Google is launching an online Cybersecurity Certificate on Coursera specifically designed for Sub-Saharan Africa. To address the region’s cybersecurity skills gap, the certificate program will equip learners with in-demand tech skills and contribute to digital transformation and economic growth.
The Digital Sprinters report highlights the potential for accelerated economic growth in Africa through digital transformation, emphasizing the importance of skills development for its citizens.
The demand for cybersecurity skills is on the rise globally, with an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity job vacancies currently available, compared to just 1 million in 2013.
In Africa, preventing cybercrime through cybersecurity measures could save up to $4 billion annually. However, there is a shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals, as a recent survey revealed that two-thirds of enterprises face challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified experts in this field.
Google is committed to strengthening cybersecurity in Africa by sharing its expertise and expanding access to cybersecurity careers. As part of this commitment, Google is launching the new Google Career Certificate in Sub-Saharan Africa, available online through Coursera.
This certificate program provides Africans with the opportunity to gain essential skills in the highly sought-after field of cybersecurity.
The cybersecurity certificate program will cover topics such as identifying common risks, threats, and vulnerabilities, as well as techniques for mitigating them. Learners will also gain hands-on experience with Python, Linux, SQL, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools.
To support this launch, Google will provide 2,000 scholarships in collaboration with distribution partners, including the ICT Authority in Kenya, The Roothub in Nigeria, and RLabs in South Africa.
These partners have strong workforce development programs that will help reach learners, provide them with access to the Cybersecurity certificate, and support them throughout their learning journey.
The new cybersecurity certificate is an addition to Google’s existing certificates in Data Analytics, Digital Marketing & E-commerce, IT Support, Project Management, and UX Design. Recently, Google also introduced two advanced certificates in Advanced Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, building upon its entry-level Data Analytics Certificate.
These low-cost programs are designed to be flexible and accessible, allowing individuals to learn online at their own pace and providing opportunities for career changes, even without relevant experience or a degree. The certificates are product agnostic, preparing learners for jobs in any company or sector.
More than 20,000 individuals have graduated from Google’s Career Certificates program in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 80% of graduates reporting positive career impacts, such as finding new jobs, receiving higher pay, or earning promotions within six months of completion.
Google has also launched Interview Warmup, an AI-powered tool to help job seekers prepare for interviews in the tech field. Success stories from program graduates, such as Aima from Nigeria, Judith from Kenya, and Zizipho from South Africa, further highlight the positive impact of the Career Certificates program.
Through initiatives like the new cybersecurity certificate, Google aims to bridge the growing skills gap in the cybersecurity field, enabling African job seekers to solve local problems and access global opportunities.