Some months ago, Google announced its plan to launch a selection of professional courses that would teach foundational skills but is sound enough to equip job-seekers for immediate employment.
In fact, In an announcement on Twitter, Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs at Google wrote:
“In our own hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles.”
Enrollment in these courses would require no more than 6 months and is proposed to cost just about $300—a very tiny fraction of what college degrees cost these days.
This is not the first time that Google would be making a big move that would shake the internet. While we can’t say for sure what exact plans Google have come our way, we can’t help but foresee the impending revolution that is about to grace—or threaten—the university education industry.
This blog post contains insights, predictions, and deductions on what Google’s recent bombshell means, for higher education, entrepreneurs, and employment opportunities in the near future.
More details on Google’s big announcement.
On the 13th of July 2020, Kent Walker, SVP of global affairs at Google published an article on how they intend to help American’s economic recovery through a digital jobs program.
Kent considers this jobs program as an answer to the prayers of many. Kent Walker wrote;
“College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security. We need new, accessible job-training solutions—from enhanced vocational programs to online education—to help America recover and rebuild.”
He also added;
“Today we’re announcing a new suite of Google Career Certificates that will help Americans get qualifications in high-paying, high-growth job fields—no college degree required.”
Kent also made sure to highlight that no degree or prior experience is required to take the courses. The new suite of certifications consists of 3 carrier fields; Data Analytics, Project Management, and User Experience (UX) Design and would be taught by Google employees who work in this field.
What does this mean for university education?
In the real world, change is operating at a breakneck speed. The system is constantly evolving, faster than ever before. Revolutions are emerging rapidly and not caring who is picking up the pace or getting left behind. Sadly, the brick-and-mortar education is not doing much to catch up.
With so much rapidly occurring change, sweeping across every sector in our society, it’s frustrating that the education sector is not doing much to update itself. According to the acting administrator of NASA, Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., “By the time you are a junior in college, what you learned as a freshman is already obsolete.”
What this means is this…
The traditional 4-year-college is becoming less and less suitable for what it’s worth. Graduates spend 4 years in the university just to come and still have to bridge year-long skill gaps before they can even qualify for entry-level jobs. University degrees don’t properly equip students with the real-world skills they need to thrive in their workplace.
Most people are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall and many reputable companies are discarding the requirement for a university degree in their job descriptions. Companies like Apple, IBM, Hilton, and even Penguin Random House have done the same.
While traditional higher education may be very necessary for some career paths, for others, it is neither necessary nor practical. Relevant Skills and experience are proving far more useful than a college degree alone.
More and more people are warming up to the idea of gaining in-demand skills than paying overpriced college tuition. And that is why Google’s big announcement is more than set to cause a big disruption in higher education.
The relevance of a university degree for certain job roles and courses will continue to diminish even more rapidly—some unlikely ones might even follow. Focus for education would shift to more practical, skill-based job programs like Google’s recent certification courses.
Google is set to shave off a large amount in revenue with this recent innovation, and so will other companies that are willing to follow the example that Google has laid.
As more and more people tend to dance in the direction of gaining relevant skills rather than pay for a college degree, more companies would rise to the opportunity to provide their own high-value certification courses which would better equip students for job roles.
So brace yourself. Disruption is here. Change has come.
Real and very likely employment opportunities for students.
Unlike College, where you get handed your certificate and sent off to the labour market to fend for yourself. Google has promised to assist graduates in their job searches.
Thanks to Google’s expanding IT Certificate Employer Consortium, which currently includes over 50 employers like Walmart, Hulu, Sprint, and of course Google, graduates stand a chance to land a paying job in any of these companies where employment is available.
Asides from that, graduates would also be eligible for one of the hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities at Google for people completing these career certificate programs to provide real on-the-job training.
Why do I think Google’s plan is a brilliant one with lots of potentials?
This is my 2 cents.
These certifications teach exactly what is needed, in less time and with much less tuition.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Unlike universities where you learn too much of what you don’t need and very little of what you really need, these certifications cut out the fluff and streamline course content to exactly what is relevant.
That way, graduates are better-fit for their job roles and better-qualified than ordinary college degree holders–and in less time.
Google is a household name, widely recognized and so will their certifications. Google also claims its certificate programs are “product agnostic and designed to help people land jobs at any company, across any sector.”
To be fair, Google is widely recognized and with time, their certifications + apprenticeship would most likely hold more water than university degrees from even major universities.
More so, Google is helping parents and students alleviate overpriced university degrees and years of student loan debts. People are more than ready to take advantage of this opportunity.
I’m sure you can see crystal clearly that disruption is here, and here to stay!
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