- Google is headed to college campuses next year to teach a 10-week intensive course on machine learning, a fast-growing field for which the tech firm says there are neither enough workers nor faculty to train them, and where the firm is among the top employers.
- The course is part of Google's Applied Computing Series, which includes two introductory computer and data science courses currently offered through eight colleges. It is seeking host colleges that don't have a computer science program or whose program is at capacity.
- The machine-learning intensive will be offered at five colleges beginning in 2019. Google will pay tuition and offer instructors alongside faculty from the host college. Participants will earn nine credits from the host institution for successfully completing the course.
The Google offering is indicative of two trends: the growth of machine learning and the technology sector's investment in postsecondary education.
A host of indicators forecast substantial growth in machine learning, writes one Forbes contributor, including one from the International Data Corp. that projects spending on machine learning and artificial intelligence to grow from $12 billion in 2017 to more than $57 billion by 2021.
Colleges are anticipating the growth by developing curriculum that offers the training the new jobs demand, often with the help of tech employers, according to The Hechinger Report. It names several companies, including Microsoft, Linux and Boeing, which are actively seeking alternatives to college-trained tech employees, noting that colleges aren't turning out enough trained tech workers to meet the demand generated from tech sector growth and baby boomer retirement.
Google also developed a five-course IT certification program through Coursera, which will be offered for credit at more than two dozen community colleges. In addition, it is partnering with for-profit online education company Udacity to offer online courses to recent graduates and mid-career professionals.
Apple, meanwhile, produced an application development curriculum that will be implemented at more than 30 community colleges during the 2017-18 academic year. Facebook and Amazon are offering similar certifications through colleges and universities.