NVC Gets First Texas Microsoft Datacenter Academy

Northwest Vista College in collaboration with Microsoft, will develop a Microsoft Datacenter Academy, the only one in Texas and one of only seven in the U.S.

The Microsoft Datacenter Academy at Northwest Vista College will begin welcoming students in spring 2022 and will be located in Pecan Hall.

“This partnership gives students top-of the-line equipment and specialized curriculum to prepare them to compete for high-demand jobs in San Antonio,” said Northwest Vista College President Ric Baser.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation increased as many in-person schools and jobs shifted to remote access during closures. This change impacted the local job market as postings for tech jobs in San Antonio grew at a higher rate than anywhere in the U.S. between August and September 2020. The Datacenter Academy will both prepare and strengthen the quality of workers for these high-demand jobs in datacenters or other information technology roles.

“Microsoft is grateful to work with educators and businesses around the world to ensure students acquire skills and certifications for employment in the growing cloud computing and technology sector,” said Alex Icenogle, Workforce Development Program Manager and lead for the San Antonio Datacenter Community Development. “This partnership with Northwest Vista College will help create inclusive economic opportunities in San Antonio.”

The collaboration is part of the Microsoft Datacenter Academy program, a workforce development program sponsored by the Microsoft Datacenter Community Development team. The program helps build digital skills and provides career pathways in the growing information technology sector for residents of communities in which Microsoft operates datacenters. The partnership provides support in multiple ways to schools and colleges that deliver IT training and certification programs, including guidance on curriculum; donations of servers, laptops, and datacenter equipment for labs; funding of scholarship for underrepresented groups in the IT sector, including women, African American, Hispanic, and Indigenous students; and opportunities for mentorship and work experience in Microsoft datacenters.

Students who earn certifications utilizing the Microsoft Datacenter Academy could boost their earning potential up to 10% more than their peers, according to an article from trade magazine, CIO, that listed Microsoft certifications among the top 15 IT certifications in demand for 2021.

“Students taking courses through the Datacenter Academy can earn a certificate of completion or an associate of applied science degree, and can prepare for industry certification exams,” said NVC Dean for Academic Success Russ Frohardt.

Several other companies donated time and materials for the close to 900-square-feet repurposed classroom in Pecan Hall, including Turner Construction Company, Overland Partners, and Alterman Electric.

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