Google has just rolled out an education course that aims to address the dearth of IT professionals in the United States.
Google recently announced that it will be teaming up with Coursera to offer an IT support training program. The company is hoping that the new program will help fill in the IT shortage in the country.
The course is dubbed the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. It's designed to assist students with no previous IT education or training to get the relevant experience necessary to secure an entry-level job in just eight to 12 months.
The idea for the Coursera program was the result of the best practices that came to light during Google's in-house IT residency program, which began in 2010. According to Natalie Van Kleef Conley, the product lead for Google, the company had to contend with having openings for IT roles and not enough skilled people to fill the vacancies. It's a situation that a lot of companies are familiar with. As a matter of fact, research shows that there are 150,000 vacant IT support jobs in the US today.
Google previously worked with YearUp, a nonprofit that designs workforce training programs for adults in low-income families. The organization developed a program that helped prepare young professionals for entry-level IT support jobs.
The experience also proved to Google that IT was a teachable field, and that people can be trained the fundamentals of IT in as little as eight to 12 months.
Google's new Coursera-backed program consists of over 64 hours of video lessons, with hands-on lab and various interactive evaluation tools. The course will cover topics like customer service and troubleshooting, automation, networking, operating systems, security, and system administration. According to Van Kleef Conley, the topics cover “all the fundamentals of IT support.”
The course will also feature Google staff whose own experience in IT support served as a starting point in their careers.
Google’s new IT support course will cost $49 a month. However, scholarships will be offered to those who come to the program via the non-profit organizations that Google partners with, like Goodwill, Per Scholas, Student Veterans of America, Upwardly Global, and YearUp.
In order to complete the certificate, participants have to finish six courses. One of the already open now, with the five other courses just available for pre-enrollment. These courses will commence on January 23.
This isn't the first time that Google has worked with Coursera. The two companies have previously collaborated on Cloud Platform training modules for businesses. They also share the same vision when it comes to developing programs that aim to help people secure good jobs.