Is Google IT Support Professional Certificate Worth It?

In this article, we'll be talking about the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and whether or not it's worth it. 

There will be a brief overview of the course, we'll talk about the time to completion, the cost, the demand of the jobs you might go into, the salary of the jobs you might go into, the production value, the chances of landing you a job, and then the overall value of the course. 

I'll be ranking all of these on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, and then at the very end, I'll give you a final score, as well as my thoughts on the pros and cons of the certificate and whether or not it's worth it.

Is Google IT Support Professional Certificate Worth It?

First of all, 

What exactly is the Google IT Support Certificate? 

Google basically came out with a bunch of different certificates in response to the fact that there were certain jobs that they were having a lot of trouble filling. The reason they were having trouble filling these jobs is that there simply were not enough people who had those skills. So, what did they do? They created their certificate program to teach people the skills that they needed.

Right after the title, "The Google IT Support Professional Certificate," it says that this is your path to a career in IT. In this program, you'll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience required. And this is hosted on a website called Coursera.


Cost of Google IT Support Certificate

You can actually audit the course for free, and you can take the first week of the course, seven days completely free. And then after that, it's $39 per month. And that's $39 a month in the US and Canada. In other countries, it's cheaper. And they also offer financial aid.


Jobs opportunities

Since Google established this certification system, it has been acknowledged by many in the industry as a great entry-level primer to get into these careers. The common job titles that they have listed on here are going to be database administrator, IT specialist, help desk technician, IT support specialist, IT technician, computer user specialist, and IT assistant.

Now, here's my first small little gripe with the certificate. I know from experience because I've helped people get into these careers quite a bit, the entry-level job you're going to get when you first get into it is very likely going to be help desk. 

So, this sort of thing right here, when they list a bunch of different careers like that, that just confuses people who are new, which this is an entry-level certificate. So really, they should just tell people to try to go for like the lower-level jobs like help desk technician, and I think people would actually have a much better chance of success.

The cool thing about when you get into tech and IT is you can go into just about any career path you want. I mean, you can get into it, do that for a few years, and then become a software developer or go into cybersecurity or all sorts of different things. 

So, you're definitely not stuck in the help desk position. That's just going to be your first entry-level job, and then after that, you're essentially going to get paid to learn valuable skills.


Courses of Google IT Support Certificate

Going over just a brief overview of the courses, the courses you're going to encounter in the certificate are:

  • Technical Support Fundamentals
  • The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking
  • Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User
  • System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services
  • IT Security

All these courses have either a 4.8 or a 4.7-star rating, so that is extremely good. If you look on Coursera, there are a lot of other courses that are still really good that have like a 4.5-star rating. So when you see 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, that is basically in the "epic" category. 


Time of Completion

Alright, now let's talk about the time to completion. This is going to get a little interesting because I'm going to talk about the time to completion versus other types of careers, as well as the time to completion versus other types of IT-related certificates or other ways of getting into IT-related careers.

First of all, right off the bat, they say that it's going to take about six months with about 10 hours of study a week. Now, that is completely false. I think the reason they put that on there is because they want to make it look a little bit better to employers. But the reality of the situation is you can get this IT cert done in less than a month, and even if you're busy, less than two months. 

This IT certification is not that difficult. It might take you around 30 hours or so, and I know this because many people that I know have taken this certification, and they've been able to knock it out really quickly.

Also, this is 100% self-paced. Learn on your own time, so you don't have to show up to a class, and you don't have to do things at a certain timeline. It's all learning on your own time. So, there are positives to that in that you can do it whenever you want to. You can do it in the middle of the night if you'd like to. 

But the negatives are that you have to be somebody who actually does the work on your own. You have to be self-driven. Now, there are going to be graded exams as well for each of the courses, but I believe they're not proctored. Which, I mean, I'm not going to just outright say it, but if the graded exam is not proctored, chances are there are a lot of people who cheat on it. So, it's probably not that difficult to pass the exams.

