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Google Starts Certificate Program To Fill Empty IT Jobs (axios.com) 222

An anonymous reader shares a report: There are 150,000 open IT jobs in the U.S., and Google wants to make it easier to fill them. Today the company is announcing a certificate program on the Coursera platform to help give people with no prior IT experience the basic skills they need to get an entry-level IT support job in 8 to 12 months. Why it matters: Entry-level IT jobs are are typically higher-paying than similar roles in other fields. But they're harder to fill because, while IT support roles don't require a college degree, they do require prior experience. The median annual wage for a computer network support specialist was $62,670 in May 2016 The median annual wage for a computer user support specialist was $52,160 in May 2016. The impetus: Natalie Van Kleef Conley, head recruiter of Google's tech support program, was having trouble finding IT support specialists so she helped spearhead the certificate program. It's also part of Google's initiative to help Americans get skills needed to get a new job in a changing economy, the company told us.
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Google Starts Certificate Program To Fill Empty IT Jobs

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  • Those salaries for entry-level positions seem inflated. Double reality, actually. Those wages will also decrease as the supply of applicants increase.

    • by tommeke100 ( 755660 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:36AM (#55938631)
      They didn't say "entry-level" when reporting wages. Those are median wages for "computer network support specialist" and "computer user support specialist". So not "my first job on User Support" wages.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      live in the rural midwest. those are pipe dream numbers and $20-25k jobs in reality... with a 4-year degree and multiple certifications.

      • Then again, $30k/yr in much of the Midwest can get you a nice house and a somewhat decent living. $30k/yr in any west-coast metro area (Portland, Seattle, SanFran, LA) might get you a spot to pitch a tent on Skid Row.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You get a nice house, but whose paying the 15k in health insurance(family of four) for a 30k a year job?

    • I think your second point is the more important one; the first is just conjecture. For your second point, I think you are right on. If Google can succeed at this, all they will have likely done is proven the jobs weren't highly skilled in the first place. If that's the basic truth, wages will fall due to market forces.
    • Isn't that the point - no longer can companies rely on unlimited immigration so they (gasp!) train people to do them instead!

      Sure, wages will slip as the supply of workers increase, but that's possibly that wages have been rising faster than Google would like already due to various factors such as the cost of living in places where Google has brought in lots of overpaid workers already.hold.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 )

      Those wages will also decrease as the supply of applicants increase.

      Yeah, that's Google's plan. Why do you think Google and every other tech giant is pushing so hard for everyone to learn CS?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I tried to get a it job, but even being trained at college i was stuck at a supermarket job now i’m unemployed.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      All the laid off guys in my town now have jobs in the mine thanks to Trump!

  • I guarantee it's not Houston.

    Skilled workers with years of experience have trouble getting positions with those kinds of wages here, much less entry level stuff.

    • Nobody is making those salaries with an online certificate and zero experience.

      • by LifesABeach ( 234436 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @12:08PM (#55938883) Homepage
        Well, there are a couple of verifiable facts. Google does have some kind of certification program of an online nature. Axios.com is hosting a story about IT Jobs and Google. And Kim Hart got the Bi-Line for the story. It must be its first day on the job, because there is no reference to facts. So this article is Bull Shit.
    • Energy sector too a hit in H-Town. That, combined with companies wanting full enterprise support and knowledge on the cheap. Those companies can fail, and fail alone. Don't waste my time.

      • Energy sector has taken a hit repeatedly while I've lived here. What really sucks is the energy sector and HP taking a hit all at the same time - that's part of why I spent two years marginally employed. I helped to deploy the system at Shell that replaced me and HP dumped half their people at the same time, not to mention not enough time had passed since Enron. When Houston dumps techs on the market they do it all at once.

  • Ability to tell users to restart their system, reset passwords and unlock accounts, and how to delete an OST file.
  • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:49AM (#55938721)

    while IT support roles don't require a college degree, they do require prior experience.

    At one time, companies would actually do on-the-job training to fill these kinds of positions. The employee was grateful for the opportunity and would stick with the company. The company would realize the investment they had made in the employee and keep them around. After decades of down-sizing, out-sourcing and job-hopping; I guess there's not enough trust on either side for that to work now.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      For IT it really helps to have some theoretical understanding of systems, networks and basic CS stuff. It also helps to have educational networks to play on.

