Studying and learning new skills probably is one of the encouraging things people can do during the economic downturn especially when the courses are offered free. To help users to gain technology skills or to polish up their IT knowledge, Microsoft has unveiled a new portal namely Microsoft Elevate America. Microsoft Elevate America offers low cost and even free certification and other technical trainings are being conducted in a phased approach. Interested parties who want to learn some basic computer skills can log on to this new site for some eLearning courses. The courses will feed users with computer knowledge and help them to be more familiar with Microsoft products, e.g. Microsoft Office, Windows OS, etc.

Microsoft Elevate America aims to elevate Americans’ technology skills to face the stiff competition in today’s world. “Millions of Americans don’t have the technology skills needed in today’s economy. Through Elevate America, we want to help workers get the skills they need to succeed,” said Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Microsoft Global Corporate Affairs, in a statement. “We are also providing a full range of work force development resources for state and local governments so they can offer specialized training for their workers.” Besides teh general public, Microsoft also offers state and local governments about 1 million vouchers for some discounted Microsoft certification classes.

Learning is lifelong and one can make oneself more marketable in a competitive world with these e-learning courses.