Google Gives Away 100,000 Scholarships To Their 3 New Certificate Programs

Matty-Sways

Google announced it will provide 100,000 need-based scholarships and donate over $10 million in grants to 3 non-profits.

Google announced 3 new online certificate programs in data analytics, project management and user experience design.  The certificates take three to six months to acquire and are handed out following a series of classes through the online learning platform Coursera. No college education is required to take the courses, but Google says it will consider a certificates the same as a four-year degree for positions within the company. Data analytics, project management and user experience were chosen because they can lead to "high-growth, high-paying careers." , says Google vice president, Lisa Gevelber.

"This is not revenue-generating for Google," says Gevelber, who leads "Grow with Google" and "Google for Startups" and serves as the company's Americas chief marketing officer. "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."

Google has announced it will provide 100,000 need-based scholarships and donate over $10 million in grants to YWCA, NPower and JFF . (3 nonprofits that provide workforce development to women, veterans and underrepresented Americans). Google reports 80% of student told them the course helped them advance their career within 6 months, including getting a raise, finding a new job or starting a new business.

Coronavirus "has caused an acceleration of some labor trends like automation," Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad North America told CNBC Make It in April, adding that out-of-work Americans may need to develop new skills in order to find new jobs. "What we're seeing is this significant need for massive up-skilling and retraining, especially for workers who have been laid off." 

"While college degrees have tons of value, they are not accessible to everyone," says Gevelber. "And we believe that the absence of a college degree should not be a barrier to economic stability."

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," says 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."  Its reported that 250,000 people have taken Google's IT certificate, 57% of whom do not have a college degree.

"There's a course from Yale on the science of wellbeing that saw 2 million enrollments just in 2020 alone," he says. "We have a course that was launched in May from John Hopkins called 'COVID Contact Tracing.' Within four weeks, it had 400,000 enrollments." says Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera.

"The students that will do well online are people who are already prepared. You have to be pretty self-directed," he says, noting that in-person support for students learning online can help close these gaps. "Poor students and first-generation students often don't do as well online." says Todd Rose, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

"The college degree requirement excludes lots of people who could do the job if only they had a different way of getting the skills. Online learning is a necessary, but not sufficient, ingredient to creating more social equity," he says. "Our 'new normal' where I can get skilled to do a job without leaving my community, and I can get the job and do the job and get paid for doing the job without leaving my community, I believe that this will create more economic opportunity than anything we've seen before." says Maggioncalda.

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