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Google Recognizes Shortage of Cybersecurity Experts in Africa, Announces Scholarships.

For Sub-Saharan Africa, Google is introducing an online cybersecurity certificate program on Coursera. The certificate program will provide learners with in-demand tech skills and support digital transformation and economic growth in order to overcome the cybersecurity skills gap in the area.

The Digital Sprinters report emphasizes the potential for accelerated economic growth in Africa through digital transformation, particularly in the context of skills development for its citizens.

Globally, there is a rising demand for cybersecurity skills, with approximately 3.5 million cybersecurity job vacancies currently available, compared to just 1 million in 2013.

In Africa, the implementation of cybersecurity measures to prevent cybercrime could result in annual savings of up to $4 billion. However, there is a shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals in the region. A recent survey revealed that two-thirds of enterprises face difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified experts in this field.

To address this challenge, Google is committed to bolstering 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, which will be available online through Coursera.

This certificate program offers Africans the opportunity to acquire essential skills in the highly in-demand field of cybersecurity.

The cybersecurity certificate program will cover a range of topics, including the identification of common risks, threats, and vulnerabilities, as well as techniques for mitigating them. Learners will also gain practical experience with Python, Linux, SQL, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools.

In support of this launch, Google will provide 2,000 scholarships in collaboration with distribution partners such as the ICT Authority in Kenya, The Roothub in Nigeria, and RLabs in South Africa. These partners have robust workforce development programs that will facilitate learner outreach, grant access to the Cybersecurity certificate, and provide ongoing support throughout the learning journey.

The new cybersecurity certificate complements Google’s existing certificates in Data Analytics, Digital Marketing & E-commerce, IT Support, Project Management, and UX Design. Additionally, Google recently introduced two advanced certificates in Advanced Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, expanding on its entry-level Data Analytics Certificate.

These cost-effective programs are designed to be flexible and accessible, enabling individuals to learn online at their own pace and offering opportunities for career transitions, even without relevant experience or a degree. The certificates are not tied to any specific product, preparing learners for employment in any company or sector.

Over 20,000 individuals have already graduated from Google’s Career Certificates program in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 80% of graduates reporting positive career outcomes, such as securing new jobs, earning higher salaries, or receiving promotions within six months of completion.

To further assist job seekers in the tech field, Google has also launched Interview Warmup, an AI-powered tool that helps candidates prepare for interviews. Success stories from program graduates, including Aima from Nigeria, Judith from Kenya, and Zizipho from South Africa, underscore the positive impact of the Career Certificates program.

Through initiatives like the new cybersecurity certificate, Google aims to bridge the expanding skills gap in the cybersecurity domain, empowering African job seekers to address local challenges and access global opportunities.

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