Google replaces 4-year technical college degree with 6 month certificate

Google recently made a brilliant move by announcing that they are launching their own 6-month technical certificates which would be equivalent to a 4-year college degree program. The program is called ‘Google Career Certificates’, and intends to replace 4-year technical college degrees with 6 month certificate. It means one can be job-ready by just going for this 6-month long certification and spending $49 per month (or $300 approx.). These certifications will be highly job-oriented, and would cover high-paying, high-growth job fields like ‘Data Analyst’, ‘Project Manager’, and ‘UX Designer’. The move comes in light during the on-going pandemic where universities/colleges world-over are conducting their classes online, and the charm of college-life has drastically diminished.


Things that will be looked into in this article:


What are Google Career Certificates?

Google is calling these set of professional certificates as ‘Google Career Certificates’, and intent to replace traditional 4-year technical college degrees. As per Google a student enrolling in these courses would learn job-ready skills to start or advance a career in high-demand fields. These certificates are developed by Google and connect an individual to top national employers who are hiring for related roles. The courses are currently available in the US and would run for approx. six months, costing $49 per month, unlike a college degree which spans 3 to 4 years and costs a lot more. Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs at Google has tweeted that,

“Today @google is rolling out a comprehensive new digital jobs program to help Americans get back to work, break down education barriers by prioritizing skills, and support the country’s economic recovery.”

Kent Walker’s tweet on Google Career Certificates

Kent Walker further tweeted that,

“A new suite of Google Career Certificates will help Americans get qualifications in high-paying, high-growth job fields– no college degree required. In our own hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles.”

Kent Walker’s tweet on Google pledging $10 M in google.org for digital jobs & training


What Courses will be offered under the Google Career Certificates?

Google mentioned the courses it will be offering on its website along with the median salaries. They are:


Median Salary (in USD)

Data Analyst


Project Manager


UX Designer



Google also laid down what they will be offering in each of these courses.


Data Analyst



Data analysts make use of data to help inform important business decisions. They prepare, process, and analyse data for key insights, share their findings with stakeholders, and provide data-driven recommendations for effective action.

This certificate helps learners develop confidence navigating the data life-cycle using tools and platforms to process, analyse, visualize and gain insights from data.


Project Manager



Project managers are responsible for planning and overseeing projects to ensure they are completed efficiently with maximum quality and value added to the business.

This certificate focuses on the foundations of traditional project management, while also offering insight into agile project management.


UX Designer



User experience (UX) designers make technology easier and more enjoyable to use. They create or refine products and interfaces to make them useful, usable, and accessible to users.

This certificate teaches learners the foundations of UX design and research, building low-fidelity designs and wire-frames, creating high-fidelity prototypes, and testing.


What are some of the salient features of these courses?

Some of the salient features of these courses are as follows:

  • Complete in about 6 months – While a traditional college technical degree spans for 4 years, these courses will be packed into 6 months.
  • No previous experience required – Google has claimed that these courses would not require in previous working experience or academic credits, unlike many other professional certification courses.
  • Entirely developed by Google – The course will be entirely developed by Google. So one can expect that the quality of the course materials as well as pedagogy will be top-notch, and of course industry ready.
  • Grants and scholarships available – Although the courses will be priced quite economically (around $300), Google has still pledged 100,000 need-based scholarships. So, if you are deserving, you will get a fare shot at completing the course at a reduced cost.
  • Hosted on Coursera – Google has partnered with the Coursera, one the largest online coaching platforms, for smooth delivery of the courses.


Why should one go for the Google Career Certificates?

The benefits and positives of these certificates are many, but Google in its official statement listed down a few of them. They are:

  • A pathway to jobs: A certificate completer can directly connect with a group of top employers. Google has already created a consortium of about 50 top-notch companies who can tap into graduates of Google’s certificate program, inviting them to share their information directly with said employers.
  • Become job-ready for in-demand, high-paying roles: The courses will be highly application-oriented and would make the students qualify for jobs across fields with median average annual salaries of over $50,000.
  • Earn a certificate that helps you stand out:On successful completion of the course, one would earn the Google Career Certificate which can be shared on LinkedIn profile and on printed resumes, CVs and other documents, which would help students stand out to employers.
  • Gain access to career resources: Google will also be providing some additional resources which would help students beyond the course. Learners will have access to resources to facilitate their job search and interview preparation.


