Google Cloud Certifications Path

In the previous article, we talked about the most in-demand Azure Certifications in the market today. In this article, we’ll discuss the certifications offered by Google Cloud, which is currently the third most popular cloud service provider in the world.

It is important to note there are no prerequisites in taking any GCP certification exam. Also, the official passing score on associate and professional level certification exams is not published by Google.

Associate

The associate-level certification focuses on the fundamental skills of deploying, monitoring, and maintaining projects on the Google Cloud Platform.

Associate Cloud Engineer

Purpose

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The GCP Associate Cloud Engineer Certification is a good starting point for IT professionals who are new to cloud and can be used as an entry point if you are planning to acquire professional level certifications.

An Associate Cloud Engineer has the capability to deploy applications, monitor operations, and manage enterprise solutions like the Cloud Storage, Compute Engine, and Kubernetes Engine.

Knowledge

The certification requires candidates to have a solid understanding on how to work with the Google Cloud Console and the command line interface to perform common platform-based tasks to maintain or deploy solutions that leverage Google-managed and self-managed services on the Google Cloud Platform.

The official exam guide for the GCP Associate Cloud Engineer Certification can be found here. It contains details about the exam and recommended steps that will help you prepare for the test.

Exam Details: The exam consists of 50 questions and has a time limit of 120 minutes.

Cost: $125 

Professional

GCP offers eight role-based certification exams at the professional level that assess advanced skills in design, implementation, and management. 

1. Professional Cloud Architect

Purpose

A Professional Cloud Architect enables teams and organizations to leverage cloud technologies with a deep understanding of cloud architecture and Google Cloud Platform. This assessment is suited for individuals who plan to design, develop, and manage robust, secure, highly available, and dynamic solutions to accomplish business objectives.

Knowledge

Expect the exam to be difficult since this is a professional level exam. The exam revolves more around how to perform the cloud architect role instead of the Google platform itself. 

Most of the exam questions are scenario-based which means questions are real-world like problems and you need to find the best approach and solution to the problem. Furthermore, Google also assumes that you have a background in software development when taking the exam.

Read more about the GCP Associate Cloud Engineer Certification through this official guide here.

Exam Details: The exam consists of 50 questions and has a time limit of 120 minutes.

Cost: $200

2. Professional Cloud Developer

Purpose

This exam is for software developers that have proficiency with at least one general-purpose programming language and are capable of producing meaningful metrics and logs to debug and resolve code issues.

A Google Professional Cloud Developer has the ability to develop, design, test, and deploy highly scalable, available, and reliable cloud native applications using Google-recommended practices and tools.

Knowledge

In this certification exam, you should be comfortable with building and designing high performing applications, working with APIs, working with Stackdriver to generate metrics and logs, and integrating Google Cloud services in your application.

The exam does not directly assess your ability to code, instead it focuses on your ability to leverage GCP services and recommended practices in order to develop, test, deploy, and manage scalable and highly available applications.

Check out the official GCP Cloud Developer Certification guide here.

Exam Details: The exam consists of 102 questions, with 240 hours to complete and can only be taken in accredited test centers.

Cost: $200

3. Professional Data Engineer

Purpose

Business decisions nowadays are mostly driven by data. Data is everywhere and understanding how to build systems to collect, transform, and publish data is in-demand.

The cloud is growing and if you are an IT professional looking to progress your skills in the world of data, taking the GCP Professional Data Engineer certification would be suitable for you. The ability to use cloud technologies is becoming more of a requirement for any kind of data-focused role.

Knowledge

The exam covers topics on designing, monitoring, and building secure data processing systems with emphasis on security and compliance, scalability and efficiency, reliability and fidelity, and flexibility, and portability.

In this exam, you should have a strong hands-on experience on working with GCP storage systems like Cloud BigTable, Cloud Spanner, Cloud SQL, BigQUery, Cloud Storage, Cloud Datastore, and Cloud Memorystore. You should also be familiar with leveraging pre-built ML model services like Vision API, Speech API, Diagflow among others.

To read the official GCP Professional Data Engineer Certification documentation, check out this link

Exam Details:  The exam consists of 50 questions and has a time limit of 120 minutes.

Cost: $200 

4. Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer

Purpose

A Cloud DevOps Engineer is the one in charge of efficient development operations. These professionals are highly skilled at using GCP to build software delivery pipelines, deploy and monitor services, and manage and learn from incidents.

This role requires an in-depth knowledge and experience in almost all areas of the cloud to be able to work effectively and efficiently. Their main job is to ensure efficient development operations without sacrificing delivery speed, as well as automating the development workflow.

Knowledge

Knowing and understanding the services on a high level will not be enough to pass the exam as it deep dives on the implementation of the GCP services. The exam is a complex combination of topics on DevOps, Site Recovery, and Google Services such as Stackdriver, Cloud Build, Kubernetes Engine, Container Registry.

