As high unemployment rates torpedo the livelihood of millions of Americans, Google is stepping up to assist.
The tech titan introduces three new online career certificate programs in data analytics, project management, and user experience design, reports CNBC. Led by Google employees, each low-cost course teaches job-ready skills to help professionals advance in high-demand fields. Each certificate is the equivalent of a four-year college degree for related roles at the company.
Additionally, the three-to-six-month-long programs are offered through learning platform Coursera and do not require a college degree.
“This is not revenue-generating for Google,” says Google vice president, Lisa Gevelber. “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.”
Along with new pathways to jobs, Google will fund 100,000 scholarships for individuals enrolled in either of the programs. Also, Google will award $10 million in grants to the YWCA, NPower, and JFF. The money will provide workforce development to women, veterans, and underrepresented Americans.
“While college degrees have tons of value, they are not accessible to everyone,” says Gevelber. “And we believe that the absence of a college degree should not be a barrier to economic stability.”
Initially, Google built a similar certificate program in 2018 to promote in-house diversity. Now, the formula could be the solution to combat inequity throughout the tech industry and get people back to work.
“When we first built the IT certificate, we built it for our own use,” says Gevelber. “We wanted to diversify our own workforce and we knew to do that we needed to create an on-ramp for underrepresented and ‘nontraditional applicants.’ We thought a certificate would be a way to accomplish that goal, and it did.”