High-Tech Head Start
This Microsoft program helps students begin careers in network management, systems administration, and programming.
- By Kris Vezina
- January 01, 1999
The number of jobs in the IT industry is expected to
double to more than 1.2 million by the year 2005far
faster than the number of qualified candidates available
to take new positions. If youre looking for well-trained,
entry-level professionals to join your IT department or
Microsoft Certified Solution Provider company, take a
close look at the Microsoft Authorized Academic Training
The Microsoft Certified Training Education Center (Microsoft
CTEC) programformerly known as the ATEC programserves
IT professionals seeking to expand their skills and advance
in their careers. However, both entry-level candidates
and their potential employers told us that they needed
a program to expose students to IT and to help them prepare
for their first IT positions. With this impetus, the AATP
was born. It prepares students to begin careers in network
management, systems administration, and programming.
Since its introduction three years ago, AATP has grown
exponentially. A year ago we had just 250 schools in the
program; well soon have 1,500. This year, we trained
more than 100,000 students at over 1,000 high schools,
community colleges, and four-year institutions.
How Does it Work?
Under the program, institutions receive software licenses
and discounts on Microsoft Official Curriculum materials
for the courses they offer. Theres no charge for
institutions to participate in the AATP, but all AATP
courses must be taught by Microsoft Certified Professionals.
High schools make up approximately 40 percent of AATP
institutions, with community colleges making up some 50
percent and four-year higher education institutions making
up the rest. Students in these schools often gain other
important, non-technical skills as well. For example,
students at the inner-city Howard High School of Technology
in Wilmington, Delaware gain motivation and self-esteem
that boosts their overall performance at school and improves
their chances of attending college.
You never know where students who undergo AATP training
will end up. Mike Arnold was a self-professed technophobe
in high school in Wyoming just three years ago, before
beginning AATP training and certification. Today, hes
on the Windows NT testing team here at Microsoft. Arnold
recently told me, Were it not for the AATP, I wouldnt
be anywhere near where I am today in my career.
For more information about AATP, go to microsoft.com/education/?ID=AATP.
Kris Vezina is a manager with the AATP at Microsoft Corp.