Google has launched a new certification program for IT professionals interested in careers helping companies extract business value from large, diverse data sets.
The Google Certified Professional Data Engineer program is targeted at people with experience in areas like programming data pipelines, tuning databases, creating reports and performing statistical analysis on corporate data. It is designed to demonstrate an individual's proficiency with key Google data technologies such as BigQuery, Cloud Dataflow and Cloud Machine Learning.
In a blog post announcing the certification program, Google's head of curriculum and certification Rochana Golani described the data engineer role as key to helping companies modernize the way they use data to enable better decision-making.
A Google certified data engineer would be able to help shape business outcomes by analyzing data and building statistical models to support decision-making. They will play a crucial role in helping automate and simplify business processes using machine-learning models, Golani said.
"Data Engineers will build, maintain and troubleshoot data processing systems that are secure, reliable and scalable, and this certification establishes a trusted standard of proficiency for the role," she said.
The new data engineer certification program is one of several that Google plans to offer under a broader Google Cloud Certification Program that the company announced recently. Google has so far announced three certification tracks under the program. The other two are a Cloud Architect certification track and a G Suite Administrator program.
The cloud architect certification program will launch soon and is designed to show an IT professional's proficiency in areas like designing and planning cloud architectures, managing and provisioning cloud infrastructure, and in security and compliance.
Initially, the company will offer beta certification exams for assessing an individual's proficiency in these areas. Google will gather performance statistics from these exams and use them to create the final standards for certification under the program.
The G Suite Administrator certification program is designed to demonstrate an individual's proficiency at handling a wide range of tasks pertaining to Google's suite of cloud platform technologies. Individuals who sign up for the program will be trained and assessed for their readiness to handle tasks like creating, deleting and administering users and organizational units; configuring settings, policies and reporting; and ensuring the overall security of their cloud domain.
Google currently offers the G Suite Administrator certification exam in English and in Japanese.
According to Golani, individuals with hands-on experience using Google's Cloud Platform technologies are best prepared for the new data engineer certification program. The company has developed a certification exam guide that lists the skills required for data engineer certification. Individuals interested in signing up for the course can use the exam guide to assess their readiness for it, Golani said.
"Increasingly, data drives decisions, and there's a huge demand for technical professionals who can support decision-makers," by extracting value from business data, she said.
The Google certification programs appear to be a response to the surging demand for a wide range of big data skills across multiple industries.
According to a Forbes report from earlier this year, just three companies—IBM, Cisco and Oracle—advertised more than 26,000 jobs requiring big data skills in the past year alone. The salaries for such professionals averaged approximately $124,000 over that period.