Skip to main content

Tech Giants Offer Digital Skills Courses to Fuel the American Dream

There is a new and free initiative that will support 200,000 Americans with skills to help with their careers.

The wordsmiths at the Oxford English dictionary defined the American dream as, "the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved."

Given the current economic climate, this American dream may have dwindled as on ground realities like a pandemic, record high inflation and higher cost of living continue to burden American lives. Especially those who lost jobs and income during the pandemic.

While unemployment in the U.S. has fallen with the economy adding better-than-expected jobs last month, the pandemic has worsened the digital skills gap among Americans.

More than 90% of U.S. businesses accelerated their digitization plans in 2020, but skills among the workforce have not transformed at the same pace.

The fast-changing requirements for employment demand that people should be equipped with the right skills and tools.  

The Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream (MCAAD) and online education company Coursera  (COUR)   have formed a partnership to help provide underserved youth in America with skills and tools to increase their chances of higher-quality, higher-paid employment.

MCAAD and Coursera will help 200,000 Americans through the American Dream Academy, to improve their digital skills through  this new, free initiative so they can increase their career options.

“Our mission with this partnership is to give underemployed young Americans the opportunity to learn skills that will qualify them for higher-level employment, so they are better positioned to prosper and work toward their ultimate dreams," said MCAAD President Kerry Healey in a statement.

The Academy, designed and built by MCAAD and Coursera, will provide free certified skills training nationwide.

The Academy’s program consists of three components: certification in an in-demand technical skill; coursework focused on workplace skills including communication, critical thinking, and lastly developing a growth mindset.

The American Dream Academy will offer entry-level certificates created by tech giants, including Alphabet owned Google  (GOOGL) , IBM  (IBM) , and Meta  (FB)  for those do not possess a college degree or technical experience and prepare them for well-paying digital jobs in data analytics, IT support, project management, and user experience (UX) design that are needed in high-demand sectors. 

There are currently 1.3 million open jobs across the U.S. in these career fields, with an average entry-level salary of $69,000, according to MCAAD and Coursera.

"This type of institutional collaboration, offering skills training at no cost to underserved communities, will be critical to revitalizing the American Dream and building a more equitable workforce in the digital economy," said Coursera Chief Executive Jeff Maggioncalda in a statement.

Last month, Google and Washington-based advocacy group for older adults AARP set up a similar kind of program to help older people upgrade their digital skills.

The AARP Foundation said the new program, funded by a $10 million grant from Google’s philanthropic arm, will aim to train 25,000 people ages 50 and older