According to the Digital Sprinters report, Africa stands to realize accelerated economic growth through digital transformation by focusing on among other pillars, skills development for its citizens.
There is a growing demand for cybersecurity skills across all sectors. It is estimated that there are about 3.5 million cybersecurity job vacancies globally, up from just 1 million in 2013.
In Africa, we can save $4bn annually by preventing cybercrime with cybersecurity threats being on the rise as the world becomes more connected. However, there is a shortage of trained cybersecurity experts - a recent survey revealed that two thirds of enterprises reported issues in recruiting and retaining qualified cyber professionals.
Google is committed to helping strengthen cybersecurity in Africa by sharing our expertise and expanding access to cybersecurity careers for more people.
That's why today, in Sub-Saharan Africa, we are announcing a new Google Career Certificate available online on Coursera, which prepares learners for new careers in the high-growth field of cybersecurity. This new certificate provides Africans the opportunity to gain skills in this highly sought after tech field.
The cybersecurity certificate will teach learners how to identify common risks, threats and vulnerabilities, as well as the techniques to mitigate them. They also will gain hands-on experience using Python, Linux, SQL and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools.
To accompany this launch, we will be providing 2,000 scholarships in conjunction with our distribution partners - ICT Authority in Kenya, The Roothub in Nigeria, and RLabs in South Africa - all of which have strong workforce development programs to reach learners, provide them access to the Cybersecurity certificate, and support them through their learning journey.
This certificate is an addition to our already existing certificates in Data Analytics, Digital Marketing & E-commerce, IT Support, Project Management and UX Design. We also recently launched two advanced certificates in Advanced Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, which build on Google's entry-level Data Analytics Certificate.
These low-cost programs help people who want to learn online at their own pace, or who may want to change careers and don't have the time or means to access traditional education. They can be completed in under six months and do not require relevant experience or a degree. The certificates are product agnostic and are designed to help people prepare for jobs at any company or sector.
Over 20,000 people have graduated from the Google Career Certificates program in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 80% of graduates reporting a positive career impact, such as a new job, higher pay or promotion within six months of completion.1
Last year, we launched Interview Warmup, a tool that helps job seekers prepare for interviews in tech fields using AI. We are also excited to share the stories of Aima, Judith and Zizipho, graduates from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa respectively who have been impacted positively by the Career Certificates program.
We believe that in addition to our existing efforts, this new certificate will help close the growing skills gap in the field of cybersecurity and give Africa’s jobseekers the ability to solve local problems and access global opportunities.