Google’s Online Courses Offer Training for High-Demand Jobs

New Career Certificates to be considered on par with a four-year college degree.

Sep 1, 2020

(Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com)

Google recently made an announcement that could change the face of higher education. They will be offering affordable six-month online degrees in jobs that are in high demand and are high paying. With such an enticing program, it looks like Google Career Certificates could replace college education in several exciting fields.

On July 13, Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs made an announcement on The Keyword that Google was preparing to help the US in economic recovery. “Technology has been a lifeline to help many small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. And online tools can help people get new skills and find good-paying jobs,” he wrote.

Walker also mentioned that since 2010, nearly two-thirds of all new jobs created require digital skills. Thus the logical solution would be to provide training for these jobs and then quickly get people employed in the workforce.

Economics aside, the job market is changing, with employers preferring skills over degrees. Large companies, including Apple, Siemens, and Tesla are starting to question the value of hiring people with a four-year-degree, as reported in Human Resource Executive.  

While it used to be thought that a college degree was the  golden ticket to kickstart a professional career, that’s not the case anymore. These companies prefer candidates who have real-world skills needed to do the job and not someone who has the generalized education received at college.

Walker said in The Keyword, "In our own hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles."

College tuition has risen dramatically in the US, making college education inaccessible to many, while others rack up high student debts. Although the cost of Google’s courses has not been announced, it is expected they will be a fraction of university tuition, And Google will be offering 100,000 scholarships for those in need.

Google’s Career Certificates are building on two popular courses that were launched on Coursera in 2018. Their IT Support Specialist course offers job readiness and IT Automation, a follow-up course offering programming in Python. It takes eight months to complete.

Both of these Google courses are taught by Google staff who are experts in their fields. They are 100 percent online and require no prerequisites. The class schedules and assignment deadlines are flexible, and are available in several languages.

Now, Google is committing to add three additional courses: Project Manager, Data Analyst, and UX (User Experience) Designer plus $10 million in job training grants. Working alongside several NGOs, they will be offering more access to digital skills for veterans, women, and underserved communities.

After completing the course, certificate holders will get assistance preparing for job interviews and will have access to Google’s Employer Consortium which now has over 50 employers.  Google also announced that it now has a partnership with over 100 community colleges. Starting in the fall, it will offer their IT support certification in career and technical education high schools across the US.

Google’s generous initiative could be trail-blazing. It is opening the door to high-paying jobs for all without exclusion. Everyone who has access to online learning can now participate and no one is rejected. As opposed to the more exclusive college model, here is a vision of equal opportunity in education that actually leads to an in-demand job.

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NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.