SENIOR high school (SHS) graduates got a chance to learn more about creating a “professional brand” for themselves and developing resumes online that are more likely to attract employers through a program of the Department of Education (DepEd) with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and Microsoft.

The virtual event was attended by more than 260,000 learners and teachers, according to Microsoft in a press release on Monday.

“By providing our SHS learners access to LinkedIn and skilling platforms such as Microsoft Learn, Microsoft Imagine Academy, and LinkedIn Learning, students will be given the opportunity to not just connect professionally with industry practitioners but also acquire competencies and digital certifications,” DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua said in the release.

SHS is the last two years of the Philippine’s K to 12 education system. In this level, students have choices for specialization or career tracks that prepare them for either immediate employment after graduation, entrepreneurship, or tertiary education.

Citing a 2020 research from the Philippines Institute of Development Studies, Microsoft said 80% of SHS graduates in the Philippines pursue further studies  while 20% enter the labor force immediately.

DepEd, through the program with ECOP and Microsoft, is introducing new initiatives to complement the K to 12 basic education program to prepare students with the necessary skills for the modern workplace and address the workforce and employer gaps.

Microsoft said it will work closely with DepEd for the full extension of the program to Grade 10 and 11 students, with a target of five million learners a year. — MSJ