Google’s new certificate program takes only six months to complete, and will be a fraction of the cost of college.
Google recently made a huge announcement that could change the future of work and higher education: It’s launching a selection of professional courses that teach candidates how to perform in-demand jobs.
These courses, which the company is calling Google Career Certificates, teach foundational skills that can help job-seekers immediately find employment. However, instead of taking years to finish like a traditional university degree, these courses are designed to be completed in about six months.
“College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security,” writes Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs at Google. “We need new, accessible job-training solutions–from enhanced vocational programs to online education–to help America recover and rebuild.”
Walker then revealed the following on Twitter:
“In our own hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles.”
Google didn’t say exactly how much the new courses would cost. But a similar program Google offers on online learning platform Coursera, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, costs $49 for each month a student is enrolled. (At that price, a six-month course would cost just under $300–less than many university students spend on textbooks in one semester alone.) Additionally, Google said it would fund 100,000 needs-based scholarships in support of the new programs.
Higher education has been ripe for disruption for a long time. And while Google’s recent announcement may not be the final nail in the coffin, it’s a move with major potential to change the future of education and work.