Google IT Support Professional Certificate V/s other courses

There are two really obvious comparisons here. The first one, of course, is going to be a college degree like a bachelor's degree, and that takes about four to five years on average. And then the second comparison is going to be a boot camp, which is typically going to take somewhere between like three months to 12 months. 

So being able to finish a certification like this in probably about one to two months realistically is very good. Now, another thing you can  compare this to is online course courses and I have seen online courses that get people jobs faster than that but it really does depend on the career that you're trying to go for if you're trying to go for. Like a higher level I.T. role of course, it's going to take longer but overall the time to completion is very good overall and also good for it specifically so I'm going to give this one an 8.5 out of 10. 

Next, we're going to be talking about the cost of the certificate. Alright, so College costs about a hundred thousand dollars, boot camps cost like ten thousand dollars or more. 

How much does this certificate cost? 

Well, it's hosted on Coursera which charges about $39 a month after the initial free seven-day trial. And by the way, if you want to check out the course, I will link it down in the description as well as the pinned comment below. So, if you took six months, which is the maximum amount of time to finish it, that would be about $234. 

But realistically, if you took two months, that's going to be about $78. So, that is extremely affordable, especially for something that doesn't take very long and could potentially get you a job.

Now, Coursera does offer financial aid, so that's something you'll look into if you can't afford the $39 a month cost. And the Coursera refund policy is after the initial seven-day free trial, you can cancel it no penalty. But after that, they do not give refunds. So definitely check that out, try the seven-day trial, but make sure you cancel it before the seven days end unless you want to, you know, pay the full amount. 

So, I guess that would be a little bit of a nitpick. There is they don't have the best refund policy, but to be fair, the way that Coursera is structured, you'd probably have a bunch of people who are just trying to game the system if they did have a full refund. And $39 a month really isn't that much to expect. And also, sometimes they will have promos for Coursera Plus, which will give you access to like 7,000 different courses. 

That's one of the great things about this certificate. You aren't really risking all that much time or money. So even if you find that you don't really like some of the sections, I mean, it's $39 a month, right? And you can compare that to a college or a boot camp where you are risking a significant amount of your time or money. And that's actually one of the beautiful things about these Coursera certifications. 

Let's say you take the IT certification, and you don't like it. That's great! You just saved yourself a ton of time and money because the alternative in the past would have been going to a boot camp or going to get an IT degree, and you probably would have spent ten thousand dollars on the boot camp, or you might have even gotten like two or three years into your degree before you figured out that you didn't like it. 

You would have wasted a ton of time and money. Whereas with these Coursera certifications, you can kind of hop around to different in-demand careers and figure out which one you like. I think that's one of the biggest value propositions of these certs. So in terms of the cost there's really no comparison. This is by far one of the most affordable options out there. This one gets a 10 out of 10. 

Careers after taking Google IT Support Certificate

Now, we're going to be talking about the demand for different careers you can go into with this certification.

Now, like I said, the real first career you're probably going to go into is going to be IT help desk. You might also go into something like support specialist, but they do name a bunch of other careers that you could rapidly get into after this. To get into some of these careers, it would require further certifications in my experience and in my opinion, but the Google certification will get you a significant amount of the way there. 

For instance, database administration. If you type that in on LinkedIn at the entry level, you're going to see 136,000 results. For computer specialists, you're going to see 140,000 results. For support specialists at the entry level, you're going to see 111,000 results. So, tons of demand for these types of careers. If you look up computer support specialist on BLS, you're going to see 875,000 jobs, and it's growing at six percent, which is as fast as average.

Now, the great thing about IT related jobs, especially like help desk for instance, is they are some of the easiest to land to get your foot in the door in the tech industry. So, I can't tell you how many people where I've seen their first job in the tech industry was in IT. They did not have to get a degree. They were able to get into it with just certifications. "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" Then after they worked at the help desk position in IT, they moved up to a higher level position, they started making more money, and then maybe they moved over to cybersecurity, and then maybe they moved over to software development or tech sales. 

