What Are Google Certifications?
Google has created several training programs that teach students the skills to obtain jobs in several in-demand fields.
Current certifications are available in the following areas:
Digital Marketing and E-commerce
The programs each contain several courses and each entire program can be completed in three to six months, even while still employed.
There has been a lot of positive press about these certifications, and the idea that they can be an alternative to companies requiring a college degree. Google claims they have partnered with a large number of companies, and Google provides job hunt assistance after you finish a program.
With the high and growing cost of college, anything that provides a reasonable alternative is a positive. In fact, I imagine that after a student finishes a program and starts working they then might decide to attend a traditional college part time, and use their earnings and possibly their employers tuition assistance to fund their continuing education.
Very Reasonable Cost
Google makes the courses available through Coursera. Coursera is an online platform that allows you to take courses for a monthly fee of $49 as of this writing. This means if the certification takes six months your tuition is still about $300. My experience so far is that many people will be able to finish in about three months, unless your time is very limited.
Digital Marketing Certification
Recently I started the Digital Marketing Certification. My reasoning was that although I have lots of experience with the technical side of Digital Marketing, I have less from the marketing perspective. My impressions so far have been very positive.
There are seven courses in the certification. As I am writing this I am in the third course. The lessons are not difficult. I believe anyone with average intelligence would have no problem with the program as long as they kept up with it. I am spending one to two hours a day on average and seem to be having no problem keeping ahead of schedule.
So What’s Included in the Courses?
The classes are a combination of the following:
Videos – These are about 5 minutes in length and focus on a particular topic
Readings – These are estimated to be 10 – 20 minutes and reinforce and expand on the topics in the videos.
Activities – These are usually analysis of real world scenarios, with your thoughts recorded on provided spreadsheet templates. I’ve noticed in the later courses the activities are a little more geared towards giving you practice in areas you will encounter while working. For example in the Email Marketing section you build actual Emails and campaigns using some of the more popular industry tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot or Constant Contact.
Quizzes – These are usually short multiple choice quizzes. They are not difficult if you have been paying attention. The quiz at the end of each section is a little longer. You can retake the quizzes if you need to.
I found no serious negatives so far. I did see some possible issues with some peer graded activities. This isn’t a bad idea in principle but does open the possibility that some idiot will start posting unwarranted negative feedback. But this is a very minor complaint.
Good Impression So Far
So far my impressions of the programs have been very positive. I even did a little research to check the job boards to see if Digital Marketing is in demand. I found quite a few opportunities, and even some entry level positions. While my focus is primarily for my own business, it is good to see that real opportunities are out there, just as Google claims.
I’ll provide an update after I am further along in the program.