Lakeland News Posting

Google Brings IT Support Professional Certificate to Lakeland

Posted: July 25, 2018

Grow with Google, Google's Initiative to Create Economic Opportunities for Americans, Supporting JFF, a Workforce Development Leader, to Integrate Program into CCs

Virtual Open House Slated for Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.

Lakeland is one of 25 community colleges throughout seven states (CA, IL, MI, NY, OH, TX and WI) that will offer the Grow with Google "IT Support Professional Certificate." Funding for the workforce development initiative is made through via JFF, a nonprofit that works with colleges to develop a vibrant workforce for the future. The program will be available beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

"Google is committed to training the workforce of today and tomorrow, and we are thrilled to team up with community colleges to help graduates jump-start a new career in IT Support," said Jesse Haines, Director of Grow with Google. "Community colleges play an important role in helping Americans get ahead, and they will be strong partners in Grow with Google's mission to create more economic opportunities for Americans."

Lakeland will integrate the Google certificate into two of the existing Associate of Applied Business degree programs in Information Technology and Computer Science (IT&CS) as well as certificate programs. A virtual open house to learn more about how to get started in the program is slated for Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. A recording of the virtual open house will be available on Lakeland's IT&CS website shortly thereafter.

"The added Google credential will give our IT&CS students an edge to stand out to employers," said Lakeland Professor Sue Baker, who also serves as the IT&CS department chair. "IT employers recognize the Google name so we know that this will be an added benefit to our students."

Lakeland students will access the "Google IT Support Professional Certificate" course through the Coursera learning platform.

"The courses will enhance our students' learning alongside Lakeland's existing IT&CS courses and program," said Baker. "The great thing is that it is self-paced which gives our students the flexibility they need, especially when juggling other coursework along with their family and work commitments."

With over 150,000 open positions, IT support is one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S. While there is demand for specialists, employers are often challenged to find trained talent, as the majority of IT support positions do not require a college degree but do require prior experience. Through lots of hands-on assessments that allow learners to troubleshoot as if they were on the job, this certificate is designed to give learners the training and experience they need to get a job in tech support. The median annual wage for computer user support specialists was $52,810 (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer Support Specialists, on the internet at (visited June 23, 2018).

Learners who complete the certificate program will be able to share their information directly with more than 20 top employers who are looking to hire IT support talent. The first group of employers includes Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GEDigital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems, UPMC and Google itself. An additional 14 new companies have been added to the list and includes Hulu, MCPc, Cognizant, RICOHUSA and 10 members of the Walmart family including Sam's Club,, Jet, Allswell, Bonobos, Hayneedle, Modcloth, Moosejaw, Store No 8 and Vudu.

"JFF is excited to join forces with Google to lead the implementation of the 'Google IT Support Professional Certificate' in over 25 leading community colleges across the country," said Maria Flynn, president and CEO, JFF. "This collaboration is an opportunity for JFF to leverage its extensive expertise in working with community colleges to support Google's innovative new IT credential that offers a pathway for students into self-sustaining IT jobs."

The Grow with Google "IT Support Professional Certificate" is a key program initiative to create more economic opportunities for Americans. Like other Grow with Google programs, such as "Get Your Business Online" and "Applied Digital Skills," the certificate is intended to give more Americans access to the digital skills and to find success in today's digital economy.

Already, Google has given 10,000 learners free access to the program through financial aid and scholarships to nonprofits focusing on low income learners through Year Up, Per Scholas and Goodwill®; veterans through Student Veterans of America; and refugees through Upwardly Global.

For more information about Lakeland's IT&CS degree programs, contact Professor Sue Baker at or 440.525.7265.

To register for the virtual open house, visit

Related Links:

  • Register for Virtual Open House
  • JFF
  • By: Jessica Novak

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