      From the sound of TFA they get on-the-job training after that.

    • while IT support roles don't require a college degree, they do require prior experience.

      At one time, companies would actually do on-the-job training to fill these kinds of positions. The employee was grateful for the opportunity and would stick with the company. The company would realize the investment they had made in the employee and keep them around. After decades of down-sizing, out-sourcing and job-hopping; I guess there's not enough trust on either side for that to work now.

      I'm about to go to a meeting with a company that does still offer on the job training. And they'll cover the cost any additional training you want to seek out as long as you actually receive the training off the clock.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Corporations would really prefer the gig economy, with all employees coming in pre-trained and ready to work on a specific project that already has its own end date. This eliminates the costs of benefits, taxes and other longer term liabilities.

      They already successfully socialized the costs of training. Their allies in the college administration racket helped make a worthless college degree a pre-requisite for employment while still sticking potential employees on a treadmill for equally expensive and wor

    • The training investment is sometimes impossible, especially when there is nobody available to do the training in a small shop. Also, if you invest 1,000 hours of a trainee's time plus 500 hours of an experienced person, you have effectively paid your new hire's wages for a year and likely netted about three months of useful work. If said trainee either quits or demands a 20% raise after that point, the investment has been thrown away-- they don't start to really "pay back" the training until around the en

      • In my experience, people that require on the job training are usually hired into junior roles where it works more like an apprenticeship. The apprentice works side by side with the master to learn how to do a particular task and is then expected to be able to complete that task going forward. Over time the apprentice learns more and more skills until he is able to work independently from the master. The apprentice should be doing productive work immediately even if it's relatively simple tasks.

        Whether o

  • Hire the person on a probation period and make it clear to them that they're being evaluated for attitude and talent for the job. If they don't hold up, fire them. No one is going to fault Google if they have a high turn over rate because they gave someone a year to go from just-in-the-door to fully functional junior employee and their attitude or total lack of ability made them a bad fit.

    Funny thing too. This would probably get you a hell of a lot more of those "underrepresented minorities" that Google has

  • This is why H1Bs need to be limited. Companies need workers. For medium skilled positions, companies could either import foreign labor or find a way to source that labor in the US. Make it more expensive and uncertain to import foreign labor and it begins to make financial sense for companies to train Americans for these jobs.

    It’s just too bad the government education system fails to provide Americans with these skills. People in other countries get a better return on their tax money spent on educ

  • Quick Details View (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mishra100 ( 841814 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:59AM (#55938815)

    I wish the article went into a quick view of the details. For anyone that doesn't want to look into it:

    * Expectation is that you are giving 8-10 hours a week for 8 months to achieve the certification
    * This is a subscription based service at $49/month
    * You can apply for financial aid for the courses you are taking to relieve the cost burden
    * Once you achieve the certification, then you will receive job seeking aid from Google/Coursera

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I donâ(TM)t like this for the same reason I didnâ(TM)t like the MCSE mills of a decade ago. Itâ(TM)s going to give people false expectations of a high paying job when the reality is no matter how educated or certified you are you have to learn by doing and that means working at an entry level job for a bit. Some may be promoted in 6 months others may sit at help desk for a few years but you have to gain experience and trust before you get real access and responsibility that comes with a high

  • by Provocateur ( 133110 ) <shediedNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @12:16PM (#55938943) Homepage

    Don't look in the usual places e.g. SV, SF
    Have you looked in the basement?

    Better yet, have you looked in abandoned properties, condemned buildings, former crackhouses, houses razed or burnt and slated for demolition, or even checked the basement with infrared scanners that locate heat signatures?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We looked in the basements, but the nerd hermits we found there were old and bitter. We need young and naive.

  • I would not be surprised if these programs involve micro-aggression spotting and other new age indoctrination weird stuff.
  • IT is VocTech. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @12:20PM (#55938983)

    This is on par for the course with electricians and plumbers. The problem is in the 90-00s "VocTech" became a dirty word and *everyone* had to go to college.

