Need new job skills, but short on time and money?
Last week, Google announced the details of its professional certification program. Among the highlights, per Inc.:
- 3 programs, including project management, data analytics, UX design
- 100k+ needs-based scholarships on offer
- 130+ corporate partners ready to hire graduates
The programs take up to 6 months to complete and cost ~$240… slightly less than the $38.3k average total tuition for a 4-year public college.
Google started testing the concept in 2018…
… when it rolled out an IT support certificate on the ed-tech platform Coursera (where these new certificates will also be hosted).
That program attracted workers from nontraditional backgrounds:
- Many students had no degrees
- 46% came from the lowest income bracket, which reports annual income <$30k
While Google wants to place as many people in the jobs pipeline as possible, the courses — unlike this author’s sociology minor degree — are not meant to be a “walk in the park.”
Each one will have 100+ “rigorous” assessments.
Feeding their own funnel
This announcement is more than just positive optics for a company on the cusp of an antitrust case: Google will purportedly look at the certifications as the equivalent of a 4-year degree in their own hiring process.
Other corporations — including Bayer, Deloitte, Verizon, SAP, Accenture, Intel, and Bank of America — will also consider the certificate in lieu of a traditional degree.
This news comes at the intersection of 2 big trends:
- The rise of alternatives to the traditional college experience, and
- Rising unemployment due to COVID-19
The opportunities could make a huge difference: median salaries for project managers ($93k) and UX designers ($75k) are far higher than the national median income of $36k across all jobs.