Google has released a new professional certificate in Cybersecurity. The announcement came on May 4th, 2023 and marks the 6th topical branch in their continually expanding certificate program.

It follows five other successful entry-level certificate programs in IT Support, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing & E-commerce, Project Management and UX Design.

I made a first impressions video to accompany this article that you can find here:(more links in the summary at the bottom of the article, too)

What is "Grow with Google"?

The Grow with Google program is for people interested in "training, tools and resources to grow skills, careers, or businesses". You can find all the certificate programs and resources here.

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Screenshot of Grow with Google website

Grow with Google's mission is to enable anyone to have access to quality technology training. They've been training digital skills since 2017, and currently partner with Coursera for course delivery.

Coursera's been in the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) space since 2012, and has grown to be a leader in the online education world.

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screenshot of FAQ from Grow With Google

Though Google has released a few Advanced level courses recently (I wrote about this here) in the Data Analytics, Business Intelligence and IT Automation tracts, the new Cybersecurity certificate has been designed with beginners in mind.

There is no experience necessary to begin. The structure of the certificate program starts in a foundational introductory module, works through some technical topics like SQL, Linux, and Python, and then culminates with a module on preparing for Cybersecurity Jobs.

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Get Job Ready

This is also part of Google's Grow With Me pathways: they are partnering with businesses and universities to pair together jobs and program graduates.

The initial job platform was deprecated as of February 7th, 2023, but the new one for this year is maintained on CareerCircle.

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Screenshot of CareerCircle

This is a strong draw to participants, especially as the entry-level salaries for many of the fields approach and exceed six figures. Cybersecurity has a $100K+ amount listed in the marketing material.

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Screenshot of Cybersecurity marketing material for median entry salaries

Naturally, these amounts are easily skewed and may not be realistic depending on the applicant's background. But it's no secret that on the whole, these technical jobs do lead to higher paying salaries.

What's the Coursework Like?

I took a look through the 8 courses that make up the Cybersecurity certificate, and found it to be a similar makeup to the first Data Analytics certificate that I completed a couple years ago.

It begins with some basic overviewing of the field, and then moves into an assortment of high level concepts and technical skill building. Here is the full list:

  • Foundations of Cybersecurity
  • Play it Safe: Manage Security Risks
  • Connect and Protect: Networks and Network Security
  • Tools of the Trade: Linux and SQL
  • Assets, Threats, and Vulnerabilities
  • Sound the Alarm: Detection and Response
  • Automate Cybersecurity Tasks with Python
  • Put it to Work: Prepare for Cybersecurity Jobs

As you can see from some of the titles, Google does get a little general in their topics, which is to be expected in an introductory course.

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Screenshot of Cybersecurity Professional Certificate coursework

They have also been long-winded in the video courses in my experience, and I recommend increasing the video playback speed to 1.5x or 2.0x normal speed. I found I had little difficulty in keeping up with the presenters when I did this in other courses.

More Course Details and $$$

Coursera would like you to pay $49 a month for this certificate program, and that's perfectly reasonable. Especially since Google estimates you can complete it in 6 months by working only 7 hours a week

...and I estimate you can complete it in a max of 3 months working 7-10 hours a week. 😀

But, if you're strapped for cash, you can click into any one of the individual courses and audit the whole thing for FREE.

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Screenshot of Coursera course audit

You won't get the certificate, or access to the CareerCircle network, but if you're just leveling up your knowledge, you can do that for free.

You can also see each module's details within each of the courses. This detailed view breaks down each lesson to exactly what topics will be covered and how much time will be spent on each video, reading, or quiz.

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This is a great place to look in case you're not starting from zero and wonder if it will be repeating information you already know. I found that many of the items were very beginner-based (as they stated), especially in the Python course.

This looks to be another solid offering from Google into a field that promises to be intriguing to many people.

If you're interested in Cybersecurity and have been wondering where to start, I believe this is as good an entry point as any.

  • Check out my first impressions video here.
  • Check out the Coursera page here.
  • Check out Google's Cybersecurity program overview page here.

Have a great one!