Google Launches 100,000 Scholarships for 3 Online Certificate Programs​

On Tuesday, Google officially announced 3 new online certificate programs, including data analytics, project management, and user experience design (UX).

The courses are created and taught by Google employees, which can be completed in 3 to 6 months and are available on Coursera.  Google considers the certificates as a 4-year college degree for any related roles at the company.

According to Lisa Gelvelber, America's chief marketing officer of the company, this doesn’t generate any revenue for Google; however, the company wants to make sure that anyone who wants the opportunity gets it.

Google decided to fund 100,000 scholarships for anyone enrolling in any of the 3 career certificate programs. Furthermore, the company will award YWCA, NPower and JFF with $10 million grants in providing workforce development for women, veterans and underrepresented Americans.

This announcement comes in during the time when Americans are facing unemployment due to the pandemic. Although some jobs will come back after the pandemic is over, people fear that there are certain jobs that will not return for various reasons such as automation.

Some believe that certificate programs can be the solution to level out the playing field for people without college degrees.

The tech giant company launched a similar certificate program in IT back in 2018.

According to Google, the IT certificate helped 80% of the participants finding new jobs, getting a raise or starting a new business.  CEO of Coursera, Jeff Maggioncalda added that 57% of the 250,000 participants do not possess a college degree.

Yves Cooper was one of the participants who acquired the IT certificate through the program offered by Google.  According to Cooper, he was not able to find any job before he took part in the program. 

“A couple of days after I finished the Google certification, I applied to the job I currently have now and they got back to me about four or five days later,” Cooper says.

However, Todd Rose, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, believes that e-learning is only beneficial to people who have strong academic backgrounds, reliable internet connectivity, and sufficient technology.

“The college degree requirement excludes a lot of people who could do the job if only they had a different way of getting the skills. Online learning is a necessary and sufficient ingredient to creating more social equity,” Maggioncalda says.

He firmly believes that online learning will provide more and better opportunities, and he is very optimistic that certificate programs like Google’s will create more economic opportunities.

Source: CNBC

By: Kimsreng Lay