PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — On Tuesday, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced that the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has partnered with Google to to offer industry-recognized Google Career Certificates to PASSHE students.

The new public-private partnership means that PASSHE students will be able to complete the certificates while working on their undergraduate degrees.  PASSHE universities will also be able to offer credentials to the public, through non-credit courses and workshop and people who complete the program will be able to access to Google’s employer consortium.

“It’s time for a blueprint for higher education focused on competitiveness and workforce development, one that is grounded in access and affordability,” Shapiro said. “Today, PASSHE has given us a clear example of what that can look like in practice, by connecting classroom learning to job-ready skills development so our students get the best of both worlds.”

PASSHE is the first higher education system in Pennsylvania to partner with Google to offer Google Career Certificates. Participating PASSHE schools in the first phase of the partnership include Commonwealth, East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, PennWest, Millersville, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock.

“PASSHE is proud to partner with Google to provide students with the knowledge and skills for in-demand jobs and support the strong workforce that Pennsylvania needs,” Cynthia Shapira, PASSHE Board of Governors Chairwoman, said. “Offering Google Career Certificates along with our own undergraduate courses prepares students with the comprehensive education and specific skills that employers want. Additionally, non-students can prepare for entry-level jobs with the option to continue earning more advanced credentials or pursue a four-year degree.”

The Google Career Certificates were developed by Google employees to increase support in in-demand fields. Over 200,000 people in the U.S. have graduated from Google’s program to date, and 75% reported a positive career impact, such as a new job, higher pay, or a promotion, within six months of completion.

Students who complete the certificates learn skills in the fields of cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing & e-commerce, business intelligence, IT support, project management and user experience (UX) design, with no experience required.

“Google is committed to helping people develop the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital economy. We’re excited to introduce the Google Career Certificate program to thousands of students and workers through our partnership with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education,” said Mark Isakowitz, Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy. “We appreciate Governor Shapiro’s commitment to offering more pathways to great careers in Pennsylvania and we are glad to do our part. This initiative will create more economic opportunity and help more Pennsylvanians access in-demand, well-paying jobs across the state.”