Our IT Support Certificate comes to 100 community colleges

For Melinda Williams, a cosmetology teacher and salon owner in Ohio, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate has been the first step on the path to a new career. Launched in January 2018 as part of our Grow with Google initiative to create economic opportunity for all, the program has helped more than 85,000 people prepare for entry-level jobs in IT support with no experience or college degree necessary. Melinda always loved computers, so she enrolled in the program through North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio. She completed the program in just five months, and now she’s ready to see where her newfound skills will take her. “I believe it’s never too late to go in a new direction,” she says.

Melinda is one of many people who have earned a certificate through one of the 30 community colleges where the program is offered today. As the demand for qualified job candidates increases, we’re excited to announce that JFF, with support from Google.org, is expanding the program to 100 U.S. community colleges by the end of 2020. With more than 5.7 million students enrolled in U.S. community colleges, these schools play a vital role in creating economic opportunities.

We’re also making it simpler for colleges to grant credits to people who earn the certificate. The program recently secured a credit recommendation from the American Council on Education’s ACE CREDIT®, which is the industry standard for translating workplace learning to college credit. Now those who complete the program can earn a recommended 12 college credits—the equivalent of four college courses at the associate degree level. 

As we prepare for the future, we’re also looking back at the program’s first year through our inaugural Google IT Support Professional Certificate Impact Report. We’ve learned that the program makes a noticeable impact on careers–84 percent of people reported a career impact within six months, like getting a raise, finding a new job or starting a new business. The program also successfully reaches underrepresented people–60 percent of participants identify as female, Black, Latino or veteran. Reaching underserved populations was an important goal for us, so we’re excited about that progress. And on average, people earn their certificates in under six months, which breaks down to about five hours of coursework per week. Read the full report to learn more.

With support from Google and grants from Google.org, community colleges are helping people like Melinda build careers they’re passionate about. Representatives from community colleges who are interested in the IT Support Professional Certificate can visit grow.google/communitycolleges to learn more.