For people, both with and without a college degree, it’s a tough time to find a new job. Not having that piece of paper to show that you graduated from college can serve as a barrier to entry for many opportunities. Even with a degree, the job market is still highly competitive.
However, there is another way to build a career in fast-growing fields where jobs are plentiful, such as cyber security, IT and data analytics. In a conversation with Lisa Gevelber, founder of Grow with Google, she shared how the Big Tech company’s programs are designed to help people find new jobs and develop their careers. Gevelber drives Grow with Googlea $1 billion commitment to bridging education gaps, helping to teach skills critical to the future of work and ensuring people aren’t left behind.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wrote about its importance Grow with Google Mission“Now more than ever, Americans need digital skills to get the jobs they want, advance their careers and grow their businesses.”
Since 2017, Grow with Google has helped nearly 10 million workers in the United States with skills, career and business development.
Google Career Certificates
“We started Grow with Google based on an important value we have at Google, and that is that the opportunities created by technology should truly be available to everyone.” Gevelber added, “We’ve created an alternative – a pathway to great jobs.
Grow with Google offers a program called Google Career Certificates. It is designed to help people learn the skills they need for in-demand jobs. Certificates are offered in six high-paying areas, including cyber security, data analytics, business intelligence, digital marketing and e-commerce, IT support, project management, and user experience design.
The program, taught entirely by Google experts, is self-paced and online. It can be completed in as little as six months. The certificates are accredited by the American Council on Education, which means they can also be used to earn college credit.
Since the launch of Google Career Certificates, over 200,000 people have graduated from the program in the US, and over 70% of them report a positive career impact, such as a new job, higher pay or promotion, within six months of completion.
To connect graduates directly to jobs, the program includes a consortium of employers from more than 150 companies—including American Express, Colgate-Palmolive, T-Mobile, Walmart and Google—that hire in the certificate fields.
Henry Gage He had been interested in technology since childhood, but knew that college was not his preferred path. At the start of the pandemic, he quit his retail job to avoid possible exposure to the virus.
Gage discovered Google’s career certifications through Merit America, a nonprofit workforce development company. After completing the Google IT Support Certificate program and a one-year stint in a key IT position, she began networking with recruiters and managers at Cisco Meraki. He was eventually hired as a support operations specialist.
“The Google IT Support Professional Certificate [was] it was life changing for me personally because I didn’t want to go to college and I completed the program in two months,” said Gage.
Now, he enjoys a higher quality of life that includes a well-paying job and a work-life balance that no longer consists of being on call like he did in retail.
After College, Lauren Harms worked in various positions in the television and film industry before taking time off to start a family. When she was ready to re-enter the workforce, Harms found it extremely difficult to get a new job opportunity and wondered if she was being let go because of her employment gap.
To increase her chances, Harms broadened her search to jobs outside of television and film, and that’s when she discovered the Google Project Management Certificate. Although Harms had not previously considered a project management role, she thought the skills she would learn would better position her for any job.
“It’s so helpful for moms and working parents,” Harms said, impressed by the structure of the program. “You can do it at your own pace.”
He completed the certificate in five weeks and said employers took notice immediately. “A few weeks after completion, I could already feel a correlation between my new resume and more interviews.”
In August 2021, Harms started a new job as a managing business partner at Google. She attributes the certificate to her return to the workforce and a new career.
Gevelber said of the Google Career Certificates success stories, “We know people are amazing learners, so all we needed to do was help them get the knowledge and skills they needed.”
AI interview preparation
While these certificates can be valuable for demonstrating relevant skills and knowledge, they are only one part of a broader job search strategy. The interview is one aspect of the hiring process that can hold candidates back.
“Interviewing can be really scary. We know that practice makes people better,” said the founder of Grow with Google.
Therefore, it has implemented Interview Warmup, an artificial intelligence tool that helps job seekers prepare for interviews by practicing answering questions. The technology uses machine learning to analyze job seekers’ interview responses and provides feedback on delivery, clarity and content.
Interview Warmup includes sections that offer tips and tutorials on answering common interview questions and how job seekers can present themselves effectively. The platform consists of a community forum where job seekers can ask questions and get advice from other job seekers and career experts. It also features one-on-one coaching and a job board that aligns with certificate programs.