Google’s Career Certificate Program
Just the right thing at just the right time

by Justin Bariso / © 2020, Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Google made waves recently by announcing its new program, “Google Career Certificates,” a collection of courses designed to help participants get qualifications in high-paying, high-growth job fields without attending university.

  The courses should take about six months to complete and will cost a fraction of a traditional college education.

  [In a previous article], I described this as “Google’s plan to disrupt the college degree.”

  The response was huge. The article has been shared thousands of times and has prompted thousands of comments.

  Most of the feedback has been extremely positive, but some readers have expressed skepticism.

  Let’s take a deeper [look] into why Google’s new certificates are such a big deal—and why the plan is ingenious.


Old idea, different package

  Those who commented or reached out included professionals, employers and especially students who were happy to see an alternative to what many consider a broken educational system—one that leaves many burdened with student debt for years while leaving them unprepared for the real world.

  The truth is, traditional higher education may be necessary for some career paths, but for others it is neither necessary nor practical. Google’s alternative not only costs [less than] a traditional college education, it can also be completed in far less time—and can better equip graduates for the jobs they’re seeking.

  Of course, what Google is offering isn’t exactly new. In some ways, the new program resembles other types of training that have existed for years, like vocational education or apprenticeship programs. The difference is, since Google is a household name, its certificate can be easily recognized and accepted across companies and industries—much like a degree from a major university. 

  Google’s initiative holds a major lesson for other employers too. For example, many companies have discovered that it’s far better to hire for character and personality and then teach skills.


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