One of the best ways to gain industry recognition and validate your expertise is by getting certified. Fortunately, in recent years, cloud computing certifications have grown in popularity thanks to the rapid increase in demand for cloud professionals and developers with a good understanding of the cloud infrastructure. Becoming Google Cloud Certified, for example, can significantly help cement your experience in IT and boost your opportunities for promotion too.
Google Cloud Certifications act as the perfect foundation on which to expand and build your repertoire of skills and experience, allowing you to take more advanced courses and certification programs in specific fields. There are a number of training pathways available on Google Cloud depending on what you want to focus on. These include:
- Cloud infrastructure for implementing, deploying, migrating, and maintaining applications in the cloud.
- Data and machine learning for those optimizing big data solutions.
- Application development for programmers who want to develop cloud software.
- G Suite administration for those who primarily use the Google G Suite apps
- An introduction to the Google Cloud Platform
- Apigee certification for API engineers working with Apigee products.
To be more specific, the available Google Cloud Certified training certificates are categorized as the following:
- Associate Cloud Engineer
- Professional Cloud Architect
- Professional Data Engineer
- Professional Cloud Security Engineer
- Professional Cloud Developer
- Professional Cloud Network Engineer
- G Suite
So, where do you begin?
Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer Track
Before you can become a Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer, you need to first master the basics of cloud infrastructure. On Google Cloud, there are basic courses as well as platform-specific certifications (such as AWS is also renowned for) to complete. These courses are designed to equip you with the skills and expertise you need on cloud platform architecture.
The first step in your journey is taking the Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals course. This is a one-day course that takes you through all the basics of Google Cloud. Even if you are skilled in this platform already, taking the course is highly recommended. It gives you in-depth knowledge of the Google Cloud environment.
Additional courses on architecture and identity are next. These courses go deeper into the infrastructure and resources available on Google Cloud Platform, along with Cloud Identity, Provisioning, and Implementation of Cloud Policies. Combined with the Architecting with Google Cloud Platform: Design and Process course, this next step takes two weeks to complete.
There is an exam preparation course to take too. Certification exams can be challenging if you don’t know what to expect, and the course helps you prepare for those challenges better. Keep in mind that the Google Cloud certification does not rely only on written exams only; those taking the certification must demonstrate their ability to manage cloud infrastructure as well through a series of labs. Expect a mixture of high-level and low-level knowledge problems. Vagueness is built into many of the questions on purpose. Your task is to choose the best possible answer from amidst other likely answers based on context.
There are a number of supplementary course materials you can use to help you pass your certifications. Take a look at Coursera to start with. Besides videos, Coursera will give you access to the Qwiklabs labs, which will help with the hands-on experience you need (Qwiklabs is owned by Google). Another great supporting resource is Linux Academy, which you should use to pay special attention to the case studies. Knowing that information ahead of time will be especially useful during the exam as up to four case studies can feature in the questions.
Don’t forget to avail yourself of the practice exams for any Google Cloud Cert that you choose to take to ensure you’re 100% ready before you sit down for the real thing.
After completing the Site Reliability Engineering course and finishing the exam, you will become a Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer. As mentioned, you can choose to take additional GCP certifications for application development, data and machine learning, and even G Suite administration. These are all valuable basics to have before moving on to the next certification.
Last but certainly not least, you can take the exam on its own or as part of a comprehensive course on GCP services in general. Whichever route you choose to take, there are a lot of valuable skills and know-how that will turn you into a capable Google Cloud user and engineer.
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