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April 8, 2024

Extended Studies Hero

Since 2019, UC San Diego Extended Studies and the San Diego Workforce Partnership have collaborated to provide students with the opportunity to earn certificates in technical fields at no upfront cost. Most recently, in 2023 we launched UC San Diego Extended Studies & Google Career Certificates, a certificate pathway program in which UC San Diego Extended Studies courses are paired with a Google Career Certificate to provide students with the opportunity to earn two industry-recognized certificates in 15 months. The certificates we currently offer are Business Intelligence, Front-End Development and Wireless Communications Technologist. Our teams work closely together to support student success and to expand this program to other certificate pathways. Below UC San Diego & Google Program Manager, Stefania Wright tells us about how their certificate programs provide job seekers the skills they need to stay competitive in today’s workforce.

Can you tell me more about the programs you offer?

UC San Diego Extended Studies offers hundreds of courses across various fields that are designed to be flexible and accessible with programs in online, in-person and hybrid modalities. Programs are developed to meet the different needs and desires of students in San Diego and around the world. Courses are offered in many different fields including business & leadership, science, technology, healthcare and many more.

Why is workforce development important to your organization’s mission?

Extended Studies’ mission “is to serve the critical lifelong knowledge and skill development needs of individuals, organizations and the community.” Workforce development reflects the division’s commitment to education, public service, and economic development. Extended Studies aims to serve the community by providing education to meet the needs of the evolving workforce, while helping individuals acquire the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers and to contribute positively to the economy. This mission aligns directly with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, which makes our collaborations work seamlessly. Many students come to Extended Studies and the UC San Diego Extended Studies & Google Career Certificates program seeking a career transition or upskilling in their current field and the way we partner to deliver a wholistic program model is by delegating the academic support to Extended Studies, the supplemental technical skills training to Google Career Certificates and job readiness preparations by the SD Workforce Partnership.

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Can you talk about some of the challenges our community faces and how you’re working to overcome them?

There are a few challenges that come to mind when thinking about the community around us. The first one is the clear and growing disparity in skills across various industries, where the demand for specific skills surpasses the available talent pool. To tackle this, Extended Studies continues to expand on its course offerings to enhance skill acquisition among community members, enabling them to secure quality employment opportunities. Another challenge that we see is that many people have difficulty accessing quality education due to a variety of factors including accessibility and cost. Extended Studies is making classes more affordable and offering instruction in a variety of modalities to meet job seekers where they are in their career journey. Many courses can be completed while maintaining a full-time job. Targeting people who need more support, especially with career transitions into technology specifically. That is where the UC San Diego Extended Studies & Google Career Certificates program comes from bridging the skills training in technology to employment opportunities. When establishing our partnership, we discovered through employer feedback and regional data that the technology sector is a rapidly growing industry in the region. It demands a skilled workforce, which we are positioned to assist in its development. Both Extended Studies and the Workforce Partnership are continuously working to identify challenges in the region and skills gaps that exist to develop innovative programming to meet the needs of the region. Our partnership is a great example of collaborating to provide even more services to job seekers, especially those facing barriers to employment.

How can San Diegans get involved?

At Extended Studies, we welcome and encourage partnerships from the community at various levels. We are always on the lookout for new instructors to develop and teach courses, and anyone can enroll in our many courses. You can learn more by visiting our website.

If you want to learn more about a career in technology and enroll in the UC San Diego Extended Studies & Google Career Certificates program, check out our program page and apply to get started. You can also contact with any questions.

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