries and regions around the world.

Today’s announcement is an important start to helping job seekers whose lives have been impacted by the pandemic, but it’s really just the beginning. This isn’t a challenge any one company can address alone. This undertaking requires tech companies and employers, non-profit groups, and government workforce agencies to connect and collaborate. 

I’m honored and excited to be part of this initiative and will continue to focus our team on ways we can help—immediately and for the long term. By working together and helping those whose jobs have been impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis, we can make a difference right now in the workforce, in the economy, and in our everyday lives. Because, we’re all #InItTogether.