Forrester predicts that the global cloud market will accelerate faster in 2017, up from just $87 billion in 2015 to $146 billion in 2017, “as enterprises around the world look to the cloud to power their core business systems.” To ensure IT professionals are well equipped to meet this market demand, Microsoft launched new, free Microsoft Azure training courses in a self-paced, interactive online learning environment, as well as announced new opportunities for Azure certifications at deep discounts.

Since Azure is an open and flexible platform, participants will be able to leverage their existing skills, while accumulating next-generation cloud expertise. Microsoft Azure supports the broadest selection of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases and devices. In fact, nearly one in three Azure virtual machines are Linux and more than 1,000 repos from across Microsoft on our GitHub site.

Whether you’re getting started as an IT professional, looking to differentiate yourself as an expert, or already proficient in AWS and looking to explore ways to become a multi-cloud expert, these training offers will help you level-up your cloud skillset.

“Microsoft is investing in a variety of technical training, tools and resources, including the Microsoft Virtual Academy, the Cloud + Enterprise University Boot Camps, and the Microsoft Professional Program, just to name a few,” wrote Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft CVP, Worldwide Partner Group. “These new Azure offers join the lineup today, featuring a modern learning model called a Massively Open Online Course, or MOOC. MOOCs are so much more than online videos and demos – they incorporate videos, labs, graded assessments, office hours, and more.”

In addition to completing MOOCs to bolster your cloud skills, Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exams remain a respected and recognized designation of cloud capability. As part of this new program, participants can purchase certification exams at significantly discounted rates (see table below).

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Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Exam Offers

In addition to the above offers, Microsoft will continue to add more courses in the coming weeks and months, including a discount on the Linux on Azure certification offered through the Linux Foundation early next year.

For more information about these offers, go to azure.microsoft.com/azure-skills. Take advantage of the free “Get Started with Azure offer,” and make plans today to add Azure pro to your resume.