While the pandemic has slowed down many aspects of life, research shows that the last 18 months has accelerated digitization and the tech employment market. By 2025, Microsoft estimates that 149 million new jobs will be added in technology industries. Leading those gains will be 98 million new software development jobs and 23 million cloud and data roles.1
To help those around the world prepare for this growth, Microsoft’s skills initiative offers free training content and discounted certifications, and has helped over 30 million people in 249 countries and territories gain access to essential digital skills. As part of our ongoing #ProudToBeCertified blog series, we’d like to introduce you to Ricardo Lessa and how he went beyond personal advancement during the COVID crisis.
Ricardo: Helping others starts with helping yourself
Ricardo Lessa has a history of resilience and self-motivation. When he came out of the datacenter, Ricardo launched his career as an entrepreneur. For about a decade, he ran his own company until the pandemic struck in 2020. When the pandemic started, “My sources of income were literally cut off,” says Ricardo. He was forced to close his business. Searching for new opportunities, a Microsoft MVP and colleague introduced him to the power of certification through Microsoft Learn.
Making the most of available resources, Ricardo was able to earn Microsoft Certifications that helped him land a job as a pre-sales engineer. And that’s just the beginning. Certification is more than a credential; it’s a personal confidence builder, as Ricardo explains, “the term ‘proud to be’ is the sense of accomplishment for getting the job done, for having completed a stage, for having progressed, for truly scoring a win. And, on a personal level, it greatly improves our focus, our discipline and, consequently, our results.”
Ricardo was inspired by how his colleague’s advice had made a real impact on his career. So, they joined forces and found a way to help others in similar circumstances. “This situation and its demands inspired us to do something new – something unique,” he says. And together, they began a new technical support community: CloudExpert, an online network of support, training, and resources for professionals designed to get members trained to progress on their career paths. The goal of this network is to help peers rekindle their dreams and get back in the job market sooner than later.
By creating this new support system for others, Ricardo discovered more about himself than he ever imagined. “I was able to believe again in the possibility of starting over,” Ricardo says, “updating myself and returning to the IT market. I dreamed that I could influence others so that they can overcome hardship and believe in a new beginning. And it happened!”
Share your #ProudToBeCertified stories and opportunities
Like Ricardo’s initiative, the Microsoft Certification community can help you and your peers move forward, no matter how the world changes around you. Keep an eye out for more stories in this #ProudToBeCertified blog series and the latest videos – where people like you are dedicating themselves to continuing education to get an edge in our competitive and changing market.
Have a Microsoft Certifications story to share? We’d love to hear how you got started on your path, where it took you, the obstacles you overcame, or the confidence you gained from earning your first or fifteenth certification. Submit your own on Twitter, LinkedIn, or your preferred platform with #ProudToBeCertified.
1Microsoft Data Science, utilizing LinkedIn Data. Methodology and assumptions can be found in the white paper “Methodology: Digitization Capacity of the World Economy.”
2Official Microsoft Blog, “Building a more inclusive skills-based economy: The next steps for our global skills initiative,” Brad Smith, March 30, 2021