Grow with Google was launched in 2017 to fulfill the company’s mission to use technology to create economic opportunities for everyone. Currently, they’re taking another step forward by bringing Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate to community colleges. With an anticipated 10% growth in the field over the next 10 years, and the current median salary for IT support specialists nationwide at $53,470, this IT Support Professional Certification opens the door to a future-proof career.
“Grow with Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate is one way we are equipping people with the digital skills for future careers,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a press release. “I’m proud that we’re expanding the program to more students in community colleges across the country.”
The initiative provides a platform of programs giving individuals and organizations to access free training, tools and resources to build technical skills. Hosted on the Coursera platform, the online program is open to individuals without tech experience or a college degree.
Google originally created the training to address their own need for qualified IT support team candidates. Participants who dedicate approximately five hours a week can complete the program in under six months with the skills required to fill the approximately 215,000 currently unfilled IT support jobs across the country.
Last year, Google.org awarded a $2.3 million grant to Jobs For the Future (JFF) to integrate the IT Support Certification Program into 30 community colleges across seven states. Based on the program’s success, Google.org has announced a second grant to JFF – this time for $3.5 million – to expand into 100 community colleges across 41 states by the end of 2020.
“This initiative reflects JFF and Google’s belief in the transformative—and often untapped—potential of community colleges across the nation,” Maria Flynn, JFF president and CEO said in a statement. “It’s about building powerful connections between educators and employers—and leveraging technology in targeted ways—to build a stronger workforce.”
Whether accessed through a community college in the JFF initiative or directly through the Grow with Google platform (https://grow.google/programs/it-support/), the program is working. The first Google IT Support Professional Certificate Impact Report recently released by Google and Coursera details the positive impacts already being made:
- 84% of learners have reported a positive career impact within six months of obtaining their Certification (getting a raise, finding a new job, starting a new business, or improving their ability to get a new job).
- 60% of enrollees identify as Black, Latino, female, and/or veteran who are using the program to prepare for entry-level roles.
- Over 10,000 have received financial assistance through need-based scholarships funded by other Google.org grants to various organizations including the United Service Organization (USO), Student Veterans of America.
Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda told Business News Daily, “The Google IT Support Professional Certificate has created hope and opportunities for thousands of learners by providing them with the skills needed to participate in the tech economy.”