By Kate Merrill

BOSTON (CBS) – With the national unemployment rate over 13 percent, and over 16 percent in Massachusetts, some people worry the jobs lost this spring and summer may not return. One field that’s still growing is Information Technology, and Google is using this time to offer training at a steep discount.

“I have so many friends who lost jobs. I made the right decision at the right time,” explained Sandra Massie.

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After working in restaurants for years, Sandra decided she wanted something different, so she enrolled in an online training program, designed by Google, to become an Information Technology consultant.

“It’s awesome. I love my job,” she said. “I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

“It has always been a growing field, but guess what? It has surged since the pandemic,” explained Jesse Haines, director of Grow with Google, a division of the company that developed the course.

The classes are available online on a platform called Coursera and can be taken any time of day.

“We have seen a surge in enrollment in this program,” Haines said. “No degree is required and in about six months you can be ready to take a job, an entry level job in IT.”

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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects IT jobs to grow 12 percent through 2028, a much faster rate than all other occupations.

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In addition to the training, Google can also link learners with companies looking to hire.

“We have also built a hiring consortium. There’s all these great companies that are looking for IT talent, so we have gathered them together and learners can make their information accessible to these companies,” Haines said.

“I found a job before I even finished the certification,” Sandra said. “I have mobility in my job. I have great income and I have work, life balance. It’s so good.”

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Right now, Google is not charging anything for the certification program, but Coursera charges a monthly fee that starts at about $40 a month.

Kate Merrill