While Google Cloud’s revenue base is lower than that of Microsoft and Amazon, its growth rate is higher, according to a recent April 2020 analysis by cloudwars.co. Fueling this growth is the rising demand for analytics and Big Data solutions as well as multi-cloud architectures. For this reason, the Google Cloud (GC) Professional Cloud Architect certification, which was launched in 2017, has been in the spotlight lately as a high-paying IT certification, and professionals that earn it represent skilled employees that companies primarily look for when adopting Google Cloud. This guide provides information and resources on the Professional Cloud Architect certification and exam.
This certification is for professionals who wish to demonstrate their thorough understanding of cloud architecture and GC, as well as their ability to design and develop robust, scalable, highly available, and dynamic solutions to drive business objectives.
It is therefore targeted at professionals with the breadth of knowledge of a solutions or enterprise architect with subject matter expertise in GC products and services.
This certification provides value and confidence to both employers and employees by validating and demonstrating an individual's ability to:
In today's competitive cloud marketplace, a professional level certification is a key differentiator.
For organizations, this certification counts towards the requirements for becoming a GC Managed Service Provider (MSP) or increasing partnership status.
To earn this certification, you need to pass a single exam:
This exam is designed to determine only whether or not an individual meets a minimum passing standard. For that reason, you do not receive a score or any feedback after taking the exam (other than whether you passed or failed it).
During the exam, some of the questions may refer you to a case study that describes a fictitious business and solution concept. You can review in advance some sample case studies that may be (and are often) used in the exam at these sites:
Although it is a professional-level certification, there are no prerequisites for taking the Professional Cloud Architect exam.
It is, however, a comprehensive and technical exam that will require you to have experience and/or have done extensive studies on cloud design and architecture with GC.
The following skills are within the scope of the exam:
Google states that the exam content can be changed at any time, so refer to the Professional Cloud Certification Exam Guide for the latest content update.
Below are some resources to help you prepare for the exam:
According to a Global Knowledge article on the 15 Top-Paying IT Certifications for 2020 in the United States, a Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect comes out on top for the second year straight with an average income of $175,761.
With growing demand and customer adoption of industry-specific solutions that leverage GC's best-of-breed capabilities, Google Cloud Architects are in high demand in the market, as evidenced by the high average pay of certified GC professionals. In addition, as most IT professionals working with cloud tend to gravitate towards AWS and/or Azure, employers beginning to adopt Google Cloud are struggling to find skilled GC architects, which contributes to the high pay and opportunities presenting themselves at the moment for GC professionals.
Several IT consultancies are also aiming for Google Cloud's Managed Service Provider partnership status, which among other things requires a minimum number of Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certifications. This is also a factor boosting career prospects for professionals that earn this certification.
This certification is a professional level Google Cloud certification that represents the role of a cloud architect. Other professional certifications are Professional Data Engineer, Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer, Professional Cloud Network Engineer, Professional Cloud Security Engineer, and Professional Collaboration Engineer.
Since it has no prerequisites and it's also not a prerequisite for any other, this certification stands alone and it's not part of a certification path.
This certification is valid for two years from the date certified. To maintain certification status, you will need to retake the exam.
The demand for Google Cloud architects is on the rise, with the Professional Cloud Architect certification being the highest paying IT certification in 2020, according to one report. With no prerequisites and a single exam to take, albeit a difficult one, there's a low barrier to getting certified, which gives this certification a great ROI. For professionals experienced with Google Cloud and skilled in designing and implementing scalable and highly available cloud architectures using GC, this certification can be a great chance to prove your abilities and give you value and confidence.
Finally, some tips for passing the exam: