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Google launches new computer course for jobs in IT support

Google launches an online computer education program on Coursera to train people for entry-level IT support jobs in multinationals.
BY Uttara Choudhury |   18-01-2018

In stellar democratization of computer education, Google on Tuesday launched a first-of-its-kind online education program to prepare people with no prior tech experience for jobs in IT support.

The Google IT Support Professional Certificate is an online program hosted on Coursera, and forms the company's Grow with Google initiative. The course is aimed at helping people get the skills they need to find entry-level jobs in eight to 12 months.

In a blog post, Google explained why it was helping people polish up on their tech skills by offering the course through Coursera, an online education giant which offers classes in everything from programming to party tricks.

“I helped hire Google’s IT staff for several years when I led our internal IT support program; it was often challenging to find qualified candidates. But I knew that candidates didn't need traditional four-year college degrees to be qualified — and also found that IT was very teachable,” said product lead Natalie Van Kleef Conley.

“So in 2014 we partnered with the nonprofit organization Year Up to create a program aimed at training and hiring non-traditional talent for IT support internships and full-time roles. The program was a success, and its graduates inspired us to think about how we could make a bigger impact beyond Google,” added Van Kleef Conley.

Citing results from job search site Burning Glass, Van Kleef Conley said there are currently 150,000 open IT support jobs in the United States with an average starting salary of $52,000.

People graduating from online training programs often have a hard time convincing hiring managers that their program has provided enough hands-on experience to prepare them for a real job. Google is attempting to address this issue by including a mix of hands-on case studies, interactive assessments and training implemented in-house as the basis of its new program.

“This certificate program introduces people to troubleshooting and customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, automation, and security — all the fundamentals of IT support,” said Van Kleef Conley.

The course has over 64 hours of video lessons, comprising hands-on labs and other interactive assessments, developed by Google.

“Our collaboration with Google and top employers is designed to provide anyone, regardless of their prior experience or training, with the resources they need to succeed as IT professionals," Raghav Gupta, India Country Director of Coursera, told the Press Trust of India.

Once training is complete, certificate holders can opt in to share their information directly with employers such as Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GE Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKsystems, UPMC, and Google.

Google is also subsidizing the cost of the certificate on Coursera to $49 per month and providing financial support to more than 10,000 course-takers in the United States.

Uttara Choudhury is a writer for Forbes India and The Wire. In 1997, she went on the British Chevening Scholarship to study Journalism in the University of Westminster, in London.



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