I think you get the point here. It is a great place to start in the tech industry, and then you can go into other career paths from there. Tech is the one industry that has the most opportunity out of all the industries out there. It truly is S-tier. Even on the home page, it says that there are about 400,000 in-demand job openings in IT, and that's probably including all of those other careers. So, yeah, this one is going to get a 10 out of 10 when it comes to demand. There is a ton of opportunity here.

Next on the list is going to be salary. So, on the main page, they say that there is a $52,000 median entry-level salary, and that is likely going to be for a help desk-type role. So, on Glassdoor, help desk technicians make about $46,000 a year. 

System analysts make about $86,000 a year, and database administrators make about $84,000 a year. And there's actually a ton of positions you can rise up into, like I mentioned before. So, for instance, IT directors make about $160,000. Anything data-related, you're going to be making a ton of money. Anything cloud-related, you'll likely make a bunch more money as well. 

If you go into software development, you'll make more money. Cybersecurity tends to pay a little bit better too. So, there are a ton of opportunities for you to move into within IT as well as outside of it but still within tech.

The way I like to see this is help desk is an entry-level job that you can land extremely quickly and easily, and you are literally going to get paid to learn, right? So, some people see that $52,000 a year and they think, "Oh, that's not that much." Well, actually, for an entry-level job, that's great. For one, and for two, you're literally getting paid to learn. 

This is not something you have to get a degree for. You can land this job and then essentially you're going to get paid to learn and by the time you know somebody else was graduating from college, you're probably going to be making it pretty close to the hundred thousand dollar a year mark.

Whereas they're going to be a hundred thousand dollars in debt, so when you think about it like that, the salary sounds extremely good. So, I'm gonna go ahead and give this one a 9.5 out of 10 when it comes to salary. 

Production Value of Google IT Support Certificate

Next on the list is going to be the production value and the engagement. Now, this of course is extremely subjective, and it has to do with the personality of the instructors, but Google typically will hire people to make these courses that are their employees, right? So, these are people who know exactly the skills you need to know in order to be successful. They recently got hired by Google, so they know about that entire process. 

And when you look at the reviews, it tends to be very good. Now, someone on Reddit actually went and conducted a survey to figure out like what the best Google certificates were, and I believe this certificate actually came out as number one. So, for some reason, they did a super good job with this certificate. It's probably the most popular one. It's the one that the most people have taken. It still maintained a really good, you know, 4.8 star rating. 

Out of all the Google career certificates, this might actually be the best one when it comes to the ratings, etc. So, I'm going to give this one a 10 out of 10 when it comes to production value. 

Job Opportunities

Now, one of the really cool things is after completing it, they're going to give you access to a job board that 300 plus companies use. Now, I mentioned that there were probably more positive reviews for this one than just about any other certificate out there, and I'm not kidding when I say that. I'm going to go over a bunch of the reviews in this section. 

And I've said this many times, the types of people who tend to be attracted to alternative education, which is what I focus on on this channel, tend to be the types of people who are willing to learn, right? These are the types of people who think outside the box. They're not just some sheep who decides to go to college just because everybody else says that they should, and that is why employers tend to notice these things. 

This is basically like a cheat code. Recruiters are actually using this certificate to find people, to headhunt people for certain positions, and then HR does respect this certificate, right? It's a big company, Google. Everybody knows Google. HR absolutely respects anything that comes out of Google. Now, this, combined with the fact that you get access to that job board I mentioned before that has 300 plus companies, really does give it a high chance of landing you a job. 

For a certificate, and also because of the fact that certificates are very common in IT, they're basically the industry standard. There are other careers out there where a certificate might get you, you know, 50% of the way there or 80% of the way there, but it's probably not going to land you a job. 

But in IT, things are different, so you can absolutely get a job with just the Google IT support certificate in some cases. If you want to get like a slightly higher-level position, you might want to get another one like CompTIA A plus. But with that being said, I'm going to give this one a 9 out of 10 when it comes to the chances of landing you a job.

Next, let's go over what value the certificate offers. It's reported right on the main page that 75% of Google career certificate graduates in the United States report an improvement in their career trajectory within six months of the certificate completion. So that's pretty good. A lot of people were probably just taking the certificate to brush up on things. 

