Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Worldwide Campus offers an exciting new bridge between two great careers by educating transitioning U.S. military personnel in the latest technologies through classroom, hybrid, and project-based learning. 

The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy includes a solid theoretical foundation and uses practical, hands-on exercises, virtual labs, and certification testing to prepare students for challenging I.T. jobs in any industry. The program is currently open to military service members who are within six months of separation or retirement and recently transitioned veterans.

Career Opportunities

The program meets the I.T. industry's high demand for:

  • Software Developers
  • Systems Administrators
  • Cloud Applications Specialists
  • Server and Cloud Administration Specialists
  • Software Testers and Software Quality Assurance Specialists
  • Technical Program Managers 

Career Search Assistance and Enhancement

In addition to the course work, the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy offers various career enhancement opportunities through Microsoft and select partners. MSSA students will receive training in career planning, job search strategies, resume writing, and interview techniques. Microsoft also facilitates mentor relationships with I.T. industry professionals. A job interview with Microsoft or a Microsoft-approved hiring partner is offered to all students predicted to pass the second term classes. Note: Microsoft Career Placement Services are only available to MSSA students.

MSSA Specializations

The program offers two MSSA certificates: Server & Cloud Administrator and Cloud Applications Developer, which apply to the A.S. and B.S. Technical Management degrees. Each certification requires students to earn 15 undergraduate credit hours consisting of five applied information technology courses across two nine-week terms.

View the catalog listings for the Associate in Science or Bachelor of Science in Technical Management with Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) specialization for descriptions and prerequisites.

The Server and Cloud Administrator (SCA) Specialization helps you build the skills you need to design, provision, manage and maintain server systems and support applications and data hosted on local and cloud infrastructures. Through virtual labs, you'll install, configure and manage clusters of Windows Server 2016 systems and the services they provide. You will also learn to deploy servers and services into public and private clouds and to provide access control, information security, robust failover, and business continuity support on cloud architectures. Hands-on experience with Microsoft Azure provides the platform and technologies you will use to explore data center operations in the public cloud. Throughout SCA courses, you will use advanced systems automation and management tools to monitor operations, tune for performance, and plan for growth and expansion of server and cloud infrastructures.
The Cloud Applications Developer (CAD) Specialization teaches you to design, build, and deploy applications to the web using cloud-based services. You will start by developing fundamental programming skills in C# and understanding data management in SQL, then apply those capabilities to web applications with Microsoft's ASP.NET Core web application framework. You will dive deep into what it takes to construct and maintain modern "web apps", learn the software development lifecycle through a course-length project, and finally deploy your application to the cloud. Throughout, you will learn the conceptual frameworks and gain the hands-on skills you need to master cloud-centric applications and web development.

Apply for the MSSA 

Step 1 — Determine Eligibility

Contact your installation Employment/Career Skills Office or Transition Program to determine eligibility.

Step 2 — Contact Embry-Riddle

Inquire with your local Embry-Riddle Worldwide campus to learn about the program and financial details. MSSA is offered at the following locations:

Server and Cloud Administrator

Cloud Applications Developer 

Contact our Enrollment Operations Center at 800-522-6787, or email to for assistance.

Step 3 — Apply for Admission

Local Embry-Riddle Worldwide campus staff can guide you through the application process.

Step 4 — Pass the MTA Exam

Take and successfully pass the appropriate Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exam using the voucher provided. 

Step 5 — Complete Admission and Registration Requirements

Complete the math and English skills assessment exams (required for enrolling) and schedule a meeting with your Embry-Riddle academic advisor to plan your courses.

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Embry-Riddle News

  • Collaboration Between Embry-Riddle, Microsoft Will Continue to Help Service Members Transition to New IT Careers. Read more about the MSSA