Google Rolling Out 100,000 Scholarships for New Online Certifications

Toya Pokolo, Google IT Support Professional Certificate completer, Information Technology Consultant. While the IT certificate is live, the others are coming soon. (Courtesy Grow with Google)

Are online certificates the answer to an irrevocably changing jobs landscape? If they are, Google has created three new online certificate programs offered through Coursera in the hopes of helping the unemployed gain new skills.

Google will be offering certificates in data analytics, program management, and user experience design.

About the certificates:

  • Taught and created by Google employees,
  • Do not require a college degree to complete,
  • Can be completed in three to six months.

“While college degrees have tons of value, they are not accessible to everyone,” Google vice president, Lisa Gevelber, who leads Grow with Google and Google for Startups and serves as the company’s Americas chief marketing officer, told CNBC. “And we believe that the absence of a college degree should not be a barrier to economic stability.”

“This is not revenue-generating for Google,” Gevelber continued. “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 will be providing 100,000 need-based scholarships to individuals enrolled in any of the three certificate programs and will be awarding $10 million in grants to three nonprofits that partner with the tech giant to provide workforce development to women, veterans and underrepresented Americans — YWCA, NPower, and JFF.

Gevelber said these three certifications were chosen because they can lead to “high-growth, high-paying careers.”

This announcement comes at a time when unemployment is at an all-time high. The Department of Labor reports close to 33 million people claiming unemployment benefits on June 20 — five times the previous high of 6.6 million during the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009.

How can a Google certification help you?

  • A pathway to jobs: Once you complete a certificate, you can directly connect with a group of top employers.
  • Become job-ready for in-demand roles: Qualify for jobs with median average annual salaries of more than $50,000.
  • Stand out: You can share your Google Career Certificate on your LinkedIn profile and on resumes, and other documents to help stand out to employers.
  • Career resources: Learners will have access to resources to help facilitate their job search and interview preparation.

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, has reported “unprecedented demand” for online learning.

“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,” Maggioncalda told CNBC. “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.”




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