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Google is killing universities: how tech giants change education?


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Google is killing universities: how tech giants change education?


Literally at the end of the summer, a very ambitious statement was made on behalf of the tech giant Google - the corporation plans to make changes to the higher education system. How?

Google has announced a new certification program that can easily devalue the value of educational documents - diplomas and certificates. The importance of some of them is already in doubt in the modern world, and Google may further strengthen this.

Google's curriculum differs from the current curriculum in at least two ways:

  • Shortened study period - instead of the terms of study in the Bologna system (4 years) and Master's (2 years), the IT giant offers a similar education in just six months
  • Shorter study periods also contribute to lower costs - the price of a Google course is lower than most colleges abroad.

What kind of education does Google offer?

The company plans to launch Google Career Certificates courses. To become participants, applicants need to have basic skills - this will allow them to quickly find a job after training. According to Kent Walker, senior vice president of global communications at Google, higher education is not available to all Americans today, and a university degree does not provide an economic guarantee either. Therefore, the Google program is a good alternative to classical higher education, also because the company itself, when hiring, will consider the certificate of its courses on a par with higher education diplomas from a university or college.

The exact cost of training on Google courses has not yet been announced. For example: similar training programs on the Coursera platform cost $ 49 per month. Plus, the corporation plans to provide about 100 thousand scholarships.

Why would Google launch its own education program?

Since Google is a progressive company that keeps pace with the times, it is ready to offer solutions to pressing problems. The new course initiative is designed to solve a global problem related to the need to change the existing structure of higher education and professional training.

It is not news that there is a significant gap between the skills offered at universities and the competencies that employers need. To maintain the ability to compete and remain in demand, universities must adapt their programs to the existing demand, train in such a way that graduates are immersed in real professional activity from the beginning of the program.

Timur Bergaliev, CEO of BiTronics Lab, head of the laboratory of applied cybernetic systems at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, a member of the NeuroNet NTI, believes that for leaders of the educational sphere this is already a signal of irreversible changes. The consequence will be the need to re-shape the existing business model in order to stay in trend.

I think that in the near future many large companies will announce something similar and start a chain reaction. But you need to wait for the first results and the first graduates, look at their conversion rate upon hiring, as it may turn out that not all graduates got a job, or the job itself does not meet the expectations of applicants, because Google is a “state within a state,” notes speaker.

Timur is sure that since we are talking about the IT sphere, where the candidate's skill is assessed by the content of the code and its activity in the repositories, then the certificate in conjunction with the educational program is a convenient and quick way of selection. After all, the prompt formation of a working team plays a key role in production.

Bottom line: What the Google initiative is talking about

The step taken by the corporation is a direct consequence of the processes that are now taking place in the field of education. And with its initiative, the technology company directly reflects several relevant points:

  1. The structure of higher education is now under threat, which sooner or later becomes characteristic of many traditional things. There is a tendency that the further, the fewer people will study in classical universities
  2. The acquisition of professional skills must be inextricably linked to their application.
  3. Financial mechanisms for obtaining educational services are gradually changing
  4. Pervasive personalization of the educational process will be the norm very soon.
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management).
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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