At the beginning of this year, the alliance between Google and Coursera, the world leader in MOOCs, gave birth to a diploma course in the IT sector. Google is once again making its mark on the professional training market.
What exactly are MOOCS?
The MOOC (“Massive Open Online Course”) is a new tool for professional training. This “made in the USA” tool was initially intended to provide students, and anyone else who wanted it, with free online training, available all over the world. Ideal for training, deepening a field of knowledge, or for reorientation, the MOOC is based on an Internet platform. When you log on, you will find written courses, videos and PowerPoint presentations, as well as interactive exercises and discussion forums. These online course platforms are now free to learn and paid to train. MOOCS are attracting a growing number of adults who are looking to complete their education. Many of these online platforms have therefore evolved towards “freemium” models, which allow the most assiduous users to obtain a certificate of achievement. In fact, most of those who enroll in this virtual training do not complete the course, either because of a lack of perseverance or because the initial objective was to select only certain content. Companies are becoming more and more adept at using MOOCS as a complement to traditional continuing education, especially in the digital field. “Initially designed for universities, we see that Moocs are migrating to companies, because they have the money. In France, there are a lot of resources for professional training and the organizations that manage the funds are very interested in these programs,” explains Rémi Bachelet, a teacher-researcher at the École Centrale de Lille, creator and facilitator of the Project Management Mooc.
For several years now, the web giant has launched itself on the Moocs market in partnership with Coursera and Udacity, two leading companies in the sector. Google offers training for employees in areas not covered by universities. The latest is the “IT MOOC”, a training course on the new IT support professions, developed with Coursera.
This MOOC is aimed at all students or employees who would like to broaden their IT support skills” We are responding to a growing need in developed countries where jobs are changing fast and employees’ skills need to evolve as well” explains Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. “All companies realize that their own model is changing. They need data analysts, financial engineers, big data specialists and most of their managers are not trained for that. That’s where we come in. The IT MOOC is available for $49 a month in English only. Google staff say the course will eventually be subtitled in several languages.
To all Americans tempted by IT: hurry up!
The MOOC, known in the United States as “the Google IT Support Professional Certificate”, takes place over a period of 8 to 12 months and is divided into 6 chapters. Trained for one to two hours a day, the trainee receives the certificate attesting to his or her skills on the condition that he or she passes a series of exams. The training is both theoretical and practical, as the MOOC includes role-playing exercises: the MOOC student must solve problems that could arise in a company. Google is particularly well placed to provide this kind of training since it is itself confronted with these recruitment issues. The company is therefore very well suited to the requirements of other employers in the field of new technologies. Natalie Van Kleef Conley, senior manager at Google explains that the initiative was taken internally as Google needed to fill a gap in IT staff. The web giant then realised that other companies had similar IT needs.
Google has also promised to connect its graduates with a pool of companies where they could be hired. Some of the companies looking to recruit in IT include Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GE Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems, UPMC, and of course Google.
Clément Meslin, co-founder of MyMooc, qualifies: “Open Class Room goes much further for its own Moocs dedicated to IT. In partnership with Pôle Emploi, they offer to reimburse learners who do not find a stable job after 6 months.
Google offers the training fees to the first 10,000 American candidates registered on its IT Mooc. A way for the company to test the attractiveness of this new program. This strategy could also encourage the creation of new programs in other technology sectors that are in short supply.