Grow with Google announced that it will bring the Information Technology Support Professional Certificate to Lone Star College and more than 25 additional community colleges.
Google.org is funding the workforce development nonprofit, JFF, to provide support for learners in seven states (CA, IL, MI, NY, OH, TX and WI). JFF accelerates the alignment and transformation of the American workforce and education systems to ensure access to economic advancement for all.
In addition, 13 additional companies signed on to consider those who complete the program for their information technology support jobs. The program will be available at Lone Star Corporate College starting in fall 2018 and expanding to an associate degree program in spring 2019.
“Google is committed to training the workforce of today and tomorrow, and we are thrilled to team up with community colleges to help graduates jump-start a new career in IT support,” said Jesse Haines, Director of Grow with Google. “Community colleges play an important role in helping Americans get ahead, and they will be strong partners in Grow with Google’s mission to create more economic opportunities for Americans.”
Launched in January on the Coursera learning platform, Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate aims to train learners with no prior experience to be information technology support professionals in about eight months. In the five months since its inception, almost 40,000 students have enrolled in the online program.
With over 150,000 open positions, information technology support is one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S. While there is demand for specialists, employers are often challenged to find trained talent, as the majority of information technology support positions do not require a college degree but do require prior experience. Through lots of hands-on assessments that allow learners to troubleshoot as if they were on the job, this certificate is designed to give learners the training and experience they need to get a job in tech support. The median annual wage for computer user support specialists is $52,160.
As part of the announcement, learners who complete the certificate program can now share their information directly with up to 22 top employers who are looking to hire information technology support talent. The first group of employers includes Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, General Electric Co. Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems, UPMC and Google itself.
The 13 new companies include MCPc, Cognizant, RICOH USA and 10 members of the Walmart family: Sam’s Club, Shoes.com, Jet, Allswell, Bonobos, Hayneedle, Modcloth, Moosejaw, Store No. 8, and Vudu.
“JFF is excited to join forces with Google to lead the implementation of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate in over 25 leading community colleges across the country,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO, JFF. “This collaboration is an opportunity for JFF to leverage its extensive expertise in working with community colleges to support Google’s innovative new IT credential that offers a pathway for students into self-sustaining IT jobs.”
“Lone Star College continues to look toward the future to provide the training needed for companies to compete in today’s high-tech world,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “We are proud to work with Google and JFF to ensure our students receive world-class instruction.”
In addition to this partnership, Lone Star College will open its LSC-Westway Park Technology Center in spring 2019. This nontraditional, state-of-the-art center will support the college systems’ Computer Information Technology Department and multiple programs within Computer Information Technology including Cybersecurity, Mobile Data Application Development, Microsoft Administration, CISCO Networking Academy, Computer Programming, Visual Communications to include a mock Security Operations Center and test prep for the more advanced learner.
The IT Support Professional Certificate is a key program in Grow with Google, the initiative to create more economic opportunities for Americans. Like other Grow with Google programs, such as Get Your Business Online and Applied Digital Skills, the certificate is intended to give more Americans access to the digital skills and to find success in today’s digital economy.
Already, Google has given 10,000 students free access to the program through financial aid and Google.org scholarships to nonprofits focusing on low income learners through Year Up, Per Scholas and Goodwill®; veterans through Student Veterans of America; and refugees through Upwardly Global.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.