Everyone knows that Google is a tech giant. And this is why the Google IT Support Professional Certificate seems like it’s the key to getting an IT job pronto with very little to no prior experience in the field.
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate is worth it for individuals who wish to apply for entry-level IT jobs without having to spend a lot of time and money earning a college degree. In some instances, the Google-issued IT certificate can be used for furthering one’s career or education.
On the fence as to whether you should go for the Google IT Support Professional Certificate or a similar one from another provider instead?
Don’t stop reading now!
Courses Within the Google IT Support Professional Certificate
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate consists of five courses, each one is worth two to three credits. The certificate program, in total, consists of 12 credits. The courses, developed to be a part of Grow with Google, are designed to prepare learners for an entry-level role in IT support.
Like other certificate programs, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate is made up of various courses.
Designed by Google itself, the courses within the Google IT Support Professional Certificate are meant to collectively result in a program that integrates into Grow with Google.
Simply put, Grow with Google is created to help make sure that opportunities created by modern-day technology are available to everyone to benefit from. The initiative aims to give people the skills necessary in order to get jobs, advance their careers and expand their business through free tools and training.
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Of course, getting your hands on the Google IT Support Professional Certificate isn’t cost-free.
Let’s take a look at the five courses within the Google IT Support Professional Certificate to give you an idea of what you would be learning about if you enrolled:
Technical Support Fundamentals
Number of credits: 2
As the name of the course suggests, Technical Support Fundamentals will introduce you to the world of IT. You will learn about things such as customer service, the internet, troubleshooting, and computer hardware and software. Basically, Technical Support Fundamentals will give you an overview of what comes with the certificate program.
The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking
Number of credits: 2
This course is designed to create an outline of computer networking, ranging from the fundamentals of modern networking to an overview of the cloud ecosystem. The goal of this course is to make you be able to:
- Obtain strong network troubleshooting tools and techniques.
- Have an understanding of standard protocols involved with TCP/IP communications.
- Learn network services such as DNS and DHCP necessary for making computer networks run.
- Understand cloud computing and storage.
Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User
Number of credits: 2
The goal of the course Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User is to introduce you to the main components of an operating system. It’s also designed to teach you to configure hardware and carry out critical tasks such as managing software and users. The course consists of lecture and demo videos as well as hands-on practice.
System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services
Number of credits: 3
You can think of System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services as something that will take you from a maestro of a single computer to an expert in an armada of computers in a network.
Basically, this particular course is all about teaching you the infrastructure services necessary to keep all businesses and organizations, big and small alike, up and running. Also included are the fundamentals of cloud, thus allowing you to obtain a much better understanding of things like cloud infrastructure and managing cloud resources.
IT Security: Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts
Number of credits: 3
The heart of this course consists of various IT security concepts, tools and best practices. It will introduce you to some of the most common IT threats and modes of attack, thus paving the way for the three A’s of information security: authentication, authorization and accounting.
Completing IT Security: Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts will allow you know:
- The different authentication systems and types.
- The inner workings as well as benefits and limitations of various encryption algorithms and techniques.
- How to assess potential risks and recommend ways to reduce risk.
- The best practices for securing a network.
Compared to an online degree, such as Computer Science, Information Science and Information Technology and Computer Systems, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate has significantly fewer and easier courses, which can take anywhere from three to six months only to complete — some people were able to finish it in just days or weeks.
However, an online degree allows one access to more IT support job opportunities than just entry-level ones.
Google IT Support Professional Certificate Cost
Through Coursera, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate costs $39 a month. Since the program can take anywhere from three to six months, the cost can range from $117 to $234. The cost of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate can vary from one course provider to the next.
As of this writing, the cost of an online course available from some of the most well-known for-profit massive open online course providers can range anywhere from $0 to $300.
Some can cost more — the more specialized the online certificate, the higher the price tag.
