Northeastern University and Grow with Google announced on Tuesday that people who complete Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate can now receive credit toward a bachelor’s degree in information technology. The new pathway is designed to help professionals gain the skills necessary to meet the increasing demand for qualified workers in the fields of information technology and computer science.
“The Google IT Support Professional Certificate provides a low-risk, low-cost way for people to gain the skills they need to get a well-paying entry-level job in the IT support field, where there are tens of thousands of unfilled jobs nationwide,” said Kemi Jona, associate dean for digital innovation and enterprise learning in Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. “By recognizing the Google certificate for credit towards our Bachelor of Science in information technology degree, we help people get the degree they need to move beyond that entry-level job and advance their IT career into more senior, higher-paying positions.”
Northeastern is the first university to give learners an opportunity to parlay the Google-backed certificate, which prepares them for entry-level jobs in information technology in around eight months, into credit toward Northeastern’s Bachelor of Science in information technology, which is designed to catapult students beyond entry-level IT jobs and into higher-paying positions in the technology field.
The Google courses are open to anyone. People who successfully complete the certificate program and are accepted to Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies can be awarded up to 12 credits toward a Bachelor of Science in information technology, shortening their time to a degree and saving them more than $6,000 in tuition.
The IT Support Professional Certificate is a first-of-its kind program with highly interactive content, developed by Google, that provides a direct route for those who successfully complete the program to get their information into the hands of employers. As the majority of IT support positions do not require a college degree but do require prior experience, this certificate is designed to give learners the training and experience they need to get a job in this growing field. With 150,000 IT job openings available across the United States, this program will provide an almost immediate benefit for companies seeking to fill these positions.
Learners who complete the certificate program will have the opportunity to share their resumé directly with more than 20 top employers who have cosigned the Google certificate and are looking to hire IT Support talent. The group of employers includes Cognizant, Bank of America, GE Digital, Hulu, Infosys, Intel, Kforce, MCPc, PNC Bank, RICOH USA, Sprint, TEKSystems, UPMC, Veterans United Home Loans, and 10 members of the Walmart family: Sam’s Club, Shoes.com, Jet, Allswell, Bonobos, Hayneedle, Modcloth, Moosejaw, Store No. 8, Vudu and, of course, Google.
“Since launching the IT Support Professional Certificate in January, tens of thousands of learners have embraced the opportunity to kickstart new careers in tech support,” said Natalie Van Kleef Conley, program manager for Grow with Google. “We are honored that Northeastern will now include Google-designed curriculum toward their bachelor’s in IT.”
The partnership is part of Northeastern’s commitment to provide opportunities for the kind of lifelong learning that rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning will require. As more and more jobs become automated, professionals will need new skills to claim new jobs—a fact of the 21st century workplace that Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun details in his book, Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.
Northeastern’s ALIGN program, which offers a master’s degree in computer science for non-computer science majors, is another example of the university’s commitment to helping adult learners expand their skill sets and to making information technology and computer science careers accessible to diverse populations of learners.
Learners who earn the Bachelor of Science in information technology can apply the Double Husky scholarship, which provides a 25 percent tuition discount, toward any master’s degree program in business, innovation, and technical fields, including many that are available fully online.
As a special benefit for those who complete the Google certificate and already have a bachelor’s degree, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business will waive the application fees and will provide an expedited admissions decision within two weeks of submission of an application.
“Thanks to this initiative with Google, you don’t have to choose between getting a college degree or advancing your career; you can do both at the same time,” Jona said. “Together with Google, we want to help thousands of people get started on a great career in IT while finishing their bachelor’s degree—often with tuition benefits provided by their employer.”
The IT Support Professional Certificate is a key program in Grow with Google, the tech company’s 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 digital skills and to find success in today’s digital economy.