Google announced three new online certificate programs in data analysis, project management and UI development, writes CNBC.
Certification programs are created and taught by Google employees do not require a higher education diploma, can be issued in 3-6 months and are available through the online learning platform Coursera. Google say they will consider all certificates as equivalent to a four-year College degree in related specialties.
“There’s no money in Google, — said Vice-President Lisa Gevelber. The Coursera platform will charge a small fee — the current price is $49 per month, but we want everyone who wants to have such an opportunity, got it.”
The tech giant has pledged to Fund 100,000 scholarships based on the needs of persons enrolled in any of these programs, and will allocate more than $ 10 million in grants YWCA, NPower and JFF — three nonprofit organizations that work closely with Google to ensure that workforce development among women, seniors and groups of Americans, and not protected in society.
Gevelber said that Google chose specific data analysis, project management and interaction with users, because they can lead to “highly developed, high-paying career.”
The latest figures from the U.S. Department of labor, as of June 20, 33 million people were receiving unemployment benefits, five times exceeded the previous high of 6.6 million people during the great recession. Although some of these jobs may come back over time, the pandemic coronavirus has strengthened fears that some might not recover for a number of reasons, including measures for cost cutting, plant closures and the automation of labor.
“The coronavirus has caused the acceleration of certain trends in the field of work such as automation, said in April the General Director of IT company Randstad North America Karen Ficek, adding that unemployed Americans may need to develop new skills to find a new job. What we see is a significant need for mass training and retraining, particularly for laid-off workers”.
Some believe that low-cost certification program can be a possible solution, and an instrument to fight historical inequalities in such areas as technology and improving prospects for those who have no higher education.
“Although a College degree are very important, they are not available to everyone, says Givelber. And we believe that the absence of a bachelor’s degree should not be an obstacle to economic stability.”
In 2018, Google has launched a similar certification program for those interested in IT.
“When we first created the certification IT, we created it for your own use, says Givelber. — We wanted to diversify our own workforce, and we knew that we need to create an operational system for underrepresented and nontraditional candidates. We thought that certification would be a way of achieving this goal, and it was done.”
In Google they say that 58% of those who receive IT-a certificate from the company identificeret themselves as black, Hispanic, woman, or veteran, and that 45% of people at the time of enrollment in the program received $30 000 per year. According to the company, 80% of participants say the program helped them to advance in job search or career for 6 months, including promotion, finding a new job or starting a new business.
Eve Cooper got IT certified by Google in 2018 in the framework of manpower development, which is a non-profit organization Merit America. Cooper left the University and worked as a van driver for adults with developmental disabilities. Today Cooper is a technical specialist technical support in the nonprofit organization Prosperity Now and earns “much more.”
He said that the Merit program America provided personal support, led his class of six students to get certified in 10 weeks, and that he and three other men successfully completed the program.
Before that, according to Cooper, he did not receive a response from any of the organizations to which it is addressed.
“A couple of days after I finished the Google certification, I applied for a job that I have right now, and they said, maybe after 4 or 5 days,” he says.
Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, says that more than 250,000 people got IT certified by Google, 57% of them have College degree. The certificate is the most popular on the platform. He suspects that the new certificates will be as popular — especially in light of recent events in the country.
Maggioncalda said that the pandemic coronavirus has created an “unprecedented demand” for online courses.
“At Yale University has a course on the science of well-being, which only in 2020 it was 2 million people, he says. — We have a course from John Hopkins University, which was launched in may called “Contact transfer COVID”. During the first four weeks, they recorded 400,000 people”.
Some are skeptical of grandiose promises of online learning and certification programs.
Todd rose, a Professor at Harvard graduate school of education, says that learning the Internet is much easier for students having good academic knowledge, a reliable Internet connection and good enough technology.
“Students who succeed online are the people that are already prepared. You need to be fairly independent, he says, noting that the personal support of students studying online can help to bridge the gaps. Poor students and first generation students are often not so good at the Internet”.
But Maggioncalda optimistic about the possibilities that can provide online training. He said that since the pandemic coronavirus forced the students to master online learning and forced the company to use the remote work, it is more optimistic than ever that certificates of this type, like Google, can be used as tools for empowerment.
“The requirement of diploma of higher education excludes many people who could do the job if they had another way to get skills. Online training- a necessary but not sufficient component to achieve greater social justice, he says. — Our “new normal” in which I can learn to do the work, to work, to perform it and get paid without leaving your community, will create more economic opportunities than anything we have seen before.”