I Got My Google Data Analytics Certification For Free in 7 Days!

According to Google’s Senior VP of Global Affairs, I’m a Data Analyst now. I guess you could say things are pretty serious. I received my Google Data Analytics Certification for free in less than a week, right after leaving prison. Here is how I made it happen.

In 2020, while the entire world stayed home, Google took the initiative and added 5 different options to their professional certificates. Kent Walker, Google’s SVP of Global Affairs, has gone on record saying Google will treat these certificates the same as a four-year degree in a related field.


The five fields are:

  • IT Support
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management
  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Android Development


With no college degree necessary, it’s evident that the world is starting to recognize the need for affordable skills and training. There are still millions of Americans and individual worldwide unemployed or underemployed, much due to fallout from the pandemic.


Google’s IT Cert was on my to-do list for about a year, but I hadn’t gotten around to it because I wanted to wait until I had time to sit down and knock it out all at once. Plus… I forgot.


When I saw that they had Data Analytics when jumping back into the groove of things in December, it was an easy choice. Especially since ACE is recommending it for college credit too.

My goal was to complete it within 7 days on Coursera to avoid paying the $39 fee for a month’s service.


And thus began my journey to becoming an engineer.

January 12th

Signed up for the class. Watched the first lesson videos and read the
required readings. A little frustrated because I can’t speed up the
videos, and feeling too lazy to switch to Chrome to be able to use the
video controller.


1-hour update: Turns out I’ve heard this stuff before. I think I can multitask and finish getting my WordPress site setup while the lectures are rolling.


2-hour update: Welp, I was sidetracked. We all know multitasking decreases efficiency. The babies in the house began fighting over pretzels. No one wants to nap today. I’ll try again later.

January 13th-15th

Entire house caught COVID. I thought it was strep throat at first, but then followed closely were the flu-like symptoms, and all of a sudden I was sweating out my curls and passed out on the family room floor in a pile of toys. Not a thing was accomplished.


We lived though, so yea. Praise God. I forgot I even signed up for the class and did the Microsoft Virtual Training Days: Data Fundamentals course, then jumped in head first to #100Devs Bootcamp!


Did I mention I have a slight problem with overbooking my days?

January 17th

Finally, debugged the WordPress site (yes, this one) so now you may read what I write, instead of me allowing my drafts to pile up.


I jump back into Lesson 1 around midnight and discovered that the only mandatory assignments in the course are the Weekly Challenges! Jackpot! Let me try this challenge real quick and see how where I stand.


The questions are multiple choice and seem fairly straightforward. I have some database knowledge from the Database Management course at Strayer, and the Microsoft Virtual Training the other day.


Scored a 90+ on my first try. I think I’ll move forward with taking the exams first and seeing how I fare, then if needed due to low scoring, I will review the lesson material before retaking the exam. You are allowed 3 tries within 48 hours.


Thoughts on Course 1 (of 8): Prepare Data for Exploration in the Google Data Analytics Specialization: The video trainer for this course makes me think of Rachel Dolezal. Rachel Dolezal makes me think of the NAACP. The NAACP makes me think about Breonna Taylor, then somehow I fall down this rabbit hole of googling local activist groups, searching for ways to help, wondering when I can volunteer outside the home.

January 18th

Course 6: Share Data Through the Art of Visualization. I’m breezing through the first 2 course challenges, right up until I hit Week 3 and bomb the challenge with a 75%.


Course 7: Data Analysis with R programming;

  • Quiz 2: What in God’s name did I get myself into…
  • Quiz 4: What is this rabbit hole I’ve fallen into, dear God?!

2 hours later: I’m alive! Just tucked the babies in at 8pm and finished Course 7. I can’t believe I’m this close! I’ll have my certificate within the hour. Let me knock this out real quick.


5 minutes after that: I began and completed Course 8 which was an optional Capstone Project. I elected not to complete it.


I keep reloading my accomplishment page, but don’t see the “Add to LinkedIn” button next to any of my courses. Also, my course count is off. Maybe it takes some time to load in the system. Perhaps I need to verify my ID.


15 minutes later: ID verified, but they put my middle name as my last. Ugh. Headed to chat with a specialist.


5 minutes later: Name fixed. All before 8:30pm! Win! Heading back to check out these accomplishments. Yes! LinkedIn buttons are there now. And apparently they are all separate course certificates, not just one. Plus, I’m still missing two classes; 4 and 5. I’m about to explore some possible solutions.

Wow. Awkward.

Somehow, I completely skipped two courses and went directly from Course 3 to Course 6 when I began today.

This picture that popped up at the beginning of Course 8, with checkmarks on each of my courses notifying me of their completion, was indeed a fluke.

I guess this may take a little while longer. Beginning these at 9:17pm.


Course 4: Finished Course 4! 10:37pm -It took a lot longer than I anticipated.


Course 5: It is 10:40pm and I began with the goal of finishing the entire certificate before midnight.

Let’s go!

I’m feeling good right now. Course 5 is probably the easiest out of
the 8. That’s probably partially true because I’m ready to get this done
and over with, and also because it just is easier. The majority of the
challenges have been questions regarding functions, and I was able to
guess each one without needing to repeat any of them, unlike Course 4.


11:39PM: Finished! Now my certificate is complete, and I haven’t spent a dime. I’m excited to update my LinkedIn profile.

All in a week’s work.

So you see, it is not only possible to complete Coursera’s Google Data Analytics Certificate program, but fairly straightforward and can be accomplished in less than one week.


If you completed the course, let me know how you liked it, and if you were able to race the clock to finish quicker than expected!

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