Provided that you intend to complete the Google IT Support Professional Certificate through Coursera, you will spend anywhere from $117 to $234. Since the provider charges learners per month, you can complete the program at a cheaper or steeper price, depending on how fast you can complete the five courses.
One of the nicest things about the Google IT Support Professional Certificate is that you can enroll in it other than through Coursera or any other online course provider.
According to a 2020 US News article, around 65 community colleges in the US are offering the program.
Different community colleges have different tuition and fees — some of them charge students less, while others charge students more, including especially out-of-state ones. True enough, different community colleges offer the Google IT Support Professional Certificate at different rates.
If you prefer to complete the program at a community college near you instead of through Coursera, you should expect to shell out anywhere from $114 to $2,995. Some could be lower or higher — as far as the amount of data obtained for this article is concerned, that’s the range of cost of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.
Here are some community colleges that offer the program and the rates:
|Bunker Hill Community College||$1,899|
|Carl Sandburg College||$400|
|City College of New York||$1,350|
|College Lake County||$300|
|Lincoln Land Community College||$2,995|
|Maricopa Community College||$114|
|Roxbury Community College||$1,000|
|St. Petersburg College||$249|
Different reasons exist why the cost of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate varies from provider to provider. One of those, most likely, is the competitiveness of the faculty — each community college uses its own faculty members in teaching learners the different courses within the program.
Some also bundle the program with other services. For instance, in the case of Lincoln Land Community College, the $2,995 price tag also includes a Career Development Soft Skills program.
It’s also important to note that, while the Google IT Support Professional Certificate is a self-paced program, some community colleges may have limited sessions, thus keeping you from fully completing the program at your chosen pace. At the City College of New York, for instance, sessions are Mondays and Wednesdays only.
Google IT Support Professional Certificate Review
Two of the main reasons why people get the Google IT Support Professional Certificate are to get a job and make more money. Based on an online survey, 37% said that the program helped them get hired. Meanwhile, 42% said that the Google IT Support Professional Certificate helped them earn more.
Because the Google IT Support Professional Certificate doesn’t come free of charge and takes time to complete, checking out reviews beforehand is a smart move for someone who is planning on getting it.
What’s great about the program is that it has no prerequisites or prior experience requirements.
However, having some IT-related experience or knowledge can be advantageous, especially for individuals who wish to get their hands on the resulting certificate faster.
For instance, a cybersecurity trainer said in his LinkedIn review that he was able to finish the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program in under a month.
On the other hand, a poster on BoxingScene, who also confessed to already having a job, college degree and advanced certificates, revealed that he was able to complete all five courses in just ten days.
Especially if the rate is per month, such as in the case of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate via Coursera, you can save a lot.
But no matter how fast you can finish the program, one thing stays true: most experts who gave the program a try agree that it’s more ideal for those who wish to seek an entry-level IT support or help desk job.
Speaking of which, according to a survey conducted online, the following are some of the reasons why people took the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and the percentage of respondents:
- Required for my current job – 5%
- Make more money – 27%
- Changing careers – 59%
- Get an edge over other candidates – 37%
- Help my career progression – 64%
- Other reasons – 8%
Please note that the respondents could pick more than one reason, which is why adding the percentages above would result in a number greater than 100%.
One of the things that can help determine whether or not a certificate is good is that if the person who earned it was able to get a job in a related field. And based on the same online survey, the majority of those who completed the Google IT Support Professional Certificate failed to get the jobs they were aiming for. Just take a look at the responses:
- IT Support – 16%
- IT Technician – 11%
- Technical Support Specialist – 5%
- Desktop Support Technician – 5%
- Helpdesk Analyst – 2%
- Other job titles – 61%
Meanwhile, based on information on the website of Coursera, ever since the Google IT Support Professional Certificate was launched in 2018, up to 82% of those who completed the program have reported getting a new job, being promoted or obtaining a salary raise within six months.
