By Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera
Today, it’s estimated that there are more than half a million IT support positions open in the U.S. That demand is set to grow as the digital skills gap widens by 12 percent between 2014 and 2024. Many of these open roles don’t require a college degree, but they do require experience. So it’s not uncommon for would-be IT professionals to find themselves caught in a catch-22 – they can’t get a job without experience and they can’t get experience without a job. That is about to change.
I’m proud to share that Coursera is a part of the new Grow with Google initiative, an effort to advance economic opportunity across the U.S. We’ve worked with Google to create the Google IT Support Professional Certificate offered exclusively through Coursera to our global community of learners. The certificate will be the first IT credential of its kind and will give aspiring IT professionals hands-on labs experience created by Googlers. Learners will also get the opportunity to share their information with a host of employers like Google, Bank of America, L’Oréal, PNC Bank, and others that are hiring entry-level support professionals.
Google and Coursera share a vision of equipping people around the world with skills they need to be job ready. The industry-relevant curriculum is designed to take beginner learners to entry-level job readiness in 8-12 months. Unlike other courses aimed at more advanced technical learners, the Google Certificate on Coursera does not require any prerequisites.
We’re also working with Google’s philanthropy, Google.org, to back nonprofits Goodwill, Partner4Work, Per Scholas, Student Veterans of America, Upwardly Global, and YearUp – that are bringing the certificate to underserved groups. Google.org has already pledged more than 2,600 scholarships to these nonprofits to ensure broad access to this valuable learning credential.
Building on our previous partnership with Google Cloud to make on-demand cloud training available to all, this certificate is another major step toward closing the growing digital skills gap. We’re excited to continue our work with a leader in innovation to provide knowledge and opportunity to people across the world.
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate will become available starting in January. Learn more and sign up for updates here.