Up-skilling for IT Support: A Review of Google’s Career Certificate Program

Back in mid 2020 when we where at the peak moment where the pandemic hit the world like no one was ever expecting Google introduced their Google Career Certificates program, this program was designed to up skill individuals with no prior experience in several fields such as IT Support, Data Analytics, Project Management, UX Design and Android Development at a point where a large number of folks where out of a job and looking for alternatives to find a job in a new field in order to support their families.

The proposition was quite simple create programs that instead of taking you years to complete in a traditional college or university setting would only take you a couple of months, using Coursera’s proven platform that has been adopted widely by many educative institutions and others across the years since it’s introduction 2012. I myself have completed a few courses within Coursera on Gamification from Wharton’s University of Pennsylvania and Game Design and Development with Unity from the Michigan State University, both programs that I quite enjoyed and had fun with going thru as short weekend projects in the mid 2010’s.

Since one of my personal 2022 new year resolutions was getting into back into blogging and continuous learning I decided to give Google’s IT Support program a try, Coursera offered a free week and then the following month’s the cost was only $39 USD, however considering I’ve spent more than 15 years of my formal career teaching IT support it would probably only take me a fraction of the time to complete in fact it only took me about 1 month approximately to go thru the materials and labs, but I can definitely see a new comer to this world taking significantly more time upwards of 5 to 7 months approximately.

First of all the curriculum makes no assumption it considers you are an individual looking to make a career change and start in the wonderful world of IT particularly that of IT support at a help desk, performing a wide array of tasks, but we will get into those tasks later.

The overall program is split into 5 courses that 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

Each of the courses spans about 6 weeks, where you will be presented with training videos, supplemental reading, interactive activities, group discussions with other Coursera students, knowledge quizzes and even real remote access labs powered by Qwiklabs, where you get to access both Windows and Linux virtual machines to perform different labs ranging from creating a folder, passing thru partitioning a hardware all the way thru troubleshooting and diagnosing your operating system for diverse issues, it was really fun going thru those.

In my honest opinion the work put together here by Google is A+ in fact so A+ that following up this with a CompTIA A+ for any learner should not be too difficult if they put the time in and study for the certification objectives.

From the complete curricula my favorite course was the one titled IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts, one of my personal career goals is to get deeper into the security side of things and hopefully later this year attempt to take the CompTIA Security+ exam and eventually a CompTIA PenTest+ certification, but more on that at a later date.

This course is a must for anyone looking to get started into IT in my opinion, or even if you are already in IT in your first role as a help desk support agent it would be a nice one to go thru to brush up on some topics such as Operating Systems support not only focusing on plain old Windows but also on Linux from the CLI as well as Cyber Security. If hypothetically I was hiring for a help desk position today and I see a resume come thru for a candidate who has gone thru this program I would certainly want to interview them.

One last cool piece of info is that once you complete the course you can request a certificate from Coursera to add to your Resume if you want but you also get for the completion a Credly badge describing the content you went thru and your completion date.


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