Very quietly, Google recently released its new certification landing page, individual pages for three certifications and certification FAQs. Other than that, there's precious little information available about this program right now. Nevertheless, there's a tremendous demand for knowledgeable and qualified Google Cloud Platform professionals. And that's what this program appears poised to address.
I say poised because only the Associate Level certification, the Google Certified Associate – G Suite Administrator, is available right now. But both of the Certified Professional credentials, Google Certified Professional – Cloud Architect and Google Certified Professional – Data Engineer, are still waiting for beta exam release, which means that final versions of those exams are at least 90 days in the offing before they become publicly available. That beta time period could easily get longer, then analyses must be undertaken, and a final version of the exam completed, depending on beta exam registrations and uptake.
A historical detour: Google certifications
Google had a certification program once before, but the company killed it off in 2013, after which it launched its Google Partners program (which still shows up as a separate tab on the Google Cloud Platform homepage). It looks like Google is jumping back into the certification game outside of the Partner Program umbrella once again.
The certification FAQs address this matter directly: In answer to the question "Do I need to be a Google Cloud Partner to take an exam?" it says, "No. Certification exams can be taken by anyone who is interested." So clearly, this is a new and separate initiative from the training available through the partner program on the Google Cloud Platform Training page.
Bare outlines on Google certifications
Google appears to be offering all of these exams online, proctored through Kryterion (which enables individuals who meet the company's PC requirements to sign up for and take exams on their own PCs at home). Exam objectives are available for all three certifications on their respective pages right now. But only the G Suite Administrator exam is open for registration.
However, when I attempted to register for the G Suite Administrator exam, it wasn't listed on the Certification Programs exam registration page (one must create an account before one can register). Google chooses not to disclose exam pricing in the materials that are currently available, so we must wait until it releases that information (or adds the exams to the registration page) to find out.
If history is any guide, the exams won't cost less than $100. But they could very well cost more, especially for the Professional credentials. The G Suite exam lasts for up to 90 minutes (just like the older, now-retired Google certification exams did), so it could cost $100 like those older exams did. No telling for the Cloud Architect or Data Engineer credential just yet, though.
Stay tuned. As we gather more information through Google itself, and through contacts at some of its training partners, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, the various pages linked earlier in this story show the shape of things to come, if not all of the gory details.