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Google set to offer 100,000 scholarships for disruptive certification programme

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Google is offering financial aid for those who can't afford to pay for their new Career Certificates programme. Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP


By U2B Staff 

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Google recently announced its new online Google Career Certificates programme, which provides learners with the chance to become qualified in either Data Analytics, Project Management, or User Experience Design,

In 2018, Google began offering an IT certificate which helped increase employability for those who could not afford to attend university.

Google vice president, Lisa Gevelber, who leads Grow with Google and Google for Startups and also serves as the company’s Americas chief marketing officer, said, “When we first built the IT certificate, we built it for our own use.

“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.”

Google said that 58% of those who take its IT certificate identify as Black, Latino, female or as a veteran and that 45% of enrollees make less than $30,000 per year, claiming that 80% of participants say the programme helped them advance their job search or career within six months, including getting a raise, finding a new job or starting a new business.

Course fees for the certificate programmes, which are taught by Google employees, are currently much lower than universities tuition fees. Learners only have to pay $49 per month to access the programmes on Coursera, meaning a six-month programme will cost approximately $300.

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Gevelber said, “This is not revenue-generating for Google. 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.”

Nevertheless, Google will also offer 100,000 scholarships for these programmes for enrolled students who are unable to pay for the fees.

According to DazeInfo, “The process of availing such aid will probably be similar to most other financial aid verification processes, with the aim to assist those in dire need of such help.”

Besides the scholarships, Google is also awarding $10 million in grants to three non-profit partners –  YWCA, NPower, and JFF – to professionally empower women, underrepresented populations (black people, Hispanic people, disabled people, and other marginalized groups/communities), and veterans.

Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs, said. “College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security.”

While completing the certificate programmes won’t guarantee you a job at Google, the topics were chosen for its ability to offer a path in well-paying and stable careers. The certificates have been coined as “disruptive” as it offers an alternative to the traditional four-year college degree.

According to DazeInfo, “These certifications can be completed within three to six months, after which all those who succeed in clearing the course requirements will become eligible for jobs within the field they received training in. Google claims that these programs are expected to provide skill-building equivalent to that of traditional 4-year long college degree programs. Within Google, applicants with these certificates will be treated and given just as much preference as college graduates.”

Google has also partnered with 50 other companies to connect with certificate holders for job interviews upon completion, including big industry names such as Intel, Infosys, Bank of America, Hulu, Best Buy, and Walmart, among others.

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, said, “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.

“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.”

Through these scholarships, everyone has the opportunity to grow with Google and develop skills that are in high demand in the coming years.

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