We highly recommend that you take the GCP Professional Cloud Developer exam first since there is a bit of an overlap on both certification exams. It can help you gain in-depth insight on building software delivery pipelines alongside deployment and monitoring infrastructure.

For the official GCP Professional DevOps Engineer Certification exam details, check out the official guide here

Exam Details: The exam consists of 50 questions and has a time limit of 120 minutes.

Cost: $200 

5. Professional Cloud Security Engineer

Purpose

Security management has proven to be the most challenging responsibility but a totally rewarding job for IT professionals. Knowing how to implement security practices properly and efficiently is essential for organizations especially with the prevalence of security attacks happening online.

As a Professional Cloud Security Engineer, you will be able to help businesses and organizations design and implement a secure GCP infrastructure through your understanding of security best practices and industry security requirements.

Knowledge

This professional-level certification exam covers a wide range of security topics and technologies. You will be tested on your ability to manage identity and access management (IAM), using Google technologies to provide data protection, configuring network security defenses, collecting and analyzing logs, managing incident responses, and your understanding of regulatory concerns.

To learn more about the GCP Professional Security Engineer Certification, visit the official guide here

Exam Details: The exam consists of 50 questions, has a time limit of 120 minutes, and can only be taken in accredited test centers.

Cost: $200 

6. Professional Cloud Network Engineer

Purpose

As cloud technologies grow, it’s crucial that cloud professionals understand how to implement and manage networks on the cloud particularly since it involves a different mindset from the way we used to manage on-premise networks.

The role of a Professional Cloud Network Engineer is to implement and manage network architectures in Google Cloud Platform. The function entails having an in-depth understanding on implementing VPCs, hybrid connectivity, network services, and security for established network architectures.

Knowledge

The certification exam measures a candidate’s ability to demonstrate critical job skills like designing, planning, and prototyping a GCP network, implementing a Virtual Private Cloud, configuring network services, implementing hybrid connectivity, and implementing network security.

It is recommended that you expose yourself to different use cases and approaches and try implementing them using the command line interface or the Google Platform Console whenever possible.

Check the official GCP Professional Cloud Network Engineer Certification guide here for more details.

Exam Details: The exam consists of 50 questions and has a time limit of 120 minutes.

Cost: $200 

7. Professional Collaboration Engineer

Purpose

A Data Collaboration Engineer looks for opportunities to educate an organization’s end users and is actively advocating the use of G Suite and Google Toolset to increase operational efficiency.

Though there are some overlap with other certification exams in terms of user management and IT security, this exam would not be necessary if your primary focus is in architecting software solutions, networking, or data engineering. Moreover, most of the G Suite options are logical and straightforward so you won’t find the exam too hard.

Knowledge

Google Cloud encompasses a wide array of G Suite solutions like Mail, Calendar, Sliders, Drive, Hangouts, etc. You can also provision or manage devices like Chromebook, mobile phones, teleconference equipment, and others that are typically accessed using Google as Identity Provider.

Exam candidates will be assessed on their ability to plan and implement G Suite authorization and access, managing resources and team drive lifecycles, managing mail, configuring endpoint access, and monitoring organizational operations.

For more information about the GCP Professional Data Engineer Certification, read this Google documentation here.

Exam Details: The exam consists of 50 questions with a time limit of 120 minutes.

Cost: $200

8. Professional Machine Learning Engineer

Purpose

Machine learning enables organizations to observe large sets of data, learn patterns, and improve their own knowledge of the data to make better business decisions. To perform machine learning, you need to utilize computers to perform tasks with agility, precision, and cost-effectively.

Remember that there is a limited number of machine learning jobs in the market. Right now, there is a wide, open space with less competition for GCP Professional Machine Learning Engineers, which means that this is a great opportunity to be part of the early adopters.

Knowledge

Machine Learning has become an integral part of businesses in their pursuit of solving business challenges with data science. In this exam, you need a strong foundation on topics like ML models, data pipeline interaction, metrics interpretation, infrastructure management, data engineering, and security.

The exam will validate your ability to frame specific machine learning problems and implement solutions using Tenserflow deep-learning framework and GCP services. Unlike other GCP certification exams, this exam does not have a practice exam available yet since it’s relatively new.

Learn more about the GCP Machine Learning Engineer Certification by reading this guide

Exam Details: The exam consists of 50 questions and has a time limit of 120 minutes.

Cost: $200 

In the next part of our Introduction to Cloud Computing blog tutorial, we will answer another frequently asked question: AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud – Which One Should I Learn?

This article is part of our free Journey to Cloud: A Beginner’s Guide eBook. Click here to get a free copy.

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