Too much importance put into writing code has created a skills gap in the US technology industry and much of its workforce, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an op-ed on January 18. in which he requested accessible media, continuous level of technological training and promoted examples developed in Google.
"The focus on the code has left a potentially greater opportunity virtually unexplored," Pichai wrote in an article filled with descriptions of Google's own explorations of that opportunity.
Flexible, the educational options underway should be available if people are to "thrive in the digital world," Pichai said.
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"Instead of thinking about education as the opening act, we must ensure that it is a constant, natural and simple act in life"  He cited statistics that show the need for there are more employees to support high-level technology workers and an increasing number of jobs that require mid-level digital skills.
An office manager, for example, needs to use online programs for budgeting, scheduling and accounting, and could be alienated by technology, Pichai suggested.
At the same time, 150,000 IT support posts are missing and those jobs are expected to increase by 10 percent by 2026 of the 2016 numbers, he wrote in the "Think" section of NBC News online.
"We have a great opportunity to rethink training for jobs that are fundamental to the digital economy, but do not require coding, and IT support is a clear opportunity," Pichai wrote.
Pichai devoted about a third of the article to showing Google's work in low and medium level training, from its free online "Grow with Google" courses in basic digital skills to an IT support learning program that , he said, showed that young IT workers did not need expensive two-year computer science studies to start their careers.
One of Google's solutions to train more IT support workers has taken the form of a partnership with online education giant Mountain View, announced on January 16, to create an online certification program for 8-12 months that, Pichai wrote, "teaches everything you need to be an IT support technician"
Google is giving 10,000 people free access to the course, and is subsidizing it to keep the monthly cost at $ 49 , wrote.
The course "will connect graduates with job opportunities in places like Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GE Digital, YO nfosys, TEKSystems and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as well as Google," according to Pichai.
"You can imagine this lightweight and focused model that applies to other future jobs related to technology: solid certification programs for project management, delivery fleet operations and other jobs that nobody can imagine today, but that will be obvious – and omnipresent – within five years "
Photo: Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, meets with Aditi Panwar, 10, from San José, left, Asmi Sawant, 10, center, from San José, and Aadya Batra, 9, right, from San José, during the "Made with Code" event, a Google program to teach computer science for girls in Mountain View in August 2017. (Josie Lepe / Bay Area News Group)
Tags: Course, digital skills, education, Google, online education, online learning, Pichai, skills, Sundar, Sundar Pichai, training