Google has been growing a list of certifications for the past few years. And they've just added some advanced coursework to the repertoire.
In this article, I'll introduce you to the Google Certifications and detail what's new. I'll focus on the Data Analytics pathway, but will include resources to their other programs.
Here's a video walkthrough of what we'll discuss below.
Grow With Google Overview
Career Certifications from Google are a part of their "Grow with Google" initiative. A portion of their mission page is in the picture below 👇.
Grow with Google is an assortment of training and learning resources for small business owners, job seekers, veterans, educators, developers and startups to learn vital digital skills.
Part of Grow with Google are the Career Certificates pathways which offer flexible online training programs in Digital Marketing & E-commerce, IT Support, Data Analytics, Project Management, and UX Design.👇
The proposition is attractive: no experience necessary to begin the programs, learn at your own pace, have a well-regarded certification from Google at the end of it and be qualified for a new entry-level job in careers with a median salary of $72,000 across the certificate fields.
The entire certificate program is a partnership between Google, who has crafted the courses, and Coursera, which is one of the OG MOOCS that hosts the coursework.
This of course begs the question: how much does it cost? 🤔
The good news is that you can nab the knowledge for free. And if you fork over a little bit, you can have the official certificate to display proudly on that portion of your LinkedIn page rarely ever scrolled to. 😀
The Free Version:
Yes, the knowledge is free. You can audit any of these courses at Coursera for free. So, while there's not an option to audit the whole certificate, you can click into the individual courses and audit them one by one.
I've clicked into the Foundations of Data Science course and selected audit. In the screenshot below, you can see that I now have access to all the coursework.
What don't you get with the free version?
Well, you don't get that nice certificate "proving" you did the work. But if you've got the knowledge, you can muster together projects that will do a better job of proving that anyway.
And you also may not be able to turn in certain assignments for grades, depending on the course.
The Not Free Version:
Coursera costs $39 a month for any of the individual Google certificates, including the new advanced ones. And since it's at your own pace, if you work fast, you can finish in one, two, or three months instead of the projected six...saving you some $$$. 💵💰
As is now common, Coursera also offers a more expensive Plus program for $59 a month or $399 a year. This gives unlimited access to courses and could be a better deal if you plan on plowing through many courses during a year.
But, you'd have to be flying through them for this to be valuable considering you could by 10 individual courses for $390.
My opinion: if you're strapped for cash, start knocking out the free audit versions. But, it's pretty cheap to grab a certificate if that's important to you. Particularly if you work hard and fast 👉 it could cost as little as one month's $39 fee.
My Experience with the Data Analytics Cert
I took the Data Analytics Certification a while back, and can attest that it was a fantastic overview of the field. I'd been using Excel heavily before taking the course, and was familiar with programming and database concepts, so I was able to move at a brisk pace.
I spent 2-3 months working through the "6 month" course, and certainly could have gone faster. Six months is conservative, even for a novice, in my opinion.
This certificate took some flak because it used R instead of Python for the programming portion. But I thought it was well laid out and offered a good introduction to data analytics.
Would it make someone hirable?
Well, it's just one piece in that puzzle. Relying on any of these certifications alone to land a job is perhaps unwise. It will take a combination of the skills learned, the networking you're willing to do, and your continued work through projects to prove your skills and land a job.
On the whole, I recommend it, especially if you're new to Excel, SQL, or programming.
And if you're wondering, yes, I ponied up the cash and enrolled in the program. It took me a little over two months and so I paid $117 +tax.
My foray into the data analytics was one of curiosity more than anything. I was not actively seeking new employment – I simply wanted to sharpen and expand my skills. And that's exactly what piqued my interest in the new, advanced certificates that are now available.
In addition to Industry Specializations (added in October 2022), there are now three advanced certificates (as of April 2023) with more likely in the future: Advanced Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, and IT Automation with Python.
According to Google's announcement post, the Data Analytics Certificate program was the most popular professional certificate on Coursera, so it's unsurprising that this field has received the first advanced follow-up courses.
And the field is well paid, making it an attractive aspiration for career transitioners and students alike.
Of particular note, Google has wisely opted to go with Python and Jupyter Notebook (industry standard tools) as detailed in the above card for the Advanced Data Analytics Certificate.
Below, you can see similar details for the Business Intelligence Certificate which focuses more heavily on modeling, dashboards, and engaging with stakeholders via SQL, Tableau, and BigQuery.
I'm excited to try out both courses and see how deep they go after the introductory, pretty surface level course. And right now, it has that same fresh, new, adventurous feel as when a new WoW server launches 🧙♂️. Only 3 enrolled in the Data Analytics Advanced degree!😲😅
And there are only 4 in the Business Intelligence program! This is sure to change quickly, and indeed, there are a few hundred in the individual courses already. Looks like many will indeed opt to audit the courses before jumping into the paid program.
Here are the respective courses in the two new advanced certificates. I encourage you to go check them out yourselves for further details, or watch my video walkthrough, but this will give you an idea of what to expect.
Data Analytics Courses
Go here to check out the overview of each data analytics course.
Click into each course below to explore in more detail and see all the modules within each course. This program is estimated by Google to take six months to complete.
- Foundations of Data Science
- Get Started with Python
- Go Beyond the Numbers: Translate Data into Insights
- The Power of Statistics
- Regression Analysis: Simplify Complex Data Relationships
- The Nuts and Bolts of Machine Learning
- Google Advanced Data Analytics Capstone
You can see from the screenshot below the estimated hours to complete each module as well as the higher $118,000 median salary for entry-level roles:
Business Intelligence Courses
Go here to check out the overview of each business intelligence course.
Click into each course below to explore in more detail and see all the modules within each course. This shorter program is estimated by Google to take two months to complete.
- Foundations of Business Intelligence
- The Path to Insights: Data Models and Pipelines
- Decisions, Decisions: Dashboards and Reports
After the Certificate
Google has also developed an employer consortium of over 150 companies which will consider recent graduates of Google's programs for hiring. While this is certainly no guarantee of employment, if you're in the market it is a nice touch, and will be another helpful tool in your search.
I hope this has been a helpful overview for you!
I make weekly spreadsheet and coding videos on my YouTube channel. Come check it out if you find this helpful! Here's a link to my Google Sheets playlist where I walk through basic and advanced topics alike:
You can also find me on LinkedIn. Have a great one!👋