Skill-Up-A-Thons: This is how Microsoft wants to educate people about AI

Participants will earn industry-recognized AI certificates.

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Microsoft Ireland has announced the initiative to teach individuals from rural Irish areas all about AI with the help of in-person Skill-Up-A-Thons workshops.

In the following weeks, enthusiasts from Irish counties such as Cavan, Galway, Kilkenny, Mayo, and Tipperary will have the opportunity to educate themselves in AI skills, in a series of offline and online masterclasses aimed at teaching people, and potential local business owners all about the benefits of this technology.

AI has the potential to empower people and organisations across the country but it’s critical that everyone, everywhere has the skills to harness its benefits. One of our key ambitions as part of the programme is to bring AI skilling directly to people, communities and businesses in rural Ireland and ensure they are given equal opportunity to engage in AI. That’s why today we’re rolling out the first-ever AI Skill-Up-A-Thons across rural Ireland. Through these new AI learning pathways, we want to empower people of all ages, backgrounds and experience with the skills and knowledge to succeed in an AI-enabled economy.


The AI masterclasses will start this month and will last until September, and each masterclass will last for about 4 hours. Upon completion, participants will be rewarded a Career Essentials Certificate in Generative AI that will be recognized by the industry and could allow for further opportunities. Those who participate will also gain access to LinkedIn Premium, which could emphasize their chances and opportunities even further.

Aside from the Skill-Up-A-Thons masterclasses, Microsoft will also offer AI courses to local business owners, so they can learn to foster and use AI to boost their businesses. These courses will focus on different aspects of AI-powered business, from business management to the understanding of AI tools, and so on.

This is not the first time Microsoft Ireland launched such initiatives. Not long ago, the company also held online masterclasses focused on AI, which proved to be a success, and now the Skill-Up-A-Thons courses are a continuation of those.

Microsoft is taking it almost by itself to make European countries more aware and AI inclusive: for instance, the Redmond-based tech giant announced an AI partnership with several European countries, such as Germany, France, and Spain that will see the company integrate AI technologies in government infrastructures.

While this might have to deal with the European Union limiting Microsoft’s power over the region (Windows Copilot is not yet available in the EU, for instance), the deals are worth billions of dollars.

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