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Workforce Readiness

Google to Take IT Support Training into 100 Community Colleges

Google and its foundation are escalating its workforce development efforts. The company announced that it would expand its "IT Support Professional Certificate" program from 30 community colleges to 100 by the end of next year. And the company committed to signing the White House's "Pledge to America's Workers," which promises to further workforce education and training programs.

The certificate is part of Google's "Grow with Google" initiative, which offers a multitude of short-training and Google-specific resources online. The IT support training covers five courses:

  • Technical support foundations;
  • An overview of computer networking;
  • The main components of an operating system;
  • How to handle the basics of system administration in an organization; and
  • IT security.

Google gave a grant to JFF to take the certificate to a hundred colleges that are integrating the training into their own IT offerings. (The same IT support courses are also available on Coursera as an online self-study program.) Recently, the certificate was granted recognition by the American Council on Education for its ACE CREDIT, thereby allowing schools to issue the equivalent of 12 college credits at the associate level to those who complete the program. JFF is a nonprofit that works on workforce and education equity projects.

A recent impact report from Google stated that 60 percent of participants in the IT support training during the first year identified as "female, Black, Latino or veteran," and 84 percent said they experienced a "career impact" within six months of achieving their certification, including raises, new jobs or starting new businesses. More than half (57 percent) said they lacked a four-year degree, and 38 percent said they were in the lowest of three income categories. In the first year, Google noted, 50,000 people enrolled in the program. On average, participants spent five hours per week in studies and completed their training in under six months.

Earlier this month, CEO Sundar Pichai said Google would sign the year-old pledge promoted by the White House, which calls on companies to train and employ more people. So far, 362 companies — large and small— have made the commitment. In the case of Google, the company has committed to training "more than 250,000 Americans" to help them prepare for new jobs.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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