Google equipping 40 million people with skills on the path to cloud certification

The search engine behemoth joins the burgeoning list of big tech and cloud providers in offering learning capabilities shaping the future of work.
27 October 2021

Google wants to equip 40 million people with its cloud toolkit. Source: AFP

  • Google wants to equip more than 40 million people with cloud skills
  • The tech giant launched Google Cloud Skills Boost for online learning, skills development, and certification in Google Cloud
  • It offers various learning paths ranging from Kubernetes to machine learning and cloud healthcare API

Among the myriad consequences and aftershocks caused by the pandemic, the most significant one would be the widening technology skills gaps at many organizations. Recognizing the dire need for upskilling, Alphabet Inc’s cloud unit intends to train upwards of 40 million people, arming them with new skills for roles involving cloud computing.

When Google announced its goal earlier this month, the tech giant also unveiled its Google Cloud Skills Boost, a new learning initiative for online learning, skills development along with the requisite certification — managed and delivered directly to users. Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian in a tweet said, “It’s critical we equip the next generation of cloud leaders with the skills they need to grow their careers, which is why we launched our Google Cloud Skills Boost to train more than 40 million people.”

Currently, Google Cloud Skills Boost offers various learning paths ranging from Kubernetes to Machine Learning and Cloud Healthcare APIs. Users can even personalize their learning paths, track progress, and validate their newly-earned expertise with gamified skill badges that will show employers their proficiency in high-demand skills.

The move comes at a time when other tech giants including the so-called ‘Big Cloud’ providers who have announced similar initiatives, given how the pandemic accelerated digital transformation efforts and initiatives globally. Exarbecating the situation is the needs of organizations across multiple industries that are facing a somewhat dire skills crunch

“Starting today, ‘Google Cloud Skills Boost’ will provide access to more than 700 hands-on labs, role-based courses, skill badges, and certification resources, including 16 new learning paths, all of which are available on-demand globally,” Google said in a statement. The search engine behemoth believes the training programs will enable both personal learning and professional development at an unprecedented scale.

The target of upskilling more than 40 million people, however, didn’t come with a timeline. In contrast, cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and IBM have set a goal to train 25 million and 30 million people by 2025 and 2030, respectively.

Google Cloud Skills Boost

To first understand the state of the current workforce, based on a State of Upskilling Report, IT workforce training provider Pluralsight found that since early 2020, remote-based employees reported that skills involving cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data storage were most lacking in their daily routines. 

To counter that shortfall, there has been a noticeable rise in new approaches towards upskilling. For Google Cloud Skills Boost, users who sign up by November 6 will receive their first month of learning content at no cost, dramatically lowering the entry bar for anyone looking to earn a Google Cloud certification or to pick up a new skill in a cloud environment. Currently, the content is provided in both English and Japanese, with plans to add support for additional languages moving forward. 

Google Cloud Learning Services managing director Rochana Golani in a blog post also said, “because innovation happens fast in the cloud, our teams will continue to update content and release new labs and courses each month.” Basically, through this new initiative, Google aims to remove barriers for businesses and drive career success for individuals via the cloud.