As demand for skills in the job market, as opposed to a University degree requirement, become a priority in the modern world, tech giant Google has announced launch of a selection of professional courses that teach candidates how to perform in-demand jobs.
At the end of the online courses that take about six months, candidates will be issued with what the company is calling Google Career Certificates.
The courses, Google says, will teach foundational skills that can help job-seekers immediately find employment.
With university degrees taking years to complete, the short courses could change the future of work and higher education.
“College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security,” writes Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs at Google.
“We need new, accessible job-training solutions–from enhanced vocational programs to online education–to help America recover and rebuild.”
In a tweet on July 13, Walker, further revealed that Google will, in its hiring, “treat these new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles”.
In our own hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles.
— Kent Walker (@Kent_Walker) July 13, 2020
The new Google Career Certificates build on our existing programs to create pathways into IT Support careers for people without degrees.
According to Walker, since its launch in 2018, the Google IT Certificate program has become the single most popular certificate on Coursera, and thousands of people have found new jobs and increased their earnings after completing the course.
The three new programs Google is offering, together with the median annual wage for each position are Project manager ($93,000), Data analyst ($66,000) and UX designer ($75,000).
The short courses, Google says, will cost a fraction of what it takes to graduate with a university degree.
For instance, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate costs $49 for each month a student is enrolled. This translates to less than $300 in six months — way below what universities charge in a year.
Google said it would fund 100,000 needs-based scholarships in support of the new programs.
After completion of a program, Google promises support in the job search as well. The company says participants can “opt in to share [their] information directly with top employers hiring for jobs in these fields,” including such household names as Walmart, Best Buy, Intel, Bank of America, Hulu, and, of course, Google.
The company further says that it will offer hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities to participants who have completed the course. The company will offer its IT support certificate in career and technical education high schools throughout the U.S.