At Fortis, we are fortunate to have attracted a great team of IT support professionals.
Many of our customers aren’t big enough to justify hiring a full-time IT person. Some customers have not been able to find a hire with a wide enough range of skill sets to meet their assorted IT needs. That’s where Fortis has stepped in—as a virtual IT department with experts in many different areas of business technology.
On the other hand, companies that are large enough to staff a team of IT support professionals are faced with a scarcity of available IT talent in the employment marketplace.
In fact, Google found that there are currently 150,000 open IT support roles in the United States.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that IT support jobs will grow 57% faster than the average for all jobs between 2016 and 2026.
For these reasons, Google launched the Google IT Support Professional Certificate in early 2018. The certificate is part of the Grow With Google program.
The best thing about this certificate program is that it’s accessible to anyone from any background. No experience is necessary.
The cost is $49 per month. It takes about 8 to 12 months to complete. It’s fully online. Courses can be completed while working a full time job—as long as the student is willing to put in 8 to 10 hours per week.
The only “prerequisites” (non-official) are a love of technology and a passion for helping other people.
The certificate is offered through Coursera.
The major categories are:
- Technical Support Fundamentals
- The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking
- Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User
- System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services
- IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts
“Is the Google IT Support Professional Certificate worth it?”
A number of people have posted this question on online forums.
Here are several things to keep in mind in terms of the certificate’s value:
→ It is generally true of professional certifications that you still have to hustle to find a job. Potential employers aren’t necessarily going to come knocking at your door.
→ It’s important to think in terms of “a foot in the door.” While you might not end up in your ideal position out of the gate, getting into an area of employment will open other opportunities.
→ Your non-IT work experience work counts. If you have worked in a service business, that’s something important to include on your resume.
→ Some forum posters said they had paired the Google certificate with the CompTIA A+, Network+ and/or Security+ credentials. Several have commented that the Google Certificate course covers the important details of these in a more streamlined way.
→ Several people who already have professional IT knowledge posted that they got through the course in only two weeks. The value for them was to be able to add the Google brand to their resumes.
For anyone looking to break into the IT services profession, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate comes at a reasonable cost and time commitment.
Update: On May 2, 2022, Google announced that it would start to cover costs for up to 500 workers at any U.S. business. The grants are valued at $100,000 since people usually take up to six months to finish.