Tech & Work

Google launches professional IT certificate, 10,000 scholarships available

Google's IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera can help fill in-demand tech support jobs.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Google's new IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera aims to help people gain tech support skills and fill job gaps.
  • Google will provide scholarships for the certificate for more than 10,000 people in the US in 2018, targeting low income learners, veterans, and refugees in particular.

On Tuesday, Google launched the Google IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera, to help fill in-demand IT support roles that are expected to grow 10% in the US by 2026.

The certificate features courses designed and taught by Google IT support experts, and enable any individual to gain the skills needed to become an IT support specialist in 8-12 months—even when they lack prior experience, according to a blog post from Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda. This could be a major benefit to companies dealing with tech talent shortages, which is impacting at least eight out of 10 US businesses, as reported by our sister site ZDNet.

This isn't Google's first venture in increasing educational opportunities: In October 2017, CEO Sundar Pichai committed $1 billion in grant funding for nonprofits to improve tech education and workforce training, as well as 1 million employee volunteer hours to help organizations working on these issues.

SEE: Support Specialist Policies and Training (Tech Pro Research)

To further the mission, Google will provide financial assistance for more than 10,000 people in the US to gain the IT Support Professional Certificate in 2018, the post said. Many of the scholarships will be distributed by nonprofits focused on low-income learners, veterans, and refugees, including Goodwill, Per Scholas, Year Up, Student Veterans of America, and Upwardly Global. The curriculum will also be embedded into certain community colleges as a replacement for IT 101 courses.

Google will provide full scholarships for qualified learners in the US who apply by February 20. To learn if you are eligible and to fill out an application, click here.

The certificate includes six courses that combine fundamental theory with hands-on practice, including labs and widgets that provide the same kind of troubleshooting experiences you would find on the job. It also involves intrapersonal soft skills guidance, Maggioncalda wrote.

People who complete the certificate will be able to use the Coursera platform to share their resumes with companies including Google, Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GE Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, and TEKSystems, the post noted.

Students can complete the certificate anytime from any location on the Coursera platform.

"Finding qualified IT personnel is a challenge many companies face. With 150,000 open roles in IT support, it is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country," Ben Fried, CIO of Google, said in a press email. "We developed this curriculum to address this problem head on."

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Image: iStockphoto/Bojan89

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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