Google Opens Up Its Tech Training Program to All, Giving You a Reason to Learn New Skills

Google is offering 10,000 Americans access to subsidized online courses with the hope of recruiting some of the students.

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By Lydia Belanger

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If you want to work at Google someday but aren't sure you have the resume for it, the company wants to train you. To help prospective employees bridge skills gaps, the tech giant is partnering with online course provider Coursera to offer access to its IT training program, previously only open to existing Googlers.

It may seem counterintuitive for Google to invest in the education of people who don't and may never work for the company. It could even bolster the skills of individuals who work for competitors, you might imagine. But of the 10,000 U.S. residents who receive scholarships from Google to complete the certificate, Google is betting that it will be able to hire some of them down the road.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the company's decision on Twitter earlier this week.

Training offerings are becoming a trendy recruiting tactic among companies, representatives from Coursera told Quartz, in a world where skills become outdated quickly and many employers don't foster internal learning opportunities. Google's IT Support Professional Certificate program is the first to offer subsidized external training.

Related: Here's How This Company Is Adding Robots But Also Keeping Its Workers

The program will involve 64 hours of video lessons as well as labs and evaluations, and it will teach IT basics such as troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, automation and security. It will take about eight months to complete if a student spends eight to 10 hours a week on the program, though students can work at their own pace, according to Coursera.

Those interested in financial aid can apply by Feb. 20, while others may be selected by participating nonprofits. You don't need an IT background or a four-year college degree to qualify. For those who don't get a free ride, the full cost of the program is $49 a month.

Lydia Belanger
Lydia Belanger is a former associate editor at Entrepreneur. Follow her on Twitter: @LydiaBelanger.

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