We have all heard the saying “Google is your friend.” Well, now Google wants to be “friends with benefits” by offering employees in U.S. businesses up to $100,000 USD worth of free career training.
Effective May 2, 2022 until December 24, 2024, businesses in the U.S. can apply for up to 500 scholarships for Google Career Certificates, which provide training in five areas:
- Google Data Analytics Certificate: This covers collecting, organizing, and analyzing data, in order to help draw new insights and guide important business decisions.
- Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Certificate: This covers attracting and engaging customers online, growing customer loyalty, and building successful e-commerce stores.
- Google IT Support Certificates: This covers building a strong IT support team, which keeps a company collaborating and running.
- Google Project Management Certificate: This covers how to start, plan, and execute a project using traditional and agile project management approaches.
- Google UX Design Certificate: This covers UX design foundations, how to conduct user research, and design prototypes in tools like Figma and Adobe XD.
Each self-paced certification course is designed and taught by Google employees and delivered through the e-learning platform Coursera. Normally, the courses cost about $40 per month and take around 3-6 months to complete. However, Google is now covering the bill for up to 500 courses per business (the same employee can take multiple courses).
Businesses in the U.S. that want to take advantage of the free training offer simply need to visit the Grow with Google website and click the “Get Started” button. From there, the business owner (or “an employee with authority to make decisions regarding supplementary learning for employees in the organization”) fills out a short application form.
And what about businesses outside of the U.S.? Well, at least for the time being, they are not eligible for the free training offer. Google has not disclosed the reason for this. Hopefully this will change, as Google Career Certificate courses are generally well-respected worldwide. According to Google, 82% of certificate graduates reported that they experienced positive career development within six months of completing their program.
The Top IT Certificates in 2022
If you aren’t interested in Google Career Certificate courses (or you’re outside the U.S. and your employer cannot apply for scholarships at this time), then what other certification options might interest you? According to PCMag.com, here are the highest-paying IT certifications in 2022:
- Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer; average salary: $171,749 (all figures USD) per year.
- Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect; average salary: $169,029 per year.
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate; average salary: $159,033 per year.
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC); average salary: $151,995 per year.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); average salary: $151,853 per year.
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM); average salary: $149,246 per year.
- Project Management Professional (PMP); average salary: $148,906 per year.
- Nutanix Certified Professional - Multicloud Infrastructure (NCP-MCI); average salary: $142,810 per year.
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA); average salary: $134,460 per year.
- VCP-DCV: VMware Certified Professional - Data Center Virtualization; average salary: $132,947 per year.
Top IT Certifications for New IT Professionals
All of the certifications listed above require several years of in-depth experience. But what if you’re starting your career in tech? Here are 10 respected, in-demand entry-level IT certifications (note that most of these certification options require experience in a professional environment, but it is typically less than a year):
- Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP). This certification validates abilities as a help desk professional, technical coordinator, or technical support professional for Mac users.
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. This certification covers the fundamentals of IT services, and how they are used in the AWS cloud platform.
- Certified Network Associate (CCNA). This certification validates skills and knowledge with network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability.
- Cisco Certified Technician (CCT). This certification verifies the ability to diagnose, restore, repair, and replace critical Cisco networking and system devices at customer sites. There are two CCT paths: data center, and routing and switching.
- CompTIA A+. This certification validates the ability to troubleshoot and solve problems with networking, operating systems, mobile devices, and security.
- CompTIA IT Fundamentals+. This certification validates foundational knowledge in IT, and covers essential IT skills and knowledge such as the functions and features of common operating systems, establishing network connectivity, security best practices, and how to identify common software applications.
- CompTIA Network+. This certification validates networking concepts, troubleshooting, operations, tools, and security, as well as IT infrastructure.
- CompTIA Security+. This certification validates professional-level knowledge of threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities; risk management; architecture and design; technology and tools; cryptography and PKI; and identity and access management.
- ITIL 4 Foundation. This certification validates a fundamental understanding of IT service management and best practices for creating, delivering, and improving tech-enabled products and services.
What IT Certifications Are On Your List in 2022?
Do you plan on obtaining any IT certifications this year? If so, let us know what your learning plan looks like. Please also share any other advice or insights you have about IT certifications. Do you think that some employers put too much faith in them, and overlook real-world experience? Do you think a certain certification should be mandatory for a particular role? Do you think that some certification exams are more robust and credible than others? Tell us what you think!