A lot of people were probably just taking it because they wanted to learn a little bit about it. A lot of people were taking it because they were considering maybe going into IT, and then they decided that they didn't want to. So 75% reporting positive outcomes is awesome, especially for something that's so cheap, easy, and fast to take.

Now, this is relatively well respected. It's becoming more and more respected as time goes on. Companies are realizing more and more that colleges simply cannot keep up with the changes in the economy and the changes in job demand, and so certifications are becoming a viable alternative to get educated.

One of the great things that they're going to do when you take this certificate is they're going to help you make a portfolio. And I cannot state how important making a portfolio is, especially in IT. Not only do you want to make a portfolio, but you want to make a portfolio that showcases the skills that companies actually want, and then you want to make that portfolio extremely easy for people to access, right? 

So they have these applied learning projects where you're actually going to not only be learning the skills, but you're going to be applying them, and you're going to be applying them in such a way where you can actually use that as your portfolio, which is awesome.

They say here, "Through a mix of videos, assessments, and hands-on labs, you'll be introduced to troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, and security foundational IT skills required for an entry-level job."

So not only are you going to learn a little bit of the theoretical knowledge, but you're also going to learn practical skills on top of that. Then of course, you're going to earn that career credential and you're going to earn the certificate itself, which you can put on your LinkedIn profile as well as on your resume.

It says here the skills that you are going to gain are debugging encryption algorithms and techniques, customer service, network protocols, cloud computing, binary code, customer support, Linux troubleshooting, domain name system or DNS, IPv4, and network model.

Overall, I think the main reason that people are not successful with college or boot camps in many cases is simply because they figure out at some point that they're not interested in going into that career now.

Unfortunately, in college, a lot of the time, that's going to happen like two to three years in when you've already spent like fifty-sixty thousand dollars. And in a boot camp, it might happen when you're already into it to the point where you can't get a refund. But the great thing about these certificates is they only cost $39 a month. 

Like I said before, you're really not risking that much time, effort, or money, and you're probably going to figure out whether this is stuff that you actually like. So if you take this IT certificate and you don't like it, great! Go check out the UX design certificate. You take that, you don't like it, great! Go check out the data analytics certificate. 

Eventually, you're going to find something that you actually enjoy, and at the very least, you're going to learn a ton about yourself, and you're going to figure out something else that you want to do. Because ironically, a lot of the time, you will figure out what you want to do by first figuring out what you don't want to do.

Now, is this certificate guaranteed to get you a job? 
Absolutely not. 

Does it give you a pretty good chance of getting you a job? 
Yes. 

And for the price of $78, or even $240 if it takes you six months, that is a ridiculous value. So when it comes to value, this certificate is absolutely off the charts. I'm going to give it a 10 out of 10. 

Reviews of People on Google IT Professional Certificate

And if you look at the reviews, it's very good. So, for instance, Constantine says, 'The Google IT support professional certificate helped me get a system administrator position because the interviewer was specifically looking for someone who understood networks and active directory. This person said 'the certificate wasn't just the foundation for me learning IT, it was the foundation to starting a whole career, right?' 

So, here's review of an engineer level 2 at Amazon who says, 'I have hired a couple of equipment coordinators starting position at Amazon. It only had the Google cert. They demonstrated a willingness to learn, and even though the Google cert didn't teach them everything, the willingness was far more valuable to me. I can teach someone how to do a job. I can't teach personality and personal development traits.' 

Here are a few testimonials from people on Reddit who have actually taken this, and they talk about how long it took them to get through it. One person says, "It honestly depends on how many hours you can put in on a daily/weekly basis. I've been doing about one to two hours a day, and I'm more than 60% done with the program in about one month. If you can actually spend four to eight hours a day, you could definitely finish it in under a month. But if you're only dedicating something like two to three hours a week, it could easily take you over six months." 

Another person here says, "I just finished in a month, and I work 10-hour days at least five days a week." So, this is somebody who's working 50-hour weeks at their job, and they were able to finish it in a month.

