Microsoft helps veterans transition to $70k IT jobs

18-week pre-discharge program teaches software, systems

Eye on Veterans
June 21, 2018 - 11:29 am

At a growing number of U. S. military bases around the world, military people in their final months of active duty are being trained to take up well-paying positions in the computer industry.  And many of them had no prior IT experience before starting the intensive 18-week Microsoft Software and Systems Academy.  

Chris Cortez, a retired Marine Major General who heads the initiative for Microsoft, says the effort helps veterans and the U. S. computer industry: "In Microsoft, we have thousands of open jobs -- and within the industry we have tens of thousands -- that go unfilled because there aren’t enough people out there with an IT background."  Army veteran Edgar Sanchez, an MSSA graduate, described the training as tough -- no less difficult than what it took to earn his active duty qualification as an explosive ordnance technician.  But it was worth it, he says.  These days, living in the Phoenix area, Sanchez is a Microsoft technical accounts manager.  Cortez says Microsoft has hired more than 20 percent of program graduates and found work with other firms for the vast majority of all others.  

Here's what Chris and Edgar told us about the program when they spoke with CBS Eye on Veterans:

    Contact us about this article or share your story at