In response to statistics that show more than one million Texans are unemployed, Google is expanding its online Career Certificates program across the state with three new courses and 100,000 need-based scholarships for them.
The effort comes at a time when, according to the World Economic Forum, 50 percent of all employees need to be reskilled by 2025. The newly introduced courses, all designed and taught by Google employees, aim to do that: They focus on user experience (UX) design, project management, and data analytics, chosen by Google because of the “demonstrable demand for workers” in the related fields.
There will also be an additional course available that focuses on android development. The Google Career Certificates can be completed in three to six months, and don’t require a degree or experience for enrollment.
The certificates are part of Grow with Google, an initiative founded in 2017 to “help Americans grow their skills, careers, and businesses.” Since inception, more than six million Americans have participated in the program.
Google said in a statement that it specifically wants to assist Texas job seekers during a critical time. More than 1 million jobs nationally are available in these industries, with an average salary of $69,000.
According to Margaret Spellings, former U.S. secretary of education, Google Career Certificates will equip the state’s growing workforce with new skills and resources needed to thrive in today’s rapidly changing economy. The courses, offered on Coursera, are meant to provide affordable, job-ready training.
In addition, Google will be launching an apprenticeship program in Austin this spring that will be registered by the Department of Labor. Four of the apprenticeship tracks complement the Google Career Certificate fields, with two additional tracks available in software engineering and digital marketing.
“For nearly two centuries, Texas has been a place of discovery, exploration and innovation,” Spellings, who is also the president and CEO of Texas 2036, said in a statement. “For Texas to be the best place to live and work, greater access to career-aligned credentials such as these will ensure more Texans are set up for present and future success.”
The new course certificates build on the success of the Google IT Support Certificate, which is available to Texans through partnerships with community colleges like St Philip’s College and Dallas College.
As the most popular certificate on Coursera, the program is intended to prepare individuals for entry-level jobs in IT support, and give a pathway to those without college degrees and in underserved groups. According to Google, 53 percent of participants identify as Black, Latino, female, or veteran.
“As economic recovery accelerates in communities around the U.S. and across the globe, we have an opportunity to help build an economy that is more inclusive and equitable,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement. “That’s what today’s announcements are designed to do, and we’re excited to partner with employers, community colleges, nonprofits and job seekers to make it happen.”
Coinciding with the announcement was the news that the program’s employer consortium will be expanding to more than 130 employers—including Anthem, Bayer, Better.com, Deloitte, SAP, SiriusXM + Pandora, Snap Inc, and Verizon—that make commitments to consider graduates for applicable jobs.
Richardson-based Infosys, a digital services and consulting company, is also joining and pledging to employ 500 graduates in two years.
“Infosys is excited to join Grow with Google and commit to hiring 500 Career Certificate graduates over the next two years with support from Merit America,” Ravi Kumar, president of Infosys, said in a statement. “The commitment builds on our Reskill and Restart initiative to train individuals for skilled careers at Infosys. Our partnership with Google will further ensure that our talent pool reflects the diversity of the country and the communities in which we operate as we seek to fulfill our commitment to hire 25,000 workers in the U.S. by 2022.”
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