At the Educause 2013 conference, Microsoft announced that they will soon begin offering free Office 365 ProPlus subscriptions to students whose schools license the software for faculty and staff. The new program is called Student Advantage, and is set to begin December 1.
The new plan is expected to save schools (and, as a result, students) a whole lot of money. According to PC World:
Before Student Advantage, Penn State would pay $281,293 per month under the A3 license, assuming it didn’t negotiate a lower rate. Under Student Advantage, it would pay just $39,888 per month, or a savings of $241,405 per month, or $2.9 million per year.
Office 365 is the online “cloud-based” version of Office software. It’s not as powerful as the full version, but it can handle many jobs students need it to do.
And in case you’re wondering whether familiarity with Office software will help you out in life, Microsoft commissioned a study to identify the skills and competencies most sought after by employers. The study scanned 14.6 million recent job postings and identified the top 60 positions with the highest growth and salary potential. They found that the third most desired skill for those positions–after communication and detail orientation–was proficiency with Microsoft Office.