The Cloud Data Engineer professional certificate is a detailed program aimed at those who want to deepen their skills in cloud data engineering, specifically using Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This program is particularly beneficial for those targeting Google’s Data Engineer certification, a credential that validates your expertise in data engineering on GCP. While the program offers a shareable certificate of completion issued by Coursera, the main reason why you would complete it is to prepare you for the Google Cloud Data Engineer certification exam. However, it is important to note that to obtain the Google Cloud certification, you will need to pay an additional fee and pass a separate exam.
It is listed as an intermediate-level offering, making it clear that some prior experience in areas like SQL, data modeling, or Python programming is beneficial. Google suggests having at least a year’s experience in one or more of these domains before diving into the certificate. The course is exhaustive, spanning topics from Big Data and Machine Learning in Google Cloud to specialized data processing tools like BigQuery and Cloud SQL. While the curriculum is comprehensive, it can sometimes feel like a whirlwind tour of Google Cloud services, potentially overwhelming for newcomers.
One confusing aspect was the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) topics, which aren’t typically central to a data engineer’s role.
The production quality is what you would expect from a Google-affiliated course: high. However, the program sometimes leans more towards a Google Cloud tutorial than a balanced educational experience. This is not surprising, given that it is a preparatory course specifically aimed at the Google Cloud certificate.
A highlight of the program is the hands-on labs, which are integrated via the Qwiklabs platform. These labs not only complement the video lectures but also allow you to apply the skills you have acquired in real-world scenarios. Projects often involve Google Cloud Platform products like Google BigQuery, all set up within the Qwiklabs environment. This practical component ensures you get hands-on experience with the concepts taught, making it an invaluable part of the course.
It is important to note that full access to the program, including all exercises and assignments, requires a paid subscription. However, for those on a budget or looking to explore the program before committing, individual courses within the Professional Certificate can be audited, although this limits access to assignments and projects, and you will not receive a certificate of completion.