The course was created through Google's "Grow with Google" program, which offers a multitude of online certifications and lesson plans.
The training program will be available on Coursera to students in 25 community colleges in California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition to these community colleges, students at Northwestern University can earn up to 12 credits toward an online bachelor’s degree in information technology.
According to Google’s web page detailing the program, the training is meant to help the company find new potential employees by training incoming member of the workforce on skills the company needs from its new hires.
“At Google, the challenge we faced in finding qualified candidates to join our own IT support team inspired the creation of a new training program,” according to Google. “Now we’re using the training we implemented at Google as the basis for the IT Support Certificate.”
Google’s program garnered attention from other major companies looking for IT professionals, with more than 20 companies signed on, including Intel, Ricoh and Sprint. After participants are finished with their course, they will be able to send these employers their information directly for possible employment opportunities.
“Companies can think more about coming together to grow talent pools,” Natalie Van Kleef Conley, a senior product manager for "Grow with Google" tells Inside Higher Ed. “It’s really important to diversify the talent pools.”