Last year, Google announced a $1 billion initiative to teach the skills needed for new digital jobs in light of increasing automation. The latest part of the program is the Google IT Support Professional Certificate — an online course that does not require any prior experience.
Hosted on Coursera, which Google has partnered with in the past, this “first-of-its-kind online program” aims to prepare workers for IT support jobs. Google touts participants as being ready for an entry-level job within 8 to 12 months.
According to Google, “growth in IT support is outpacing the average rate for all other occupations.”
In the United States alone, there are currently 150,000 open IT support jobs (according to Burning Glass), and the average starting salary is $52,000 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
In 2014, Google partnered with a nonprofit organization to “create a program aimed at training and hiring non-traditional talent for IT support internships and full-time roles.” It found that “candidates didn’t need traditional four-year college degrees to be qualified.”
The Certificate Course was developed by Googlers and features over 64 hours of video lessons, including hands-on labs and interactive assessments. Covered topics include:
troubleshooting and customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, automation, and security—all the fundamentals of IT support. Throughout the program, people will hear directly from Googlers whose own foundation in IT support served as a jumping-off point for their careers.
After completion, course takers can opt to share their certificate with top employers, like Google, Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GE Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems, UPMC.
Google is subsidizing the cost of the program on Coursera to $49 per month and providing 10,000 learners with financial support. Full financial support is also available for U.S. residents.