Tech giant Google has announced that it will be launching new courses to help Americans gain the qualifications they need for high-paying, high-growth jobs, even if they lack a college degree or prior experience.
The Google Career Certificate programs in Data Analytics, Project Management, and User Experience (UX) Design run for 3-6 months and will be taught by Google employees working in these fields. Each course will cost $49 per month.
Kent Walker, Google’s SVP of Global Affairs, said that Google will fund 100,000 needs-based scholarships for these certificates, which the company will consider as the equivalent of a four-year degree when hiring for related roles. Hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities will also be available to provide real, on-the-job training for those who complete these programs.
According to Walker, nearly two-thirds of jobs created since 2010 require medium to high-level digital skills. However, the US Census Bureau says that as of 2018, less than half of Americans aged 25 and up have a college degree. This presents a challenge for many job seekers and puts America’s long-term economic recovery at risk. People need good, high-paying jobs, and the broader economy needs the people’s energy and skills for future growth.
To help the economy recover and rebuild in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Walker says there is a need for new, accessible job training solutions, including enhanced vocational programs to online education. Google was already on the ball with this, having launched its Grow With Google Initiative in 2017 to provide training, tools, and expertise to help Americans land the jobs they want, advance their careers, and grow their businesses.
Since 2017, Grow With Google has helped equip around five million Americans with relevant digital skills. The Google IT Certificate program, launched in 2018, has helped thousands of people find new jobs, increase their earnings, and start new businesses. It remains the single most popular certificate program on Coursera, especially among underrepresented groups in the tech industry. According to Google, 58 percent of learners under this program identify as female, Black, Latino, or as a veteran.
Aside from offering online courses, Google also provided $10 million in Google.org grants to the YWCA USA, JFF, and NPower in July of 2020 to support various digital skills and job training programs for women, veterans, and other underserved groups throughout the US.
Since 2018, Google has offered its IT Support Professional Certificate to students through its partnerships with more than 100 community colleges across the country. Beginning in the fall of 2020, this program will be offered in career and technical education high schools as well.
In 2020, Google will also be expanding its IT Certificate Employer Consortium, which already includes more than 50 employers like Walmart, Sprint, Intel, and Hulu. Participating employers have easy access to a robust pool of skilled IT talent, composed mainly of those who have completed Google Certificate courses.