Google announced they will be funding 100,000 need-based scholarships for their three new online certificate programs in data analytics, user experience design, and project management.
What We Know:
- Google will be awarding over $10 million in grants to YWCA, NPower, and JFF, nonprofits that provide workforce development to women, veterans, and underrepresented Americans. The certificates are created and taught by Google employees. They do not require a college degree and can be completed in three to six months. The online certificate programs are offered through an online learning platform, Coursera. Google says it will consider all of its certificates as the equivalent of a four-year college degree for related roles at the company.
- “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. This is not revenue-generating for Google,” Lisa Gevelber, who leads Grow with Google and Google for Startups.
- Gevelber said Google chose the three fields because they can lead to “high-growth, high-paying careers.”
“College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a release. “We need new, accessible job-training solutions — from enhanced vocational programs to online education — to help America recover and rebuild.”
- Google’s announcement comes as the unemployment rates are lower than the numbers seen during the Great Depression. The unemployment rate declined to 11.1 percent, and the unemployed persons fell by 3.2 million to 17.8 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S Department of Labor.
- In 2018, Google launched a similar certificate program for those interested in IT. “When we first built the IT certificate, we built it for our own use,” said Gevelber. “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 claimed that since the IT launch, “80% of participants say the program helped them advance their job search or career within six months, including getting a raise, finding a new job, or starting a new business.” Since the pandemic, people have acclimated their lives online, so the online program is smart during these times. Some people are still skeptical of the online promises of certificates and programs offered online.
For people who do not have a college degree, these low-cost certificate programs may be a possible solution.