Continuing their trend in establishing the future of business, Google is pushing further into the education field with new offerings in the Google Certificates program. What started as a way for them to build a homegrown IT pipeline is quickly becoming an alternative to traditional 4-year colleges.
Let’s face facts, a 4-year degree does not carry the same weight that it did 20 or 30 years ago. It certainly does not guarantee financial security, especially for people who are saddled with student loan debt. Traditionally, there were few options available, but newer programs like Google Certificates are popping up and employers are starting to take notice.
Disrupting the Status Quo
Even prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the education system in America has been under scrutiny. Mountains of debt and a flooded job market have had colleges and universities on their heels for the better part of a decade.
Some have slowly started to see the light and offer more in the way of online education, especially as technology has evolved. In theory, this sounds like it solves a major issue, but these classes are still offered at the normal cost rate, which averaged just shy of $600 per credit hour. Even a limited course load each semester can cost upwards of $5000.
Enter Google Certificates, an wildly different alternative provided by one of the tech industry’s proven leaders.
You are probably asking yourself what the heck are Google Certificates and can they replace 124 credit hours of study? And, even if they can, why would anyone choose this alternative? Below are some of the more common questions people are asking about Grow With Google and the wider certification programs.
What are they?
Google Certificates, in the simplest terms, are educational courses where enrollment requires no prior experience in a given field. Designed to teach students real-world application through hands-on learning, the multi-course approach puts the student in the driver’s seat of their career path.
How do they replace a traditional 4 year degree?
Four year degrees can create a very well rounded education, but a large portion of classes are not applicable in a real-world setting. When was the last time that you used information from that ancient Roman history course that you chose as an elective?
Google’s approach has been to cut the fluff out of education and create courses that focus only on employable or practical skills. Looking to become a project manager? You don’t need to take 6 hours of biology. Their program is set up in a multi-course structure that can be completed at the student’s pace, usually around 6 months. This creates flexibility for people who are already working a full time job, and allows those that are looking to enter the workforce have an option to accelerate their learning.
Currently there are four programs available: IT support, project management, data analytics, and UX design. Originally the courses were built to create a pipeline of talent for the Google team to draw from as they eternally expand into world domination. Realizing the potential to impact the tech field as a whole, courses were opened up to the public in 2018.
The average cost for a single year at a traditional public college or university is around $20,000, so you would think that the Google Certificates program would only be slightly less expensive. You would be wrong.
Google has taken a non-profit approach to the courses, charging a modest $49 per course. In layman’s terms, you can earn your certification in less than 6 months for $294. That is half of one credit hour from a traditional institution.
How to enroll?
Is your mind blown yet? Are you ready to sign up and get on a different career path? Google has made it incredibly easy by partnering with Coursera. You don’t have to wait and can sign up at any time.
Education for the Future
With Google pushing the education envelope, it is likely that more institutions (and employers) will take notice. Instructors, course designers and students attest to the fact that the curriculum is incredibly rich and should be viewed as a value add to the education field as a whole.
Is Tech Your Life?
Gadget Genie is a team of techies, so we get it. The technology you use for school, work and play is vital. If you are in the Federal Way, WA area, you may be interested in learning more about our highly-qualified team. After all, real-world skills come to life when you’re helping someone through screen repair or data recovery. We also provide assistance with mail-in services and more. Contact us to learn all about it.