I’m on the advisory board for a number of high school vo-tech programs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It is something I am really proud and happy to be a part of. They ask me because they are looking for a business prospective for their programs but I get a lot of value from this involvement as well. one of the things I am constantly hearing about are “school to work” programs. These are programs designed to help student more more easily into jobs/careers after school. This is obviously easier for students in many vocational and technical programs than others.
Its fairly hard (though not impossible) in computer science and information technology fields without some college. But I’m always looking for ways that students can start preparing themselves sooner if that is the route they want to take. Enter the Microsoft Students to Business (S2B) program.
The Students to Business (S2B) program is a Microsoft® Community Initiative designed to connect Microsoft partners and customers with qualified students for entry-level and internship positions. The objective of the S2B program is to inspire local businesses to communicate the competency requirements for new talent, to evaluate the skills of students ready for an entry-level job or internship and collaborate with Microsoft and local education institutions to provide the curriculum and training needed to ensure students are prepared to meet the innovation needs of company’s around the globe. Students engaged in S2B benefit from unique mentoring, training and certification opportunities. Various offerings are available to students at each stage of S2B – when profiling, in application and after their job connection. The S2B program was first piloted in Italy and has since been rolled out 28 countries, aiming to connect 100,000 students with new career skills, leading to 15,000 students with jobs and internships as part of the Microsoft community.
The Students to Business program is designed to match students with internships and full-time jobs from Microsoft partners. There are literally hundreds of Microsoft partner companies in the US and many many more in other countries. S2B is now up and running in 28 countries around the world.
And yes the target is basically university/college students but there are resources there that many more students can take advantage of. For example there is the Learn It resource page with information about various learning experiences that are available. There is the Experience IT page with chances to get or demonstrate some experience. And the Get IT page with information about getting software for academic use – students or schools.
If you are a business looking for talented students or a university looking to help find jobs for your students who will build your schools reputation there is information there for you as well.