Certifications / Cloud

Is the Professional Google Workspace Administrator Worth It?

Is the Professional Google Workspace Administrator Worth It? picture: A
Published on July 13, 2022

If you've ever used one of the Google Workspace tools, you know they're useful and powerful collaboration apps. Companies and employees collaborate much better once everyone has their own Gmail account. They can schedule more efficiently when they set up Google Calendar in all their planning. They can share and swap documents faster with Google Drive. The list goes on. From Google Sheets to Google Chat, a company is made stronger when Google Workspace tools function properly. A Professional Google Workspace Administrator is the person who makes sure that happens.

Someone who earns the certification proves that they understand how to take objectives the organization has and turn them into real configurations and policies for a company's Google Workspace environment. A professional workspace administrator understands their company's infrastructure at a deep level and knows how to interface that infrastructure with the tools, programming languages, and APIs that automate and govern Workspace tools. Read on and learn whether the Professional Workspace Administrator is worth it for you.

What is the Professional Google Workspace Administrator?

The Professional Google Workspace Administrator is a mid-career certification aimed at someone who manages and configures the services, objects, and user lifecycles in a Google-powered collaboration environment.

Whether you're setting up recognizable and widely available tools like Gmail, Google Slides, and Google Drive or configuring shared drives, implementing unique Workspace configurations based on corporate policies, or mitigating basic email attacks, a collaboration engineer manages the tools and technologies a company uses to collaborate (with Google).

Formerly known as the  Google Professional Collaboration Engineer, the certification was renamed Google Workspace Administrator in April 2022. A collaboration engineer doesn't just know the Google Workspace apps like Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Meet work, they also know how to administer and manage the Workspace.

They also understand the implementation requirements and security considerations for any Workspace collaboration undertaking and can help managers and leaders balance the costs and benefits of adopting new collaboration technologies.

What Does the Professional Google Workspace Administrator Test?

The Professional Google Workspace Administrator Certification Exam is a two-hour exam with multiple choice and multiple selection questions in five different sections. The exam tests you on the following:

  • Section 1: Object management

  • Section 2: Service configuration

  • Section 3: Troubleshooting

  • Section 4: Data access and authentication

  • Section 5: Support business initiatives

Within those five sections are the knowledge a collaboration engineer needs to have to help make sure a company gets the collaboration tools they need from Google Workspace and none that they don't. You can see that the exam focuses on fine-tuned configuration and calibration of Google Workspace tools but also on providing the right tools for the company at the right junctures.

How much does the Professional Google Workspace Administrator Exam Cost?

Earning the Professional Google Workspace Administrator certification costs $200. Once you've taken the exam, the certification is issued to you – unlike some other certs, you don't have to document any work time or prove that you have a certain amount of experience.

The Professional Google Workspace Administrator certification remains valid for two years. After that, you simply retake the Workspace Administrator Certification exam – which Google offers a 50% discount on for renewing.

What Experience Do You Need for the Professional Google Workspace Administrator?

Even if you feel very confident using each of the Google Workspace apps, you still might not be prepared for the Professional Google Workspace Administrator certifying exam. In order to pass it, you'll want experience with managing, configuring, troubleshooting, and securing the different collaboration technologies and customizing their use for different offices and work centers.

Nevertheless, having experience with all of the Google Workspace apps is important, since as a workspace admin it's also your job to explain and champion their use to users in your office. These include Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Meet, and Google Chat.

You'll also want experience with fundamental administration tasks in Google Workspace. From configuring security postures to provisioning users and groups, including managing applications and Google Meet, you’ll need to know a lot. You also should know how to provision groups and calendar resources, create unit structures and configure apps, and manage security policies and features inside the Google Workspace.

Last, before attempting the Professional Google Workspace Administrator certification exam, you should have experience managing and establishing best practices for implementing and using Google Workspace in your organization. The most important part is having confidence in the admin console. You should have experience managing users, controlling access to services, and managing security settings. You should also know how to interface with domain settings, domain providers, account provisioning, and managing users and groups within your organization’s Cloud Directory.

Who Should Take the Professional Google Workspace Administrator?

The Professional Google Workspace Administrator is best for IT professionals who work with Google Workspace at all, or who provide collaboration solutions through the Google Workspace admin console. Systems administrators, cloud solutions administrators, and systems engineers should consider taking the Professional Google Workspace Administrator.

Is Professional Google Workspace Administrator Worth it for Systems Administrators?

Obviously, the Professional Google Workspace Administrator won't be worth it for every systems administrator. Plenty of sysads don't deal with collaboration technologies or ever have to integrate new Workspace tools into a work center's production lifecycle. But if your company does work in a hybrid cloud environment, or if your company uses Google Workspace apps for collaboration, as a systems administrator, you'll want to have a professional level of understanding in managing, configuring, and securing those tools.

The workspace administrator is able to explain the use of Google productivity tools but can also get their hands dirty making them work exactly right. If you're a systems administrator and that could be useful for you, you should consider the Professional Google Workspace Administrator cert.

Is Professional Google Workspace Administrator Worth it for Cloud Solutions Administrators?

Yes, cloud solutions administrators will find the Google Workspace Administrator worth it. As far as cloud service providers go, it's hard to find one that's bigger or more readily known than Google.

Even if your company doesn't use Google collaboration tools like Google Drive or Gmail, you should still earn the Google Workspace Administrator certification so that you can speak knowledgeably about the tools, services, and apps that Google provides that could change the way your company does business. And then, if they do decide to go that route, you'll also be trained and ready to configure and manage the change over to the new collaboration tools.

Is Professional Google Workspace Administrator Worth it for a Systems Engineer?

For most systems engineers, the Professional Workspace Administrator certification is probably a little too elementary to be worth the time and money. It only costs $200 to earn the Professional Google Workspace Administrator, but if you're planning and engineering whole cloud environments for your company, you probably already know what the cert covers.

On the other hand, maybe you haven't worked with Google Workspace tools, or maybe you're changing jobs to a work center that relies on Google. In that case, learning how to manage, configure and optimize users, apps and groups through the Admin Console won't take long, and afterward, you'll probably think it was worth it just so that you didn't have to try and figure it out in the dark. 

Is the Professional Google Workspace Administrator Worth It?

The Professional Google Workspace Administrator – is a relatively easy certification that can help administrators and engineers understand the Google tools that help team members collaborate. Earning it proves you know how to configure users, tweak apps and manage a company's experience with Google tools — it certifies valuable knowledge and for just $200, it's probably worth it for just about anyone.

Using Professional Google Workspace Administrator to Learn Skills

The really great thing about the Professional Google Workspace Administrator certification is that you can use the cert as a mountain to work toward as you challenge yourself to master every Google Workspace tool. And you don't even have to be an administrator or engineer to do it. Even if you just use Gmail or Google Drive as an end user, earning the Professional Google Workspace Administrator cert will teach you everything there is to know about using, optimizing, and troubleshooting all the collaboration tools Google provides.

And if you're trying to advance your career from the help desk or customer support to IT administrator, systems administrator, or something more advanced, it's a great certification to earn on your way to others. Earning it shows you've learned how to manage the Google Workspace experience for all your co-workers so that everyone can be more productive.

Using Professional Google Workspace Administrator to Validate Skills

If you've been working in collaboration management for a while, you might have already learned all there is to know about Google Workspace. If you already know how to manage third-party applications in the Google Workspace, if you can troubleshoot a Google Drive permissions error, and you can implement configurations and policies, then you should earn the Professional Google Workspace Administrator so that you earn the piece of paper that proves it to your employer.

The Google Workspace Administrator certification is one of the best tools you have for proving you can fine-tune a company's use of Google Workspace apps. If you know you can pass it already, it's worth earning it just to document your skills and prepare yourself for a promotion.


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