Microsoft has launched Career Factor, an online training & certification reality show that highlights nine individuals seeking to build their skills in Microsoft technology. The nine participants live across the world, in locations such as the UK, Canada, Australia, and Tunisia, and range in skill level from college student all the way to one individual who is seeking an Exchange master certification.

From the Microsoft site: "Career Factor is an online reality show based on the experiences of nine IT personalities. Each of our candidates have set a professional goal for themselves, and have invited you to follow their every step along the way. On their personal pages you can explore their backgrounds, learn from their experiences, and share your findings. You’ll find videos, links to learning resources, tips, and updates via their blog and various social media outlets. So take a look around, find some common ground and get inspired by Career Factor."

What's the Purpose of the Show?

I believe the purpose of the show is to inspire IT pros across the world to believe that growing in Microsoft certifications and skills is feasible regardless of the country you live in, your age, or your current knowledge base. Some individuals in Career Factor have been in IT for decades, and others are just getting their feet wet.

Through the course of the next four months (leading up to TechEd), the nine contestants will post regular blog updates, and will also be posting on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also find introductory videos about each contestant on Microsoft Learning's YouTube channel

In other words, check out the site and the videos, find which contestant relates most to you in terms of experience level and goals, and follow along as that individual aims to change his/her future!

Below are a few sample videos (I can't get the embed to work on these videos, no clue why):

For more on certification and training: