Google announced three new online certificate programs in data analytics, project management and user experience design which are created and taught by Google employees. To apply for the courses, not college degree is required. Offered through the online learning platform Coursera, it can be completed in three to six months. All of the certificates will be considered equivalent of a four-year college degree for related roles at the company. Google has committed to funding 100,000 need-based scholarships for individuals enrolled in any of these career certificate programs.
According to Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Google,says the tech giant is also “providing $10 million in Google.org grants to the YWCA, NPower and JFF to help workforce boards and nonprofits improve their job training programs and increase access to digital skills for women, veterans and underserved Americans.”
About the Google scholarships, the company vice president, Lisa Gevelber says, “This is not revenue-generating for Google,” adding that “there’s a small cost from the Coursera platform itself — the current pricing is $49 a month — but we want to ensure that anyone who wants to have this opportunity, can have it.”
Google chose the specific fields of data analytics, project management and user experience because they can lead to “high-growth, high-paying careers,” says Gevelber.
“While college degrees have tons of value, they are not accessible to everyone,” says Gevelber adding that “we believe that the absence of a college degree should not be a barrier to economic stability.”
Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, says more than 250,000 people have taken Google’s IT certificate, 57 percent of whom do not have a college degree, making it the platform’s most popular certificate. He suspects the new certificates will be similarly popular — especially in light of recent events. Maggioncalda says the coronavirus pandemic has created “unprecedented demand” for online courses.
Maggioncalda adds that because the pandemic has forced students to embrace online learning and companies to embrace remote working. He is optimistic that the certificates will be used as tools to increase opportunity. He says, “The college degree requirement excludes lots of people who could do the job if only they had a different way of getting the skills. Online learning is a necessary, but not sufficient, ingredient to creating more social equity.”
He adds, “Our ‘new normal’ where I can get skilled to do a job without leaving my community, and I can get the job and do the job and get paid for doing the job without leaving my community, I believe that this will create more economic opportunity than anything we’ve seen before.”
Source: CNBCInternational, News