“I used to work in a call center taking insurance claims, but realized customer service wasn’t for me,” writes Las Vegas-based Kameron Moore, a patient development specialist at Giving Home Healthcare. “After spending a year at Amazon in the warehouse, I took Google’s Data Analytics Certificate in May 2022, and I landed a job as a data analyst and technical writer at a home healthcare company. I’ve increased my income by over 50 percent.”
Moore isn’t the only professional witnessing such striking results after undertaking a Google Career Certificate prior to taking the plunge and making a career pivot. According to a recent survey of Google Career Certificate program completers, 75 percent reported career advancement including landing a promotion, salary increase, new job, or career switch.
This comes at a time when employers globally are turning to skills-based hiring to compensate for the labor shortage problem, diversifying their talent pool as opposed to hiring purely because a candidate graduated from an Ivy League or Russell Group school—or any college for that matter.
Will a Google Career Certificate help me get a job?
Between 2017 and 2019, employers slashed degree requirements for 46 percent of middle-skill and 31 percent of high-skill jobs, particularly within finance, business management, engineering, and health care occupations, according to a 2022 Burning Glass Institute report.
So it comes as no surprise that employers welcome candidates who have completed one of Google’s career certificates.
Goran Paun, a principal and creative director at ArtVersion, has hired candidates who have completed Google’s UX Design Course. “In my experience, completing the Google UX Design Course seems to give candidates a solid foundation in the basics of the field,” Paun says. “The course is particularly useful for individuals with prior degrees in graphic design, marketing, or communication, as it helps them adapt their existing skills to the demands of UX design.”
However, he is keen to note, “For those coming from a marketing or communication background, the course is equally beneficial. Marketing professionals are already versed in understanding consumer behavior and crafting messages that resonate with target audiences. The UX Design Course extends this understanding to the digital interface, teaching them how to create intuitive and compelling user journeys. They learn to apply their skills in audience analysis and messaging to enhance user satisfaction and engagement, ultimately driving business goals.”
What are the different Google certificates?
Google’s professional career certificates provide the ideal solution to upskilling for job-seekers, those making or considering a career transition, and those seeking to boost their knowledge and prove their market worth to enable vertical career progression. The user-friendly courses are delivered via host site Coursera, and include a range of job-ready skills courses ranging from cybersecurity, to data analytics, to project management and even IT support.
All certificate programs are 100 percent online and delivered flexibly, meaning you can study self-paced, and progress through the coursework and deadlines according to your own schedule. It even allows flexibility to adjust assignment deadlines. Many learners complete one of the courses within two to six months.
How much do Google Career Certificates cost?
At the time of writing, Google offers a seven-day free trial period for you to taste the course for yourself. After the trial is up, your will be charged $49 a month (for US and Canada residents) until you complete. However, you can apply for financial aid if you are able to prove low income. Subject to approval via Coursera, you could enrol on one of their courses for free.
Are Google Career Certificates worth it?
Some advantages of the Google Career Certificate:
- You can get college credits for completing certificates
- You obtain access to Google’s network of employers, including Google itself
- You can apply for financial aid to enrol on the program if you are experiencing personal financial difficulty
Billy Chan, a data analyst who spent a decade in journalism before switching careers and starting the website, DataAnalystGuide.com, believes that Google’s Data Analytics Professional Certificate played a pivotal role in his successful career transition.
“I completed the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate two years ago in four months. This program served as a catalyst for my successful transition from journalism to data analytics, leading me to secure a data analyst position within three months of completing the certification.”
Some disadvantages of the Google Career Certificate:
- Slight misalignment between salary expectations as advertized in the course, and real-world compensation for junior roles
- Working for Google or one of the companies in their network isn’t 100 percent guaranteed
- Lack of hands-on experience
Christian Miller is a travel website owner of Discover Italy who also undertook Google’s Data Analytics Certificate. Although Miller added the certificate to his resume and did apply for several roles—including roles at Google, he believes the program’s inability to provide practical experience resulted in him hearing nothing back from employers.
“Overall, while the program did not have a positive impact on my career,” he reflects, “I did gain valuable knowledge and skills in data analytics. I believe this certificate would be beneficial for those looking to enter the field with little to no experience, but may not hold as much weight for those already working in a related field.”
Ultimately, it is down to you as a professional to actively seek to compensate for this through volunteering, or taking on smaller projects that will put your theory to the test and demonstrate practical use of your knowledge to employers.
So, will enrolling on one of Google’s flagship certificates land you a job or advance your career?
A Google Career Certificate will help maximize your chances, signalling to employers that you are serious about your professional development, especially if you are negotiating a promotion or making a carer pivot. There has never been a better time to invest in upskilling—and there really are no excuses now because you can apply for funding if you can prove you are on low income. At the same time, it is key to be realistic with your expectations. Enrolling in one of these programs is not a magic wand. Pacing yourself all the way to graduation, seeking opportunities to practice the skills you’re learning, and continuously building on your existing skill set will ensure you gain the most benefit from this program and will set you on the trajectory for career success.