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Building Future IT Leaders

NoVA Data Center Academy and Microsoft have teamed up to train and certify over 500 participants on Microsoft Azure tools. The Innovation Challenge is designed to help groups who are underrepresented in the tech industry retool and advance. Participants develop and validate the skills required to tackle complex enterprise business issues and Azure AI. In order to open doors to sought after professional opportunities, Microsoft will also showcase what these technologies can do and what they can bring to organizations. In 2024, the program will have two phases.

Microsoft Innovation Challenge


Phase 1:
Certifications & Applied Skills

Phase 1 - Training and Certification
The first step is to validate your skills with a Microsoft certification via self-paced virtual learning paths or our  On Demand Instructor Led Series. Register for a training to receive a free voucher for certification of the following:


Combination of 3 AI Applied Skills certifications (not required)


Phase 2:

2 Week Hackathon

Phase 2 - Training and Certification
In the second phase, individuals who have earned qualifying credentials through Azure Applied Skills or through certification exams, will be invited to take part in a two week hackathon where teams will build solutions that solve real world AI use cases.

The hackathon is an invite only event in May that will be open to people who have achieved a qualifying credential as a result of their participation in a sponsored series. Individuals will register in teams of five. In addition, teams can have a coach provided by the organization they are representing.

Teams will select a use case based on real world AI scenarios. They will have two weeks to build and solve for the use case they choose. Entries will be judged by Microsoft and 3rd party subject matter experts. Microsoft will provide the platform and environment for the hackathon. It will be possible to participate virtually as well as in person.


Hackathon Prizes

Prizes will be awarded to the teams with the best entries.

  • One $10,000 top prize

  • Two $5,000 second place prizes

  • Three $2,500 third place prizes


Microsoft will showcase the winning solutions and teams in a blog post and in video interviews. All hackathon participant will also receive a badge for the hackathon.

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Accountability for 
Diversity & Inclusion

At Microsoft, diversity and inclusion are central to the mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Empowering underrepresented people through upskilling and retooling is a key part of this focus. To ensure that AI systems foster equity and empowerment for everyone, the Microsoft Responsible AI standard is the playbook we use for building AI systems and the Innovation Challenge brings these threads together in a meaningful way to deliver impact for our communities.


Located steps away from the Ashburn Metro station, the NoVA Datacenter Academy will begin welcoming students in early 2022. As an official CompTIA educational partner, the NoVA Datacenter Academy, equipped with a state-of-the-art data center lab, will offer training classes and the ability to obtain certifications in: IT Fundamentals+, A+, Network+, Security+, and Cloud+. To alleviate the barriers that impede participation for working parents, we will offer onsite STEM-based enrichment classes for children in grades K-5.

Spring 2024 Cohorts for IT Fundamentals+, Cloud Essentials+, A+ are currently learning

Click here to submit your application for future classes.

NoVA Datacenter IT training helps you get more from technology


IT training and IT certification provides IT professionals with essential up-to-date knowledge and expertise needed to get the most from technology. IT training courses from NoVA Datacenter Academy will give you the competitive edge to create better technology opportunities.  With NoVA Datacenter Academy’s help to create your own personal IT certifications roadmap, you’ll be able to distinguish yourself and build a fulfilling career.

Address your training needs in our environment, your way


NoVA Datacenter offers a wide range of IT training courses and IT certification programs, delivered by consultants, who are experts in their field. Using high quality content and the best trainers, training is often available to match your preferred learning style, including onsite, off-site, online and virtual self-paced courses. NoVA Datacenter is the safe choice to ensure you get the skills and support you need to transform technology into business solutions and accelerate your success.

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