By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart

If you take one thing away from this article, it should be this: “They’re free!”

SUNY Broome has partnered with Grow with Google and Jobs for the Future to gift free access to four Google Certificates courses:

  • Data Analytics
  • Digital Marketing/E-Commerce
  • IT Support
  • User Experience Design

So far, over one hundred of SUNY Broome students, faculty and staff, alumni, and members of the community have completed these free certifications, which traditionally cost a monthly fee of $49.00. Don’t miss your chance to develop a new professional skill set and earn a globally recognized credential!

Whether you’re a high school student exploring your career options, a college student looking to earn free, transferable credits; a professional seeking to expand your employability, or a retiree hoping to familiarize yourself with the latest tech trends, Google certificates are perfect for you! You simply need to be 16 years old to enroll and have access to a computer with internet. 

Through self-guided, step-by-step instruction, Google students can earn each certification in a matter of weeks or months, depending on your individualized pace. 

Google estimates that the time commitment for one certificate is approximately ten hours per week over six months. Average completion rates:

  • Data Analytics: 190 hours
  • Digital Marketing/E-Commerce: 170 hours
  • IT Support: 140 hours
  • User Experience Design: 240 hours

Members of SUNY Broome’s Institutional Effectiveness team, Larry Allen and Varija Sankapalli, engaged in a friendly competition to see who could complete the certificate in Data Analytics first. 

“I was keeping up with Varija until my daughter was born and my free time shifted,” said Larry Allen (BUBC ’01). “Varija finished the certificate and I’m still plugging away at it, but the nice part about the program is that you complete it on your own time and your own terms.”

Lori Smudde (CS ’06), a retired computer engineer, works part-time in the Office of Marketing and Communications maintaining the College’s website. One of her daily tasks includes processing all of the “Share Your News” requests. It was thanks to a “Share Your News” posting that she became aware of the free Google certificates and is currently working on her third, proudly displaying her new qualifications at her workstation. 

“I’ve always loved learning and keeping up with technology,” Smudde explained. “These courses definitely take hard work and dedicated time to complete, but they are well worth the effort.” 

Sarah Armstrong, Staff Assistant in SUNY Broome’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development Department, serves as the liaison for the Grow with Google partnership. Those interested in earning up to four free Google Certificates can connect with Armstrong via the SUNY Broome + Grow with Google registration page. 

“I like to think of these certificates as free internships,” shared Armstrong. “You can explore four different professional areas from the privacy of your own home, on your own schedule. You may love the subject material and find a new professional path, or realize that these fields are not for you. Either experience is beneficial in the long run.”  

Fun Facts:

  • Do you have a family member, friend, neighbor, classmate, or social media acquaintance who could benefit from a Google Certificate? Refer them to the  SUNY Broome + Grow with Google registration page! Anyone over age 16 is eligible. 
  • Are you looking to change careers? Completing a Google certificate gives you exclusive access to CareerCircle, which provides one-on-one interview coaching, resume workshops, and connections to over 150 actively-hiring companies via the Google Career Certificates Employer Consortium.
  • Just in case you forgot, the certificates are all FREE!