And that's why you see reviews like this, where people get the Google cert, and it really does set them apart. So this person says, "I'm not at the level of a plus, but if you can afford it, it's good. I actually got a job offer before getting my A+ and all that was on my resume was the Google IT support. They asked me about it, and they found it interesting."

Here are some YouTube comments from people: 

"I can honestly say that this certification did help me land my IT job. The company is in the Google ecosystem and they wanted someone with Google experience and knowledge, so I applied and put down the certification on my resume. I was then offered the job with no IT experience other than that certificate." This person says, "I took the course from November 2019 until May 2020, and I kid you not, I landed my first IT job two weeks after I finished the course."

This person says, "It was able to land me an interview and a job. I had no formal IT experience, just self-taught skills and no degree." This person says, "I landed a tier 3 IT support engineer role after taking this course nine days after finishing it. In fact, if you take great notes, put in the extra effort and late nights on YouTube researching what you don't fully grasp, this is an excellent certificate."

Here's another person on Reddit who talked about how they were hired with the Google IT support professional certificate: "Hey all, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has helped me on this subreddit. The position is a level one Tech, mostly bench repair and some troubleshooting of residential thick clients, so I feel like it's a perfect entry-level fit. While they want me to get my A+, they are willing to pay for the test, and I have 90 days for 1001 1002 each, but I wanted to give a shoutout to the Google IT cert. I know it doesn't have the industry respect of A+ for entry-level right now, but I would not have gotten through an interview without it. They told me the only reservation they had was my lack of hands-on, and that I was hired basically off of my interview responses."

So this person got a job, and then down below, they were asked if they got it through Coursera. "I did, and I was able to get it within the free trial period as I already had experience but no certs due to lack of funds. Got a new better job within three months." So they were actually able to finish the entire cert within the trial period, which is seven days. That's pretty fast.

This person says, "I took it and landed a help desk job with no prior experience or other certs. Being completely new to it did break the ice and prepped me decently for the interview tech questions. The start itself didn't really hold any weight, but the information was definitely good enough to help get my foot in the door."

And that's why this is getting people really good results. So, this person says, 'Are you me? I got the Google cert before I started the A plus' - they're referring to CompTIA A Plus - 'and got hired despite not having any other tech experience. When I finished the second part of A Plus, they didn't even care.' 

So, CompTIA A Plus, in case you're not aware, is basically the gold standard for IT, or at least it has been for a long time. And I'm not saying that certification isn't good. It's still relatively good, but with that being said, it's starting to reach a saturation point where so many people have it that it doesn't really set you apart anymore. 

So there's basically an endless amount of testimonials of people who have gotten jobs with this cert. And I know from personal experience, a bunch of people have been getting jobs with this. Another thing that they don't really mention that's actually amazing is the fact that if you put this cert on your LinkedIn, even if you put that you're just currently taking it, many times recruiters will actually start contacting you.

Verdict

So the overall score here is 9.57 out of 10. Out of all the different Google certificates, this one has the most positive reviews, so it has the highest score overall. I think as long as you understand the value proposition of this certificate, you're not going to be disappointed by it.

The people who end up disappointed are the ones who think it's a free ticket to a job, which is not. I mean, think about it, it costs $39 a month. Do you really think it's going to be better than a college degree or a boot camp? But even if it gets you like 80 percent of the way to a job at $39 a month, that is absolutely worth it. 

Yes, you're probably going to have to supplement it with a lot of study outside, you're probably going to have to make a better portfolio, and work on your resume, etc. But this is going to get you a significant amount of the way there. 

So this gets a massive thumbs up for me. I think the Google IT Support Certificate is awesome. I love what Google and Coursera are doing as well. And if you're ever wondering what careers are highly in demand, just go check out these certificates. 

Even if you don't take them, just go check out the search because these are the ones that companies need people in so badly that they're actually creating their own certified tickets for, which is a lot of time, effort, and money on their part.

I think, this is it for today. I will catch you in the next article. 

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