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Education & Careers


Do you want to improve your job skills or learn basic or advanced computer skills? The Microsoft IT Academy is over 400 free online courses and resources now available through the North Olympic Library System and other libraries throughout the state of Washington.

Throughout the economic downturn NOLS has been focused on helping people acquire the information and knowledge they need to compete for 21st century job opportunities. The IT Academy provides a new platform for people to learn technology skills. Technology courses are offered on three levels: basic computer literacy, Microsoft Office skills and advanced skills for IT professionals. All courses are free, but there are charges if users wish to take a test to receive official Microsoft certification.

The Microsoft IT Academy is made possible through a public-private partnership of Microsoft, the Washington State Library, the Office of Secretary of State, the Washington State Legislature, and over 400 Washington libraries, including NOLS. The Legislature provided $1.5 million over the biennium for the State Library to purchase online access to the Microsoft IT Academy. Microsoft is providing a 90% discount for access to its IT Academy. If Washington libraries had to purchase access to the Academy on an individual basis, the cost would be about $22 million per year or $44 million for the biennium. Thanks to Microsoft’s generosity and the funding provided by the Legislature, the IT Academy’s training program is being offered free of charge to all Washingtonians.

To register for the IT Academy and begin exploring the hundreds of courses available, click here for instructions on logging into the IT Academy. If you are accessing the IT Academy from a location other than a NOLS branch, you will be required to log in to your library account first.

For more information about the Washington State Library Microsoft IT Academy, contact NOLS Main Library Operations Manager Noah Glaude at or Washington State Librarian Rand Simmons at or 360.570.5585.