Google and Coursera team up to train IT professionals

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Online education provider Coursera and Google have teamed up to offer a six-course certificate in IT support — a move intended to help fill the pipeline with qualified IT professionals.

Launched Tuesday on the Coursera platform, the IT Support certificate was developed by Google as a way to prepare the future IT workforce through a simple, accelerated crash course designed and led by some of Google’s own technical staff. According to statistics cited by Coursera, there are currently 150,000 open IT jobs in the United States today.

“Google has long faced an issue that many other companies
also contend with — we had open IT support roles, and not enough qualified
candidates to fill them,” according to an FAQs section on Coursera. “… So, we decided to build an IT training program on
Coursera, created entirely by Googlers who are expert in IT support, so that
this training could be available to everyone. ”

The certificate is available to everyone, with no prior experience necessary. Google and Coursera recommend budgeting about eight to 12 months to complete the 64 hours of coursework. The six courses cover computer networking, operating systems, system administration, automation and security, among other topics.

Students enrolled will pay $49 per month until they’ve earned the certificate. Based on the recommended course length, that would bring the total cost somewhere between $392 and $588. For a limited time, Google is offering financial assistance to candidates who demonstrate need.

After earning the certificate, Google says students will be prepared for entry-level IT jobs and will have the option to share their resumes and contact information with a number of employers, including Bank of America, Infosys, PNC Bank, Sprint, Walmart and Google.

The course material, which becomes available the week of Jan. 22, was made to be interactive and engaging. It will be delivered through video lectures, quizzes and hands-on activities.

Students coming in with prior IT knowledge or experience can skip straight to the graded portion of each course and earn a certificate as a way of highlighting their skills.

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