Skip Navigation

Google to offer technology-focused courses, certificates at no cost to Millersville University students

  • By Ashley Stalnecker/LNP | LancasterOnline
Governor Shapiro Announces New Partnership with Google, PASSHE to Train and Expand Commonwealth's Workforce for High-Growth Jobs

 Commonwealth Media Services

Governor Shapiro Announces New Partnership with Google, PASSHE to Train and Expand Commonwealth's Workforce for High-Growth Jobs

This story is published in partnership with our sister newsroom LNP | LancasterOnline. For more coverage, click here.

Six Millersville University students have already signed up to earn technology-focused certificates at no cost to them through a new partnership between Google and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

The new initiative — which will train Pennsylvanians who attend eight of the system’s universities for in-demand fields like cybersecurity and data analytics — was announced Tuesday at Millersville University by Gov. Josh Shapiro and other leaders across the commonwealth.

Victor DeSantis, Millersville vice president for university affairs, said the partnership will allow students in any discipline to complete Google Career Certificate courses as standalone classes or as a part of university classes at no cost to the students for at least two years.

After two years, he said, organizers have not determined whether the courses will continue to be offered to MU students at no cost or whether there will be a fee.

Once a student completes the necessary coursework, they will be issued an industry-recognized certificate in subjects like cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing and e-commerce, business intelligence, IT support, project management or user experience design.

“Today’s announcement underscores the new and innovative ways that state system universities are evolving to provide students with even more value for their college education and also demonstrates our commitment to workforce development and helping them get the education to thrive in the jobs in Pennsylvania,” said Michael Warfel, chairman of the university’s council of trustees.

Before the partnership existed, Emily Dunn, a Millersville alumna, earned a data analytics certificate from Google after graduating with a degree in statistics.

“My degree in statistics is a great foundation to what I wanted to do, but many of the job listings in data analytics required experience in programming tools like SQL, Python and R,” Dunn said. SQL, Python and R are programming languages used for software.

Dunn said she found the Google Career Certificate course in data analytics gave her needed flexibility to complete it while working a full-time job. Because the courses are online and self-paced, it can take a student between three and six months to complete.

Before she finished the course, Dunn said she was securing more and more interviews with potential employers inquiring about her programming experience.

“I quickly was able to land my dream job as a digital product analyst where I have a more flexible schedule, which includes work from home part of the week, and my salary increase where I’m actually truly starting to save for a home,” Dunn said.

In addition to the certification offered by Google, the program offers access to an employer network of over 150 companies, including Pennsylvania-based companies such as the Philadelphia-based software producer SAP and Google’s Pittsburgh headquarters.

Mark Isakowitz, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, said over 200,000 people have graduated from the Google Career Certificate program in the U.S., and 75% of them report a positive career impact, such as a new job, higher pay or a promotion within six months of completion.

“The Google Career Certificate changed my life,” Dunn said.

According to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, 60% of jobs in Pennsylvania require some higher education after high school, but only 51% of the workforce has it. Nationally, Google alone has over 2.4 million entry-level openings with a median salary of $76,000 per year, Isakowitz said.

Pennsylvania residents who are not enrolled at a state-owned university can also access the certificates through nonprofit organizations throughout the state, including the YWCA, Family Promise and Raices Cyber Org.

Aside from Millersville, Commonwealth, East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, PennWest, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock universities are participating in the program.

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Regional & State News

Mount Jewett to Kinzua Bridge Trail named Pennsylvania’s 2023 Trail of the Year