Some of the top companies hiring from Google Career Certificates

Google has created a consortium of 50 firms who can get in touch with the graduates of Google Career Certificates directly. Although the full list of these 50 companies is not known, we somehow managed to get the names of a few of them. They are:

  • Cognizant
  • GE Digital
  • Hulu
  • Infosys
  • Intel
  • KForce
  • MCPc
  • PNC Bank
  • Sprint
  • TEKSystems
  • Veterans United Home Loans
  • Walmart
  • Google
  • Bank of America
  • Best Buy
  • H&R Block
  • Sam’s Club

Other top firms like Apple Inc., and IBM who have already done away with the requirement for four-year degrees in many of their job descriptions, may join the list in future. Even big traditional consulting firms in the UK, like EY and Penguin Random House have also done the same for some of its positions.


Other online certificate courses offered by Google

Apart from the above-mentioned upcoming Google Career Certificate courses, Google also provides two job-oriented professional IT support certificates. These courses have been pretty successful, and a lot of the students have ended up with dream jobs after the completion of the courses. These two professional certificates are:

Google IT Support Professional Certificate

Overview: This professional certificate introduces learners to troubleshooting, networking, customer service, operating systems, system administration and security. This certificate is for beginners. No prior experience is required to get enrolled in this course.

Available Jobs: This certificate prepares a student for an entry-level role as an IT Support Specialist, at a small company or a large enterprise organization. IT specialists solve technical problems at organizations of all sizes.

Skills one will learn:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Network protocols
  • Customer service
  • Cloud computing
  • Linux command line
  • Windows operating system
  • Systems administration and security
  • Encryption algorithms and techniques

Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate

Overview: This professional certificate builds on your IT foundations to help you take your career to the next level. It teaches in-demand skills such as Python (one the most widely used programming language), Git and IT automation. It also includes a capstone project, where you’ll use your new knowledge to solve a real-world IT problem. These capstone-projects act as a type of industry-experience and make you stand out of the crowd.

Available Jobs: The Certificate is designed to prepare a student for a variety of roles in IT, like more advanced IT Support Specialist or Junior Systems Administrator positions. One can explore software developer roles as well, if they focus on their Python coding skills.

Prerequisites: As this an advanced level program, learners should be familiar with basic IT concepts, such as operating systems, files and processes, networking and data management. Although no previous knowledge of coding is required. For learners with no IT background at all, Google strongly recommends taking the Google IT Support Professional Certificate first.

Skills one will learn:

  • Python Programming
  • Fundamental Programming Concepts
  • Basic Python Syntax and Data Structures
  • Testing in Python
  • Automation using Python
  • Troubleshooting & Debugging
  • Using Version Control
  • Configuration Management
  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
  • Setting Up Your Developer Environment
  • Regular Expression (REGEX)



These new courses from Google which intents to replace 4-year technical degrees with 6 month certificates, will probably lead to a tectonic shift in the way top IT companies hire. It might make traditional college degrees obsolete in the future. As of now these courses are targeted towards students in the US. Google has clearly said that these courses were created keeping in mind the young people living in America and they intent to bridge the unemployment gap in the US, which has widened due to the ongoing Corona-virus pandemic. We just hope these courses are made available in other countries as well. Programs such as Google Career Certificates, which are job-oriented will bridge the gap between industry demand and supply of skilled workforce in growing economies like India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil etc. Although there are a lot of regulatory roadblocks in countries like India where the 4-year degree equivalence is something which has to be thoroughly discussed with the Ministry of Education, and other regulatory authorities, the Indian market is a huge reservoir which Google acknowledges and would not want to miss.


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