Google Cloud announces new cloud skill badges and lab exam for engineers

Google Cloud announces new cloud skill badges and lab exam for engineers

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Google Cloud said today it’s building on its educational initiative for cloud computing, introducing new skill badges and role-based certifications for individuals seeking a way to demonstrate their expertise with its cloud infrastructure.

In an update today, Google Cloud explained that it has been leading the way in awarding cloud-based learning credentials. To date, individuals have earned more than 1.5 million Google Cloud skill badges that can be used to show off proficiency to potential employers. According to Google, these skills can lead to significant career growth.

The company has now added three new skill badges, bringing its total portfolio to more than 80. The badges cover a range of in-demand topics, including artificial intelligence, big data and security, and the courses that must be taken in order to earn them are now available in 11 languages, with more than 20 offered in French, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, the company said.

The most popular skills badge at the moment is the Generative AI Fundamentals skill, which was announced in June 2023 and has since become the most rapidly adopted so far, reflecting what Google Cloud said is “tremendous interest” from customers, learners and employers to implement generative AI technologies. The course work was recently made available in Polish and Ukrainian languages.

The new skill badges announced today reflect high demand for skills in areas such as AI, data architectures and cybersecurity. They include the new “Build a Data Mesh with Dataplex” introductory course, “Mitigate Threats and Vulnerabilities with Security Command Center” and “Build Custom Processors with Document AI.”

Whenever someone completes one of the courses and passes the assessments within, Google Cloud will issue them a badge that acts as a verified digital credential, highlighting their proven skills. According to the company, the skills badges can then be shared on social media. They’re often used by recruiters looking to identify suitable talent, it added.

In addition to the skills badges, Google Cloud said, it recently announced a new, lab-based exam as a model for those who want to renew their Associate Cloud Engineer certifications. The lab exam’s hands-on nature is said to provide an effective assessment of user’s ability to apply their skills in real-world scenarios, the company said. Candidates can take the exam whenever they want, from any location.

Eligible candidates for the lab exam will receive an invitation asking them to take it, and will see an additional notification when they log into their Google Cloud Certification Account on the company’s CertMetrics portal. This is a new service that’s said to simplify how users can manage their certifications, providing a one-stop shop for individuals to update their profile information, schedule exams, claim certification benefits such as discounts and view the latest news from Google Cloud.

Last year, Google Cloud commissioned the research firm Gallup Inc. to conduct a survey on the impact of its skill badges. The study found that most skill badge holders feel well-equipped with the skills they have gained through the company’s courses, more confident in their cloud skills, and excited to promote their skills across their professional networks.

A second study, looking at the impact of Google Cloud’s Associate Cloud Engineer certifications, found that 94% of participants believed the renewal experience allowed them to demonstrate their knowledge and experience.

In addition, Google Cloud said a growing number of companies have come to recognize its skill badges and certifications. For instance, Brian DeLarber, the global leader of the Google Business Group at Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., said his organization uses Google’s skill badges to upskill talent to meet its client’s requirements for AI modernization. “We’ve recently celebrated our employees’ proficiency with Google Cloud products and services, and recognized incremental achievements on their AI/ML learning journey with more than 3,500 Generative AI Skill Badges earned,” he said.

Image: Google Cloud

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