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Project

Expanding On-Ramps to Tech Careers With Google Career Certificates

At a Glance

JFF is helping to prepare the next generation of tech talent by expanding Google Career Certificate programs through partnerships with colleges and universities, nonprofits, and public-sector organizations. 

Contributors
Sara Lamback  Senior Director 
Ben Williams Director
Taylor Sprague Senior Manager
Paige Korbakes Director
Kathryn Jo Mannes  Senior Advisor 
Practices & Centers

Challenge

The number of IT jobs is growing rapidly, but ongoing technological advances make them hard to fill because the skills employers need are constantly changing. Short-term training experiences like Google Career Certificates programs could help close the skills gap—and diversify the workforce—because few entry-level IT positions require a four-year college degree. However, many learners, workers, and employers are unfamiliar with pathways to tech careers that don’t involve college and hesitant to embrace them. There’s an urgent need to raise awareness of the value of short-term training and expand access to short-term programs, especially to populations that have been underrepresented in tech jobs.  

Approach

JFF is working with Google and reaching out to two- and four-year colleges, nonprofits, and public-sector organizations to encourage them to integrate Google Career Certificates coursework into existing programs or offer the certificate training in standalone classes. The certificates prepare learners for entry-level IT jobs in data analytics, digital marketing and e-commerce, project management, or user experience (UX) design in about eight months.  

JFF also encourages employers to join the Google Career Certificates Employer Consortium, a network of more than 150 employers committed to using the certificates in their recruitment, onboarding, and upskilling efforts. 

Results

JFF has helped enroll about 10,000 learners in 27 states and the District of Columbia in one or more courses since starting to collaborate with the Google Career Certificates program in 2018. In addition, JFF has partnered with 181 community colleges and four-year institutions, more than 50 nonprofits and community-based organizations, and eight public-sector organizations to implement the courses, which are available on Coursera’s online global learning platform. And since 2022, JFF has recruited 20 employers to the employer consortium. 

JFF has also developed resources for organizations interested in offering Google Career Certificates courses, including the Google Career Certificates Implementation Field Guide for Higher Education Leaders and the Quick Start Guide for New Provider Organizations 

Colleges and Universities Implementing Google Career Certificates

Funders

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