Coursera and Google Launch an Online Certificate Program to Help Students Become IT Professionals & Get Attractive Jobs

If you’ve so much as set foot in the realm of mas­sive online open cours­es (MOOCs) — a list of which we offer right here on Open Cul­ture — you’ve no doubt heard of Cours­era, which, since it start­ed up in 2012, has become one of the biggest MOOC providers around. Like most grow­ing Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pa­nies, Cours­era has branched out in sev­er­al dif­fer­ent direc­tions, bring­ing in cours­es from uni­ver­si­ties from all over the world as well as offer­ing cer­tifi­cate and Mas­ter’s pro­grams. Now, in part­ner­ship with Google, it has launched a pro­gram to train infor­ma­tion-tech­nol­o­gy pro­fes­sion­als for jobs in the indus­try.

Techcrunch’s Ingrid Lun­den describes Cours­er­a’s Google IT Sup­port Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate pro­gram as “a course writ­ten by Googlers for the Cours­era plat­form to teach and then test across six fun­da­men­tal areas of cus­tomer sup­port: trou­bleshoot­ing and cus­tomer ser­vice, net­work­ing, oper­at­ing sys­tems, sys­tem admin­is­tra­tion, automa­tion, and secu­ri­ty. No pri­or IT expe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary.” The glob­al, Eng­lish-lan­guage pro­gram “has 64 hours of course­work in all, and stu­dents are expect­ed to com­plete it in eight to 12 months, at a cost of $49/month.” This means “the typ­i­cal cost of the course for full-pay­ing stu­dents will be between $392 and $588 depend­ing on how long it takes,” which Lun­den calls “a pret­ty good deal” com­pared to oth­er IT train­ing pro­grams.

Amid talk of van­ish­ing jobs across so many sec­tors of the econ­o­my, Cours­era and Google are mar­ket­ing the IT Sup­port Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate as a promis­ing path to gain­ful employ­ment: “There’s no bet­ter exam­ple of a dynam­ic, fast-grow­ing field than IT sup­port,” writes Google Prod­uct Lead Natal­ie Van Kleef Con­ley, cit­ing sta­tis­tics show­ing 150,000 IT sup­port jobs cur­rent­ly open in the Unit­ed states and an aver­age start­ing salary of $52,000. Cours­era notes that “upon com­ple­tion of the cer­tifi­cate, you can share your infor­ma­tion with top employ­ers, like Bank of Amer­i­ca, Wal­mart, Sprint, GE Dig­i­tal, PNC Bank, Infos­ys, TEKSys­tems, UPMC, and, of course, Google.”

If you sus­pect that you might share pro­fes­sion­al aspi­ra­tions with young Edgar Bar­ra­gan of Queens, whose tes­ti­mo­ni­al video shows how he became a Google IT sup­port spe­cial­ist after par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram that evolved into the IT Sup­port Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate, vis­it the offi­cial page on Cours­era. There you can read up on the details of the six cours­es that make up the pro­gram and read answers to the ques­tions fre­quent­ly asked about it. Do you think you’d excel in a career amid the nuts and bolts of com­put­ers? With Google and Cours­er­a’s pro­gram offi­cial­ly open­ing next Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 24th, now’s a good time indeed to fig­ure out whether it could get you where you want to be. Get more infor­ma­tion and/or enroll here.

Note: Open Cul­ture has a part­ner­ship with Cours­era. If read­ers enroll in cer­tain Cours­era cours­es, it helps sup­port Open Cul­ture.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

New Deep Learn­ing Cours­es Released on Cours­era, with Hope of Teach­ing Mil­lions the Basics of Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence

Cours­era Part­ners with Lead­ing Uni­ver­si­ties to Offer Master’s Degrees at a More Afford­able Price

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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