Google Cloud certification demonstrates an individual’s proficiency using Google Cloud technologies. It shows that a service provider or prospective employee can maintain and implement Google Cloud services and products into a company’s workflow. These skills are highly sought after and may lead to improved job prospects and salary.
To learn more about Google Cloud certification, keep reading!
What is Google Cloud?
Google Cloud, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), is a cloud platform or “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS). As such, GCP offers a broad range of services and products that businesses can use to improve the products and services they provide to clients and end-users.
Google Cloud services are hosted on servers that are available 24/7 and that can scale to meet the demands of the customer. These services fall into a number of categories:
- Cloud storage and backup
- Database management
- Developer tools
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Machine learning
For example, a company might use a Google Cloud server in order to handle voice recognition or to store a user’s credentials to be accessed across multiple devices. Cloud CND is “fast, reliable web and video content delivery with global scale and reach.” Compute Engine is “computing infrastructure in predefined or custom machine sizes.” The list goes on.
Any of these services can help to extend a company’s reach, but implementation can be complex and it requires significant technical understanding. This is why a company may wish to hire a professional with Google Cloud certification.
Is Google Cloud certification right for you?
If you are an IT professional, you may be considering Google Cloud certification. But is it right for you?
While certifications can be a great way to make a resume more attractive to employees and clients, they are less important than experience and qualifications. Remember: a company can always provide Google Cloud training after making a hire! Think of it as the “icing on the cake” that may help you to stand out against the competition.
What’s more, Google Cloud certification will only be useful to those companies that plan on using these technologies (or that can be convinced that they should!). That also means the hiring company must choose Google Cloud over the competing cloud platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Google Cloud has less market share than either of these options, so you may want to consider those certifications instead.
That being said, Google Cloud has specific use-cases where it is clearly the best choice. In particular, Google Cloud comes out on top for machine learning thanks to its powerful Tensor Flow platform. More and more companies are turning to machine learning to solve a wide range of challenges, so this may be a useful move to “futureproof” your career. GCP also has some impressively large clients to its name: Snap, Spotify, Best Buy, Gartner, and Coca-Cola.
The best option is to seek out as many certifications as you can, to appeal to the broadest range of employers, while demonstrating a wide knowledge-base and aptitude for learning.
What you need to know
Strengthening the case for Google Cloud certification is its relatively low price. Certification only costs $125 for an “Associate” certificate and $200 for a “Professional” certificate.
There is only one Associate-level certificate at the time of writing, which is the Associate Cloud Engineer. This basic certification covers the knowledge necessary for the day-to-day maintenance of existing GCP implementations. Professional certificates, meanwhile, cover the skills necessary to design and implement new solutions.
There are a total of 7 certifications:
- Associate Cloud Engineer
- Professional Cloud Architect
- Professional Data Engineer
- Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
- Professional Cloud Network Engineer
- Professional Cloud Security Engineer
- Professional Collaboration Engineer
Exams are not graded, rather examinees will be awarded a simple “pass” or “fail.” Each exam is two hours long and must be taken at a Kryterion testing center. There are over 1,000 testing centers located across 120 different countries. Once complete, certification is valid for two years.
Preparing for Google Cloud certification
Before attempting an exam, it is highly recommended that you spend some time educating yourself with regards to the platform. A great way to do this is with online courses, which make it easy to learn from the comfort of your home. Many of these provide specific exam preparation.