Google & Coursera Launch Career Certificates That Prepare Students for Jobs in 6 Months: Data Analytics, Project Management and UX Design

We live in an age of less-than-total agree­ment as to the pur­pose of high­er edu­ca­tion. Should it immerse stu­dents in the best that has been thought and said? Pro­vide an envi­ron­ment in which to come of age? Pro­duce “lead­ers”? Or should it, as increas­ing­ly many argue, first and fore­most secure pro­fes­sion­al futures? In the prac­tice of recent decades, high­er edu­ca­tion has done a bit of each, to the sat­is­fac­tion of some and the dis­sat­is­fac­tion of oth­ers. It has, in oth­er words, become an indus­try sub­ject to “dis­rup­tion” by oth­er play­ers offer­ing spe­cial­ized solu­tions of their own. Take for exam­ple the new Career Cer­tifi­cates offered by Google and the online edu­ca­tion plat­form Cours­era.

“Designed to pre­pare learn­ers for an entry-lev­el role in under six months,” as Cours­era CEO Jeff Mag­gion­cal­da explains it, these new­ly-unveiled Career Cer­tifi­cates “don’t have any pre­req­ui­sites,” which means that most any­one inter­est­ed in earn­ing them can do so right now. This goes for “new grads land­ing their first job, front-line work­ers seek­ing sta­ble employ­ment, mid-career pro­fes­sion­als mak­ing a piv­ot, or par­ents plan­ning their return to the work­force,” and pre­sum­ably myr­i­ad oth­er walks of life besides.

Avail­able in Data Ana­lyt­ics, Project Man­age­ment, and User Expe­ri­ence (UX) Design, “each cer­tifi­cate is com­plete­ly online, self-paced, and costs $39 per month” — sig­nif­i­cant­ly less than most exist­ing forms of high­er edu­ca­tion, even of the most pro­fes­sion­al­ly or tech­no­log­i­cal­ly ori­ent­ed vari­eties.

If you’ve dipped into our list of online cours­es, you’ve prob­a­bly encoun­tered Cours­era, a lead­ing plat­form for mas­sive online open cours­es (or MOOCs) used by some of the world’s best-known tra­di­tion­al uni­ver­si­ties. Its new pro­vi­sion of Google’s Career Cer­tifi­cates should go some way to mak­ing more famil­iar — at least to those us who’ve already learned online — a reimag­in­ing of pro­fes­sion­al edu­ca­tion. This pro­gram’s “dis­rup­tive” poten­tial, due not least to Google’s own con­sid­er­a­tion of these cer­tifi­cates as equiv­a­lent to a four-year degree, has already been well not­ed. “But while the new pro­grams offer a fast track to new skills and pos­si­bly even a new job in a frac­tion of the time of a degree pro­gram,” writes Inc.‘s Justin Bariso, “stu­dents should­n’t expect the cours­es to be a walk in the park.” And giv­en that they’re unlike­ly to get eas­i­er, any­one inter­est­ed in earn­ing a Career Cer­tifi­cate would do well to look into it today.

Below, you can find a list of the new Career Cer­tifi­cates.

  • User Expe­ri­ence (UX) Design Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate – UX design jobs are pro­ject­ed to steadi­ly grow over the com­ing years, with medi­an salaries for an entry-lev­el role around $82,000. This sev­en-course cer­tifi­cate explores UX prin­ci­ples, UX terms, and indus­try-stan­dard tools, includ­ing Fig­ma and Adobe XD. By the time they com­plete the pro­gram, learn­ers will have three port­fo­lio projects to use in their job appli­ca­tions.
  • Data Ana­lyt­ics Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate – In the U.S., there are near­ly 15,000 open entry-lev­el data ana­lyt­ics roles, with an annu­al medi­an entry-lev­el salary of more than $63,000. This sev­en-course cer­tifi­cate explores ana­lyt­i­cal skills, con­cepts, and tools used in many intro­duc­to­ry data ana­lyt­ics roles – includ­ing SQL, Tableau, RStu­dio, and Kag­gle.
  • Project Man­age­ment Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate – Employ­ers will need to fill near­ly 2.2 mil­lion new project-ori­ent­ed roles each year through 2027, accord­ing to the Project Man­age­ment Insti­tute. This six-course cer­tifi­cate pre­pares learn­ers to launch a project man­age­ment career. It cov­ers indus­try-stan­dard tools and meth­ods, includ­ing the agile project man­age­ment sys­tem, and key soft skills, such as stake­hold­er man­age­ment, prob­lem-solv­ing, and influ­enc­ing.
  • IT Sup­port Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate — Pre­pare for an entry-lev­el job as an IT sup­port spe­cial­ist. In this pro­gram, you’ll learn the fun­da­men­tals of oper­at­ing sys­tems and net­work­ing, and how to trou­bleshoot prob­lems using code to ensure com­put­ers run cor­rect­ly. This is for you if you enjoy solv­ing prob­lems, learn­ing new tools, and help­ing oth­ers.
  • IT Automa­tion Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate — This is an advanced pro­gram for learn­ers who have com­plet­ed the Google IT Sup­port Pro­fes­sion­al Cer­tifi­cate. This is for you if you want to build on your IT skills with Python and automa­tion.

The new cer­tifi­cates have been added to our col­lec­tion, 200 Online Cer­tifi­cate & Micro­cre­den­tial Pro­grams from Lead­ing Uni­ver­si­ties & Com­pa­nies.

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

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Online Degrees & Mini Degrees: Explore Mas­ters, Mini Mas­ters, Bach­e­lors & Mini Bach­e­lors from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Google Intro­duces 6‑Month Career Cer­tifi­cates, Threat­en­ing to Dis­rupt High­er Edu­ca­tion with “the Equiv­a­lent of a Four-Year Degree”

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

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

Free Online Com­put­er Sci­ence Cours­es

1,500 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, 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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