    This left a massive gap of people to fill that portion of industry which has been backfilled by H1Bs.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I worked in IT for a long time, then I took a year break to travel. Then I started searching for a job six months ago. Most job postings lately for non-programming/non-networking IT jobs, want a ridiculous amount of experience, something that even my 10 years of time at Amazon doing everything under the sun never got me. Then the other part is, most of these jobs are contract jobs, any directly hired by real companies are usually being filled by internal candidates. Or the jobs that are available, like

    • Just getting rid of the tax-burdens and breaks put in place specifically to encourage companies to off-shore their help would do a lot to move in that direction.

  • This is just another iteration of that. Nobody cares how many pieces of paper you have to show them all they care about is how many years of experience you have.
  • by Pezbian ( 1641885 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @01:35PM (#55939675)

    I quickly learned that any company I'd interview with that would ask "But do you have your A+ certification?" after being filled in on my formal college education and vast work experience wasn't worth working for.

    "A+ = short bus". It's the Dane Cook of certifications.

    • All certifications = short bus. People who don't have skills need certifications to pretend they do, while companies who don't know anything about their products can pitch those certifications to other companies who know even less about the actual value of certifications. There's a market for manufacturers to certify idiots in things, so we have certifications.
  • 52K is carp in the bay area that is why they can't fill the rolls.

    • Why are carp coming out of the bay?
    • Exactly. Median rent of a 1 bedroom sets you back a cool $2K a month [mercurynews.com] ($24K/year). Skim 10% off the top for state income tax ($5K) and another $6K off the top for Federal income tax/social security, around $200 month ($2.4K/year) for electricty/cell phone/internet, and you're left with around $15K.

      Start talking about a car note and you get into $1K/month territory of take-home pay -- which just isn't worth it. Google plans on actively making the problem worse [mercurynews.com] by creating thousands of jobs in San Jose with no

      • What kind of car are you buying that costs $1K/month? You can get a 2018 Camry or Corolla with no money down and $189/month, add $300/month for insurance, about $50/month for gas, another $50 for maintenance (mostly oil change every 5000 miles). My $300/month Prius came with a maintenance plan for 3 years, but then I pay $500/month for insurance because my 16-year old daughter immediately smashed up one car within days of getting her license, and the other car a month later... costing Farmer's insurance abo
        • Auto insurance is $300/mo in CA? In Virginia, I'm paying $50/mo with State Farm. Of course I'm 43, so I'm well above the 'risky, young-dumb-and-full-of-cum' age where you get clobbered paying sky-high premiums.
    • that was basically starting wage 20 years ago and inflation doubles costs every 20 years
  • After Google's anti-skill-social-justice bullshit in their own company I'll be sure to assume anyone with a Google certification doesn't know shit about the job and toss the resume as soon as seeing it. Even if they do well initially, there is no benefit to letting Google get a serious foothold in the IT industry's HR, they'll at best pull a bait-and-switch when they realize they have enough sway to control the industry and get a bug up their collective asses thinking there are too many white males.
  • Because it's obviously much more cost-effective to hire people in the U.S. to do tech support than it is to hire people in India with college degrees willing to work for one fourth the salary!
    • Well, if you want to maintain an ecosphere of tech-savvy people, whose existence demystifies tech, you do it locally.
  • I fear this type of certificate program will have the same results as many of the MCSE ones did: Over-saturation of people with the paper skills, but lacking in actual, hands-on experience coupled with the employers only offering minimum wage for those people.

    After all, they'll be a dime a dozen. "If you don't take the minimum wage job, there'll be a hundred other who are desperate to pay off their student loans and put ramen on the table."

    All in all, the first wave may be good, but them, it'll be just anot

  • Is Google leading in any tech that's administered by a traditional IT department? Why would having a Google certificate be indicative of any knowledge? Are they supposed to be authoritative in certifying qualifications of people in other vendors' tech?
  • Free for 7 days and $60/mth there after. I'm failing to see the free side of this. I curiously went to the site .
  • Google is charging money for the courses while sitting on a huge fortune of cash? If they are serious about helping people, why not make the courses free (as in beer)?

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington