If you are an organization that works within the Microsoft stack then the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a resource you should know about.

This site hosts hundreds of free courses that consist of video, documentation and PowerPoint presentations to help you learn more about that technology from basic introductions to full courses on how to implement a specific Microsoft service within your organization.

They even provide the requirements and instructions on setting up your own lab environment to go along with the course if it is necessary so that you are not learning on live systems.

According to Microsoft, new courses are added weekly and you can explore what is available by viewing the most recent additions or the most popular courses. You can further refine your searches based on the following categories:

  • Product
  • Product Version
  • Topic
  • Level (Beginner; Intermediate; Advanced; Expert)
  • Job Function
  • Language

If you register with MVA you will gain additional benefits including:

  • Ability to return to a course on any device right where you left off previously
  • Build learning plans to layout the path you want to take in learning about different technologies
  • Validate your learning with self-assessments; receive certificates upon course completion
  • Live Q&A sessions/events with instructors and subject matter experts
  • Receive access to free eBooks and discounts on Microsoft Press offerings

In order to register you can use your Microsoft Account and then customize the MVA Portal for you based on your job function and preferred language.

Registration is not required to view the course videos and other materials but is necessary for the above benefits and MVA forum participation.

Here are just some of the quick access points you can dive straight into at MVA:

  • Mobile & Web Developers
  • Game Developers
  • Network, Infrastructure & Cloud Engineers
  • Database Admins, Architects & Developers
  • Students

In these days of shrinking travel and training budgets, the MVA can be an excellent means to get your employees that additional training that they need to stay up to date in their technology fields.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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