Cloud computing is a niche in Information Technology that has seen some of the largest adoption in the last decade. It simply means using someone’s else computing resource (usually Cloud Service Platforms). Current statistics indicate that 90 percent of organizations use some type of Cloud solution, and there is a growing trend of moving critical infrastructure to the cloud. Google Clouds – one of the top three leading Cloud Service Platforms- has been at the forefront of providing Cloud Services to organizations and professional training courses to individuals for the deployment of such technology. This blog post will explore a collection of free Cloud computing courses for absolute beginners.
The Google course collections are foundational to cloud computing and ideal for those who are either just starting out in IT or are moving from other tech niches to cloud computing. They are free and are taught through the lens of Google’s own Cloud products and services. The general concepts are however applicable to all other vendors as well, they are foundational.
Why Learn With Google Clouds?
Google Clouds is one of the “Big Three” Cloud Service Providers (the other two being Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure). It finds application in many organizations as the primary Cloud platform or as a backup in multi-cloud deployments. The skills you develop while learning with Google Clouds can easily be adapted for use in other Cloud Platforms. The following are additional reasons to learn with Google Clouds.
- Google Cloud has some of the best and most modern infrastructure, so you will be getting your training based on the latest innovations in Cloud Technology.
- Certifications – Google Cloud certifications are recognized industry-wide for various cloud roles. Hiring managers often list them as a part of the requirement for cloud roles.
- The abundance of Learning Resources – There is an abundance of learning materials(tutorials, lab demos, documentation, etc.), both free and paid courses to help you develop your professional skills.
- Global Recognition -Google Cloud products and services have a worldwide reach, with data centers in different regions across the world. You can migrate with your cloud skills and still find relevance in any part of the world.
- Scalable Learning Pathway – The courses and certifications offered by Google Clouds are graduated to suit different skill levels, you can rank up your skills by taking further studies.
- Hands-on Experience -There is a strong emphasis on hands-on demonstration to make your learning experience useful in real-life work environment
- Online Community and Support – There are large networks of professionals, industry leaders, researchers, students, etc. you can interact online to better help you understand the different products and services offered by Google Clouds.
- Cloud Career Opportunities -Google Cloud has several partner organizations, vendors, etc. that show a preference for Google certifications.
Free Google Cloud Courses
The following free Google Cloud Computing Professional Certification courses will help you get started in your Cloud Computing career. It is a four-part beginner course in Cloud computing using Google Cloud Service Infrastructure. They come with a certification (for a fee) but the course itself is completely free of any charge. The goal of these courses is to lay the foundational knowledge that will help you start your Cloud Certification training. The professional certification that goes with the courses is optional and they cost some fee. (There are other professional certifications that are discussed later) The foundation Cloud foundational courses are thus below;
1. Google Cloud Computing Foundations: Cloud Computing Fundamentals
This course is a basic introduction to Cloud computing and its common application to daily tasks and businesses. It focuses on Google Cloud’s Extended solution and computation options. There are no prerequisite courses, you should however complete the course within 1 week of signing up. At the expiration of the 1 week, the course content will no longer be active- it will be the course archives. Some of the foundational concepts the course teaches include;
- Introduction to Cloud Computing
- Google Cloud Architecture
- The Google Cloud Console
- Lab Demonstration
- Using Google Cloud to Build Apps
There is an option for a paid upgrade to the course for course certification
2. Google Cloud Computing Foundations: Infrastructure in Google Cloud
The basic infrastructure that supports cloud deployment is the focus of this course. You learn about hardware (physical or virtual), Servers, database, storage systems, VMware, etc. It is a continuation of the foundation course above. How to implement the different storage models. Some of the Cloud concepts covered include
- Storage Options in the Cloud – Structure and Unstructured Storage in the Cloud
- SQL Managed Services
- The Purpose of APIs
- Security in the Cloud
- Shared Security Model
There are also lab demonstrations in the course. And the option to upgrade.
3. Google Cloud Computing Foundations: Networking and Security in Google Cloud
This course teaches you the fundamentals of securing your deployments to Google Cloud, ensuring best practices so that your systems are not vulnerable to hacks. You will also get to learn about basic Networking concepts (to understand security better). Some of the topics in the course are as follows;
- Networking in the Cloud
- Virtual Private Cloud
- Routes and Firewalls in the Cloud
- Google Cloud’s Operations
There is also an option for a paid certification
4. Google Cloud Computing Foundations: Data, ML, and AI in Google Cloud
You will learn about the collection, storage, and management of big data. Google is a big name when it comes to Machine learning and Artificial intelligence. You will get a first glimpse of how to configure these by using Google Cloud. You will explore a variety of managed big data services in the cloud. Like the others, there is an option for a paid certificate. Some of the topics covered are as follows
- Introduction to Big Data Managed Service in the Cloud
- Leveraging Big Data Operation with Cloud Dataproc
- Build, Extract, Transform, and Load Pipelines using Dataflow
- MachineLearningin the Cloud
- Building ML Models with Vertex AI
To get other Google Certifications, a description of the Google Cloud Platform certification pathway is given in the section below.
Google Cloud Platform Certifications Pathway
Google Cloud Platform Certification (GCP) consists of three levels of expertise – These are Foundational, Associate, and Professional.
Foundational Level – These are the gateway courses for those who are new to Cloud Technology or from non-technical backgrounds. You do not need any prior technical knowledge to start these certifications. The most prominent foundational Course is the Google Cloud Digital Leader
Associate Cloud Engineer – This is for persons who already have some background or foundational knowledge about Cloud technology e.g. Persons with a degree in computer science degree or work experience in cloud technologies. The focus of the Associate Cloud Engineer is to teach about various Google products in greater depth than you have at the foundational level, how you can deploy various cloud solutions, and maintenance and monitoring of such applications.
Professional Level Certification – This is at the expert level of expertise and will require adequate mastery of previous levels. The professional focuses on important technical jobs and advanced skills in the Design, Implementation, and management of Google Cloud Products and solutions. There are eight Certifications (as of 2023) that fall under the professional level; these are Cloud Architect, Cloud Developer, Data Engineer, Cloud DevOps Engineer, Cloud Network Engineer, Google Workspace Administrator, Machine Learning Engineer, and Cloud Security Engineer.
The professional-level certifications are meant to address specific job needs or careers. For example, a network engineer who wants to improve his knowledge of how Networking works in the Cloud Environment will take the Cloud Networking Engineer Certification. Someone who is interested in Designing (not Building) a Cloud solution will need to take the Google Cloud Architect Certification.
What Google Cloud Certifications Earn
According to data sourced from Glassdoor, the Salaries or earnings of the different Google Cloud professionals are in the table below
|Google Certification||Salary/Income (Per Annum)|
|Cloud DevOps Engineer||212,261|
|Cloud Network Engineer||160,208|
|Cloud Workspace Administrator||165776|
|Cloud Security Engineer||255,871|
|Machine Learning Engineer||228,282|
|Cloud Associate Engineer||115,338|
These values represent the median pay as they relate to the US job market.
Google Cloud is a globally recognizable Cloud Service Platform. The 4-in-1 Cloud Computing foundational courses offered by Google Clouds are a good way to kickstart your Cloud career journey; Cloud Computing fundamentals will introduce you to cloud computing and its application to businesses, Infrastructure in Google Cloud teaches the basic Google Infrastructure that supports cloud deployment, Networking and Security in Google Cloud will introduce you to the fundamentals of how devices communicate with one another and basic security practices in the cloud. Finally, Data, ML, and AI Google Cloud focuses on the collection, management, and Storage of Big Data at a basic level.