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Google Launches New IT Course & Connects Students to Employers

Cengage
Cengage

Google has partnered with Coursera to offer a certificate program for entry-level IT jobs. 

 

The program consists of six courses that can be completed part-time or full-time in eight to twelve months, and connects students to employers looking for workers with basic IT skills. 

 

This program seems like a great thing because it will be a gateway for participants to enter a variety of tech careers, but I wonder what the program will offer, if anything, for those who end up wanting to expand their skills beyond that basic IT skillset. Maybe they will learn on the job? Maybe they will direct participants to programs at insitutions in their geographical area? 

 

You can read the full article here: http://fortune.com/2018/01/16/google-coursera-it-jobs/

 

I just registered for a Python course with Coursera. It's free, unless you want a shareable certificate upon course completion - then it's $39. I can already tell you that I will struggle to complete this course as I have a hard time staying disciplined when I'm not paying for it and it's not for a degree. 

 

Stephen_J_Padilla
Valued Contributor

This is great!  I'm not going to participate, since it is only for the first 10,000 people, but I'm sharing this with others so they have a chance if they need it.

Kelly_Hinson
Contributor

Cassie, this is so interesting. I do wonder if they will achieve the outcomes that are expected or hoped for? Job skills. Because skills aren't all that you need to get a job. Students need to be able to interview. Maybe make eye contact? Some need coaching on how to dress and talk. I have some really smart technical students but their communication skills are greatly lacking. I also have students who can't complete a course that they paid for because of work issues. I wonder if the "no cost" courses will have a higher drop rate.

Sandy_Keeter
Tutor

I tend to agree Kelly.  If a student doesn't pay, they may be less dedicated (unless Google makes them pay back for non-attendance and wasting a spot)?!

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janetfleming
Frequent Commenter

I immediately thought of my friends in their 50s & 60s who are having to reenter the workplace after many years away. This is AWESOME for them. As for those who don't finish, good points; however, I think the # using the service is plenty large, and they should easily be able to increase it. Please keep in mind, it is not meant to make people successful when they enter the workplace; it is specifically toward improving IT skills.

Stephen_J_Padilla
Valued Contributor

Janet, 25% of my students are over 50.  One of them is looking for a change of career because HVAC work is getting to tough physically for his age.  The other worked on cash registers and copiers for decades, but now he needs CompTIA A+ certification to do the same job he had already been doing before.

Cengage
Cengage

 @janetfleming @Sandy_Keeter @Kelly_Hinson @Stephen_J_Padilla

 

Kelly and Sandy, I completely agree. Cengage has a division called Ed2Go, which is a very similar concept to what Google is now offering....a broader range of course areas and likely at a more foundational/introductory level...but same concept. As a Cengage employee, I get to take courses at a reduced price/free, so I have enrolled and started two courses (Marketing-focused of course!). I didn't complete either course because, as you both said, I am working fulltime and I have a home to take care - I end up prioritizing that. And the  fact that the course is at little to no cost for me, I don't have a real incentive to finish. I guess maybe if the end outcome was to connect me to employers, then that would give me more motivation. I'm taking these course for personal/professional development.

 

Stephen and Janet -- on the flip side, your points are so valid. I could see an older student turning to this, not only to redirect their career, but also for the access to hiring companies. While although it's easier than ever to find job postings (LinkedIn, Indeed), I think that these outlets are almost detrimental at times because ANYONE can apply. Employers are inundated with resumes. I would imagine that it can be hard to navigate that process if you've been out of the applying/interviewing game for a while. 

Stephen_J_Padilla
Valued Contributor

@CassieC, I agree about the job boards.  I have used them extensively because they are the way things are going now, but there is always that factor of innundation. 

 

When I was getting ready to leave the Air Force, one of my transition training classes talked about the HR follow-up.  Now, as part of my application process, I make a point of contacting HR 1-2 weeks after I apply (and never on Monday or Friday unless told to).  I ask if they received my application and if there was any further information they would like from me.  This practice is supposed to show that the candidate is seriously interested, not just shotgunning out a bazillion applications to everybody on Indeed.

 

It did backfire once.  I put in a couple of IT applications online at USAA.  I found no contact information at all for HR on the website, so I went to an actual physical phone book (How weird is that?!?) and looked them up.  Once I finally got to speak to a human being, I received a very brusque "Don't call us, we'll call you" type of response.