Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer Certification Workshop

Exam Overview


In this short chapter, you will get an overview of the certification, the process, and what you need to know before taking the exam.

Let’s talk about the exam format and what you are expected to know before you take the exam.

What do you have to know to pass the GCP Professional Data Engineer certification exam?

Upon passing the exam you will be a certified professional data engineer. Stop the video and take a couple of minutes to write down some things that a professional data engineer would need to know.

Your answers might include things like:

  • Data modeling

  • Database administration

  • Writing SQL queries

  • Choosing data storage services

  • Ensuring data integrity and security

  • And many other things as well

This course will focus on those tasks and competencies that Google thinks are important for you to say you are certified on their platform as a data engineer.

What are you and what are you not being tested on?

You are not being tested on trivia things. What does that mean? For the most part, you are not asked questions like, “what is the maximum number of this?”, or “what is the throughput of that?”. Things you could look up in a second doing a Google search. You may encounter an exception to that, but I think overall it is true that those are not the types of questions you will get.

Also, in the exam, you are not required to do anything. In other words, you don’t have to configure a service, or write code, or set up a load balancer.

You are being tested on whether you are a qualified Google Data Engineer. That makes sense, right? The certification is called “Professional Data Engineer”. So, what does a data engineer do? A big part of the data engineer job is storing data reliability, securely, and cost-effectively. GCP provides many services for storing data, the trick is knowing how to choose the right one. Data engineers also need to be able to move data around, transform it, do data analysis, and create visualizations for those in the organization who need the information to make timely business decisions. Google Cloud provides many tools to accomplish these tasks.

In short, the exam tests you on whether you can choose the right service for data-oriented use cases while optimizing for cost, performance, security, fault-tolerance, and so on.

So, what does the exam look like?

The exam is multiple choice. Sometimes there is one right answer. Sometimes you are asked to select the two or three answers that are correct. You are given 2 hours to take the exam.

The grading is pass or fail. They won’t tell you your score.

You will need to register to take the exam.

You can take the exam at either a Kryterion testing center in person or online

If you take the exam in-person, make sure you understand the rules going in and bring your ID.

An online exam is proctored by another person. So, don't assume you can just register right before taking the exam. You should register at least a week or two before the date you want to take the exam. When taking the online exam they will verify your identity. Make sure you are in a quiet place with no other people. You can also have no other devices, papers, books, etc. around you when taking the online exam. 

The fee for the exam was $200 when I took it. I assume it is the same, but you can verify that when you sign up for the exam.

If you fail the exam, you can take it again after 14 days. If you fail again, you have to wait 60 days. If you don’t pass a third time, you have to wait a year.

Before you study for the exam, there may be a few steps you should take to prepare.

First, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the exam. The first set of links should get you ready.

Also, take the Google practice exam. Passing this exam won’t guarantee you will pass the real exam. However, it will give you a feel for where you are now and also give you an idea of what the questions look like.