It’s not hard to find news articles and blog posts covering the known and substantial IT skills shortage in the job market. Recently, Google did something actionable to help: Together with Coursera, a well-known provider of online learning content, it launched a course that reportedly gets people ready for entry-level IT support jobs in as little as eight months to one year of training.
This is not the first time Google presented branded material on Coursera. However, this course stands out because it targets people without existing formal IT skills.
A Way to Get Real-World Perspectives
While taking the course, students go through interactive material such as quizzes and skill-building exercises that highlight need-to-know concepts and techniques related to IT support. Plus, this new collaboration between Google and Coursera gives students valuable opportunities to hear how that kind of job in the field could lead to other fruitful and fulfilling possibilities.
That’s because the course includes insights from people who work at Google and discovering how having a background in IT support was beneficial. When students receive background information from people who have been in their situation and chose to learn about IT, they could feel more motivated to put all their effort into the content and realize learning it may be the key to getting jobs they love.
Students Get Certifications After Finishing Their Training
The course gives learners access to more than 60 hours of content that covers topics such as automation, security and troubleshooting. The goal is to equip participants to succeed in all aspects of IT support. Even better, when students complete the course, they get certificates. If desired, they can share those documents with top companies such as Walmart, Bank of America and, of course, Google.
Ideal for Anyone Interested in a New Career
One of the especially appealing things about this new Google course is that it doesn’t require past IT experience. That means if a person is fascinated by IT subjects, has a natural knack for understanding computers and fixing problems or both, this course could be the path to an exciting new line of work.
Knowledge for an In-Demand Role
Even when people are interested in expanding the career opportunities available to them, they may still hesitate to receive the necessary training due to not knowing whether they’ll be able to find a job when finishing the educational component. Although there are no guarantees associated with job seeking, IT support specialists are projected to be in demand for several years from now.
Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate a 10% growth rate for this career through 2026, which is faster than average. Also, during a decade-long span that began in 2016, the BLS estimates an increase of 87,100 jobs.
An Affordable Option
One of the primary factors that could ultimately discourage a person from enrolling in an online course is the cost. Thanks to a subsidy from Google, this course costs only $49 per month, with full financial support available to eligible students who live in the U.S.
Google Shows an Ongoing Commitment to Tech and Education
This online offering is a good fit for Google because, over the years, the tech giant has shown that technology and education are two of its areas of focus. Google.org — the company’s philanthropic branch — contributed more than $110 million to reduce education gaps around the world during a five-year period.
Specifically, Google wants to give learners access to high-quality materials, keep teachers well-trained and engaged with their work and help students continue learning despite being affected by crises. The new course addresses that first aim.
Because it takes place completely online, it’s an excellent option for people who live in small towns that don’t have IT training facilities, or individuals who are unable to travel to in-person classes due to a lack of transportation or childcare.
It’s too early to say which initiatives will have the most substantial impacts in fixing the IT skills shortage problem. But, Google’s offering on Coursera seems poised to make a noticeable difference by equipping students with the necessary knowledge without requiring prerequisites or in-person class attendance.