Google IT Support Professional Certificate Salary
According to Google, the average entry-level salary in IT support, which the Google IT Support Professional Certificate prepares learners for, is $50,800 a year. However, ZipRecruiter.org says that the national average salary of those with Google IT Support Professional Certificate is $66,362 a year.
The website adds that the salaries of Google IT Support Professional Certificate holders can range anywhere from as low as $19,000 a year to as high as $156,500 a year.
However, the majority of people who completed the program make anywhere between $34,000 (25th percentile) and $89,000 (75th percentile) every year. This means that 25% of employed individuals with the Google IT Support Professional Certificate make less than $34,000 a year, while 25% of them earn more than $89,000 a year.
Various things can impact how much money you could be making with the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.
One of them is the job position. Luckily for those who have completed the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program, they are geared for entry-level IT support jobs as well as jobs in related fields. However, some job positions will allow certificate holders to make more money than the rest.
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Location is also a role player when it comes to how much money you could be earning per year wielding the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.
Ten cities where people with the Google IT Support Professional Certificate earn a lot include:
|CITY||AVERAGE ANNUAL SALARY|
|San Francisco, California||$61,177|
|Santa Clara, California||$60,661|
|Los Angeles, California||$59,283|
|Jersey City, New Jersey||$58,551|
|Green River, Wyoming||$58,205|
|San Buenaventura, California||$58,152|
|San Jose, California||$57,769|
Google IT Support Professional Certificate vs. CompTIA A+ Certification
Both the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and CompTIA A+ Certification prepare individuals for entry-level job positions. However, many consider CompTIA A+ Certification the gold standard entry-level certification as it covers a broader diversity of knowledge relevant to many job positions.
CompTIA A+ was launched in 1993. Back then, it was CompTIA’s very first certification exam. Approximately every three years, the content of the exams of CompTIA A+ is updated. As of this writing, its last update was in 2019.
On the other hand, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate was launched in 2018.
Cost-wise, CompTIA A+ Certification is generally cheaper than the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, depending on the option selected — yes, if you are interested in taking CompTIA A+ Certification, you will have to identify which between Core 1 and Core 2 you would like and which of the options within each one you would prefer.
The following is a table of the various purchase options and the cost of each one:
|OPTIONS||CompTIA A+ 1001||CompTIA A+ 1002|
|Exam prep bundle||$449||$449|
Just like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, CompTIA A+ Certification is available at many public colleges and universities.
Some private institutions, such as professional training centers, offer it as well. But unlike the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, CompTIA A+ Certification also comes in the form of face-to-face classes.
It’s because of this why, in some instances, the cost of getting CompTIA A+ Certification can climb to several thousands of dollars, depending on how and where it is being taken.
According to CompTIA itself, CompTIA A+ Certification will prepare you for various job roles, such as:
- Associate network engineer
- Data support technician
- Desktop support administrator
- End-user computing technician
- Field service technician
- Help desk technician
- Service desk analyst
- System support specialist
- Technical support specialist
It adds that the salaries of people with CompTIA A+ Certification can range from $45,000 to $60,000.
Both the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and CompTIA A+ Certification can help make you eligible for entry-level IT support jobs. However, there is no denying that, between the two, CompTIA A+ is more prestigious and recognized. As a matter of fact, being considered the industry-standard certification for IT, more employers accept CompTIA A+.
What’s more, completing both CompTIA A+ exams will let you earn dual certification.
Just Before You Get the Google IT Support Professional Certificate
Because it’s being offered by one of the Big Five, which is a group of IT giants consisting of Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft, many employers will certainly recognize and accept the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. The name alone makes it more identifiable than certificates coming from lesser-known tech companies.
Still, the bottom line is that the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, just like other certifications such as CompTIA A+ Certification, is just that — a certification.
While it may boost the resume of someone who is applying for an entry-level post in the IT arena, especially if earned in the past couple of years as it demonstrates the desire to keep abreast in one’s chosen field, the fact remains that many employers are very much likely to prefer resumes bearing something like “BS in Computer Science” or “BS in IT.”
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.