Are you a new professional looking for a job and ways to bulk up your resume? Are you a seasoned professional looking to update your skill set? Either way, you may want to check out Grow with Google, a service offering free training, tools, and expertise for career-building. It’s focused on Google’s services and products, but there are many other worthwhile sections of the site. For instance, by clicking on the Get Started link at the top of the homepage, you can discover what learning opportunities are available for veterans and military families, educators, small businesses, and job seekers and students.
Resources for Working From Home
Grow with Google’s section on remote work states, “To slow the spread of COVID-19, many employees, educators, and students are working remotely. To help, we've gathered some free tools and resources to keep you connected and productive.” Tip subsections include “Communicate effectively, from wherever you are”; “Learn to schedule, prepare for, and run a successful meeting”; and “Create, share and co-edit documents and presentations in Google Drive.” Other subsections discuss tools Google is promoting for remote work, including “Learn to use digital tools in your lesson plans” and “Keep Customers Informed Through Google My Business.”
There’s a useful page in the Google Workspace Learning Center called 10 Google Workspace Tips to Work With Remote Teams, which provides how-to guides and ideas for trying out Google products such as Chat, Meet, and Calendar to achieve your work objectives.
Resources for Job Seekers
If you’re looking for a job, you may be interested in the Google Career Certificates section. As of this writing, there is a certificate available for IT support, with future certificate rollouts planned for data analytics, project management, and UX design. For those who are interested in “uncovering trends and patterns,” the data analytics certificate just might be the one for you. If you are looking to “ensure projects within an organization are managed and completed with maximum value,” the project management credential might be worth exploring. With the certificate programs, which are delivered via Coursera, you can learn “at your own pace and time.” Currently, Coursera lists having more than half a million enrollees for the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. Five courses are required for completion:
- 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
It is free to enroll—there is a 7-day free trial, after which you will pay $49 a month. Once you create a Coursera account, you will have unlimited access to all of the courses for the certificate. According to Grow with Google, “80% of completers report a positive career impact in six months.” With that being said, the site states that a certificate can be earned in fewer than 10 hours a week for 6 months, with the caveat of time for “flexible study.” This can be costly for those who are paying for access to the content at $49 a month; others may be motivated (and have the free hours) to complete the work at a quicker pace.
Resources for Educators
Are you one of the many teachers who are developing lesson plans for students learning from home? If so, take a look at a list of products from Google for Education. Some that might catch your interest are the Assignments tool, which can be integrated with your learning management system, and Expeditions, which can be used to help teach students about history. (See an example of this on YouTube.)
Learning in Your Area
For those who are looking for opportunities to further their learning at events in their area (or virtually), the Free Training section of Grow with Google advertises “free workshops … to grow your skills, career or business.” By entering your location in the search bar, you can find a training session that’s in-person or, for now, online. I found, available as of this writing, the following opportunities:
- Work Smarter With Google’s Productivity Tools
- Connect with Customers and Manage Your Business Remotely
- Go Global with Google’s Market Finder
The workshops are listed as “Grow with Google-led” or “Partner-led.” There are both local partners (listed underneath the workshop options) and national ones.
Grow with Google’s national partners include ALA, Goodwill, the Hispanic Federation, the National Congress of American Indians, the National 4-H Council, and the National Urban League. Grow with Google notes, “Together we help create economic opportunities for everyone.” An example of success is Chelsea Rucker’s story of getting a data center technician job at Google with the assistance of Goodwill’s Digital Career Accelerator program. For organizations that decide to partner with Google, one of the benefits “is the ability to request one of our professionally-trained speakers to present at workshops that meet certain criteria.” The list of speakers and their bios is available here.