Google’s new certificate program of skills-training courses takes six months to complete, teaches students how to perform high-demand jobs and costs a fraction of a college degree.
Announced on July 13, three new online certificate programs will offer training in data analytics, project management and user experience design.
The certificates are created and taught by Google employees who work in these fields and applicants do not need a college degree.
They’re offered through the online learning platform Coursera. Google says it will consider all of its certificates as the equivalent of a four-year college degree for related roles at the company.
Google is also funding 100,000 need-based scholarships to complete any of these career certificates, according to a July 13 blog by Kent Walker, the company’s senior vice president of global affairs.
Although Google hasn’t come out with a fixed price for the course, if it is a similar price to its current Google IT Support Professional Certificate — $49 per month — the certificate program would total $300, according to Inside Business.
Materials are free for a 7-day trial, and then cost $49 a month for access until the program is completed, GoCertify reported.
“College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security,” Walker said. “We need new, accessible job-training solutions—from enhanced vocational programs to online education—to help America recover and rebuild.”
More than 30 million people in the U.S. are receiving some form of unemployment insurance.
Google claims that its career certificates are intended to directly prepare people for high-paying jobs: data analyst (median annual salary: $66,000), user-experience designer ($75,000), and project manager ($93,000).
After finishing the program, Google said it will help participants find jobs by connecting them with top employers in their fields, including Walmart, Best Buy, Intel, Bank of America, and Hulu.
The new certificate program is an expansion of Google’s IT Certificate Employer Consortium, launched in 2018, Walker said. More than 50 employers have signed on, Google being one of them.
“The Google IT Certificate provides a pathway to jobs for groups that are underrepresented in the tech industry: 58 percent of IT Certificate learners identify as Black, Latino, female or veteran,” Walker said.
Will hiring managers recognize this course as the equivalent of a four-year college degree? That remains to be seen.
“With the increasing importance of skills over degrees in workplace interviews, this skills-based certificate is set to disrupt the (higher) education industry,” Inside Business reported.
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These days, it’s all about skills, not degrees, wrote Justin Bariso, author of “EQ Applied,” for Inc. Bariso challenged employers to ask themselves:
“Higher education has been ripe for disruption for a long time,” Bariso wrote. “And while Google’s recent announcement may not be the final nail in the coffin, it’s a move with major potential to change the future of education and work.”
Google says the course should take eight months for someone willing to invest eight-to-10 hours a week on course materials, assignments, labs, and quizzes.
“This is a pretty awesome deal for people seeking a quick pathway to work in entry-level IT support positions,” Ed Tittel wrote for GoCertify.
Learn more about Google certificates here.