If you’re thinking of getting a GCP cert, this is the time to do it. Architects are high in demand, and Google certs may help you in your career. But can they be easy enough to justify your time investment?
In general, some Google Cloud certs can be quite easy to pass, but others may stagger you. While getting a CDL (Cloud Digital Leader) is a piece of cake for many, passing an ACE (Associate Cloud Engineer) may surprise you in its difficulty. The professional ones can take a while to study and prepare.
Preparation is key and all Google Cloud certs can be finished relatively quickly with the right focus and resources mentioned below.
How Difficult Are Google Cloud Certifications for Beginners?
Google Cloud certifications can be quite difficult for beginners, starting with the Associate Cloud engineer cert. Newcomers usually don’t choose to take anything higher than ACE, and even ACE will take time. The reason is the knowledge needs to be extensive, so it takes time to learn this and gain experience to be able to pass these exams.
They can be tough, but they may just get you an interview and teach you a lot. If you can apply yourself and have the self-discipline to learn, you’ll be able to pass the beginner-level exams and get the certs that may just help you get that first job in the cloud. If not, you will learn a lot as you prepare.
How Difficult Are Google Cloud Certifications for Experienced?
We can safely say that the more experience you have in any cloud (GCP, AWS, or Azure) the easier it will be to get the Google Cloud certification. It helps a lot to have hands-on experience across the services on GCP, and your depth of knowledge will come from this experience.
If you have at least several years of experience, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for you, however, you’ll still need to take your time to prepare, usually a week at least. For others, it will take longer and may surprise you how difficult it is. The key factor here is knowing what to study and what to focus on.
Which Google Cloud Certification Is Best for Beginners?
Since Associate certifications are the lowest level of certs you can take, this seems like the obvious place to start. Associate Google Cloud certs focus on fundamental skills for working on the Google Cloud platform, and your specific certificate will depend on the path you take.
One of the best first certs into the GCP you can take is the Associate Cloud Engineer (ACE). This is a beginner-friendly certification, and the exam doesn’t have any real coding in it just a multiple choice test. While having some experience might help you pass the test, it’s not required at all.
If your role isn’t tech-based, but you need to learn the basics of working on the GCP, then Google Digital Leader is the best start for a beginner. It’s fairly easy compared to other certs, and you get to learn the basics of working in Google Cloud.
Where to Prepare for Google Cloud Certification?
There are many resources you can use to train and prepare for many of the GCP certification exams. Most of them can prepare you fully to pass the tests if you apply yourself genuinely. Here are some of the best ones for several of the most popular Google Cloud certs you can get.
For the Associate Cloud Engineer exam, the best resources include:
- Dan Sullivan’s Official Google Cloud Certified ACE Study Guide
- These Coursera courses:
- This YouTube playlist by AwesomeGCP (Sathish VJ):
- Udemy Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer Practice Tests
- Google Cloud Skills Boost courses:
- Here’s a git repo with many other resources for passing the ACE cert
For passing the Cloud Digital Leader exam, the best resources include:
- Coursera courses:
- Google Cloud Digital Leader Training Professional Certificate (exam is basically what’s in the video)
- Google Cloud Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure (this and the one above, and you’re ready to go)
- Google Courses on the CDL learning path
- This YouTube course from FreeCodeCamp:
- Udemy Course: GCP for Beginners – Become a Google Cloud Digital Leader
These are some of the best, but not the only resources out there to pass these two beginner-level exams. Coursera courses in particular are among the best ones out there, and pretty much give you all the necessary information you’ll need to pass the exams.
How Long to Finish Google Cloud Certification: Experienced vs Beginners?
Depending on which Google Cloud Certification you’re preparing for and your level of experience, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months to study and pass the exams.
For beginners with little knowledge and experience in Azure, GCP, or AWS, it can take anywhere between a few weeks and two months to study and finish the Associate Cloud Engineer Certification. CDL cert should take less, a few weeks up to a month.
Experienced professionals have various paths and can take many different certs. The time it takes to pass these exams will vary based on experience. Those with a few years of experience in Azure, GCP, or AWS should take no more than a week or two of studying to pass the ACE exam. That’s around 20 to 30 hours at most.
With 3+ experience in GCP, it shouldn’t take more than a month of studying for the Google Cloud Architect certification, and the same can be said for Google Cloud Developer and the Cloud DevOps Engineer certification.
How Much Does Google Cloud Certification Cost?
Almost all of the Google Cloud certifications cost $200, except for the Associate Cloud Engineer, which is $125. Google Beta certifications exams have a 40% discount price, and cost $120 but are only available for a short period of time.
Given that there are a lot of resources that can help you out with getting these certs, it makes sense to obtain as many as you can afford, as long as they can help you in your career and align with your career path.
Which Google Cloud Certification Is the Easiest?
The easiest Google Cloud certification is the Cloud Digital Leader cert. Cloud Digital Leader requires less knowledge in tech and is designed for people in non-technical roles.
If you are in a technical role then this certification should be the easiest one for you. Many people who are in tech roles can pass this without much studying.
For some people, the Professional Cloud Architect can also be one of the easiest ones, because it’s mostly theory and design-focused.
This exam focuses on your understanding of when and where to utilize each product and you can learn this simply by reading all the product pages. However, before that, you should probably read the exam guide as well as the case studies. This is usually enough to try and take the practice exams to get an idea of how you’d do at the real exam.
Which Google Cloud Certification Is the Hardest?
Professional ML Engineer is considered one of the most difficult certs to get in Google Cloud. The content is very extensive, and it’s definitely not for beginners, as it requires a wealth of experience with designing and building ML models by using Google Cloud to achieve those tasks.
You can use this Google sheet as a resource to study for this certification. It’s under the tab “data engineer” and contains courses you can use to prepare for passing this certification. Alternatively, use this git repo for the most helpful resources in various forms.