The Microsoft IT Academy

Interested in free access to Microsoft training or gaining Microsoft certification? The Microsoft IT Academy provides over 400 online courses and learning resources free of charge to the residents of Washington State. Just follow the steps below to get started.  

First Time Users:

  1. If you don’t already have a Microsoft account, you can create one at the Microsoft account sign-up page. After you have created a Microsoft account, return to this page.
  2. A one-time access code is needed when you register for the IT Academy. You will be taken to the registration page and automatically given an access code by clicking here. After entering your Microsoft account, follow the registration instructions.
  3. Browse the hundreds of courses available or search for a specific topic. Add whichever courses you’d like and enjoy the IT Academy!

Returning Users:

  1. Access the Microsoft IT Academy here.

Microsoft IT Academy FAQs

Click on the "+ " next to the questions below to get information on accessing and using the Microsoft IT Academy resources.

What do I need in order to access the IT Academy?

A library card

  • If you don’t currently reside in Clallam County, you can show photo ID and get a limited service card which will allow you access to the IT Academy.

A Microsoft account

  • Your current email address can be used as your Microsoft account. More information about setting up an account can be found online here.

A one-time authentication code.

  • This code will automatically be provided when you click on the link under the first time user instructions on the NOLS Microsoft IT Academy page. After the initial signup, the code will not have to be used again.

Do I have to be in the Library in order to use the IT Academy?

No. The IT Academy can be accessed from anywhere via the NOLS website or directly from here if you have already registered.

Do I need to have Microsoft Office or the piece of software I want to learn about installed on my computer in order to use the IT Academy?

No. Training occurs completely on the IT Academy website. Microsoft currently recommends any of the following operating system / browser combinations and a broadband internet connection in order to run IT Academy:

Operating System:

  • Windows XP, or Windows 7 or higher


  • Internet Explorer 8 or newer
  • Chrome 25.0.1364.172
  • Firefox 19.0.1 or higher

What types of courses are offered through the IT Academy?

Hundreds of courses are offered covering everything from computing basics to advanced database management. Some of the more popular courses are:

  • Digital Literacy
    • These courses help you learn the essential skills to begin computing with confidence, be more productive at home and at work, stay safe online, use technology to complement your lifestyle, and consider careers where you can put your skills to work.
  • Office 2010 and Office 2013
  • Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint
  • Windows Server and Exchange Server
  • SQL Server and ASP.NET
  • Visual Studio
  • Microsoft Dynamics

How long does it take to complete an IT Academy course?

The amount of time it takes to complete a course greatly depends on the speed of the user and the amount of time they can dedicate to the course. It takes approximately 6 hours to complete the Microsoft Word course (2 hours for the beginning module, 2 hours for the moderate module, and 2 hours for the advanced module).

What’s the difference between the certificates of completion that I can print after finishing an IT Academy course and Microsoft Certification?

A certificate of completion is free and shows that you have participated in the IT Academy. Microsoft Certification demonstrates that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to productively use the Microsoft product. In order to receive Microsoft Certification in a specific Microsoft program, you must pay for a test and take it the test at a Certiport Testing Center. Information about certification, test costs and testing centers can be found online at

What is the cost of the Microsoft IT Academy?

There is no cost to patrons or NOLS to sign up for the IT academy because the State Legislature has paid the fees to allow statewide access for two years and Microsoft has generously discounted the remaining cost of this program for participating libraries.