As members of the U.S. Congress continue to call on President Joe Biden to enact wide-scale loan cancellation of all private student loan debt, one U.S.-based company is rolling out a program to educate the masses who want a career in online marketing and ecommerce.
Google on Monday said it will give every U.S. business up to 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships to help train employees in the United States through any of Google’s Career Certificates -- a donation of up to $100,000.
The digital marketing and ecommerce certificates are endorsed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and the American Advertising Federation (AAF).
“All businesses in the U.S. are eligible to receive up to 500 free scholarships to access Google Career Certificates on Coursera,” said a Google spokesperson. “To get access for free, a business representative must fill in the sign-up form, and go through a verification process. License allocation is informed by the size of the business, and the number of employees.”
Google Career Certificates, which launched in 2018 -- about a year after the company introduced Grow with Google -- are available in data analytics, IT support, project management, user experience (UX) design and now, e-commerce and digital marketing.
The certificates do not require a degree or experience and can be completed within 3 to 6 months of part-time study.
When the Connected Commerce Council surveyed 2,000 U.S. small business owners and senior decision makers, it discovered that using digital tools during the COVID-19 pandemic created new business opportunities.
A Gartner survey found that 86% of those participating in the study said digital commerce will become the most important tool for marketing to consumers during the next two years, but nearly half of small businesses still lack the skills to use digital tools.
The certificate will train job seekers how to find customers online, sell products or services and conduct marketing analytics and measurement.
Those participating will get hands-on experience with digital marketing tools and platforms including Canva, Constant Contact, Hootsuite, HubSpot, MailChimp, Shopify, Twitter, Google Ads, and Google Analytics.
Upon graduation, the program offers access to an employer consortium of more than 150 companies — including Crate & Barrel, Deloitte, Infosys, Verizon, Walmart, Wayfair, and Google.
The certificate program is available on Coursera, an online school where more than 70,000 people have graduated from the program in the U.S. Internal data suggests that 75% of graduates reported a positive career impact such as a new job, higher pay or a promotion within six months of completion. Some 55% of graduates identify as Asian, Black, or Latino.
Google initially announced the fund in February 2022. Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced it at an event with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo and the CEOs of Social Finance, Merit America and Year Up.
At the time Pichai announced the donation, he said the "investment in America’s future has the potential to drive $1 billion in wage gains," calling the fund a "new kind of financing model" where the company will invest "Google capital and Google.org grants and provide our Career Certificate program."