We sat down with Trevor Jones, IT Manager and Systems Admin at Century 21 Beggins Enterprise—the top performing real estate group in the south East and 21st top producing worldwide. Trevor describes what drove him to become a Certified Google Administrator, what the experience was like and the benefits he now experiences.
Why Century 21 Beggins Enterprise Uses Google
The CTO of our company was investigating for a while if we should make the switch to Google when I came on board. I had previous Google experience because I was a teacher before and within one month I took the certification test and passed. We are on a ‘per user’ enterprise tier, which includes unlimited cloud storage.
We’re between a large and a medium-sized company—Google’s pricing to scale up is pretty decent. Microsoft was a little behind and only provides certain features for enterprises. For years, the company had different emails and storage methods. With Google we can blend things very well—such as 1099 staff or having one accounting seat for Excel, which is handled through OneCloud. Google has been getting better about how their docs work, because on G-Suite they currently offer a license per user, per month, and the user gets access to all programs. Also, the integration for Google is pretty quick (e.g. SSO) and they made it a lot easier to work with 3rd party tools, which might only be done similarly by companies like Facebook, with its Facebook Workplace platform.
What is included in the Google Certification?
It used to be called Google Admin; now it’s G Suite and includes everything on Google. You can just sign up online. In addition to G Suite, there are three different certifications and you can go online and sign up for—cloud engineer, cloud architect or data engineer. These also include the Google Cloud aspect.
Your experience preparing for the Google Administrator Certification
Using Google is intuitive, most of the time, and if you are using G Suite for work it will be second nature for you. I basically took one week to prepare for the test with their online materials.
If you start new they have you do it step by step from the beginning and create; however, I have to get re-certified on the redeveloped program. My previous certification lasted two years. Redoing the certification is exciting to me because Google was changing certified trainers and has updated all their materials.
How do you make the time?
Google is very flexible about how you do it and how you go through the course. Google recently teamed up with Coursera to make it more on-demand and on your schedule, their offering is basically 8 hours of work per week for a certain amount of time to get the Google IT support certification. Because they know you won’t have all of that time to block entire weeks for learning.
The Google Certified IT Admin exam test experience
The test is a monitored online test—similar to an online video screen share. You are in a test environment going through all that. It ranges in price from $75 - $200 for the test and the preparation class is at a similar price level.
Outcome of Google Admin Certification and recent updates
For me it paid off because I work directly under the CTO, who can now reliably defer to me. Since it’s a very lean team that’s essential.
Advice for IT admins looking to become certified
Do your courses! They take you through everything. Also, if you are familiar with Microsoft certifications, there are 2-3 ways to do something; in Google, they are OK with the way you want to do it. Versus with Microsoft they want the textbook version of one or the other variant. Also, Microsoft certification can be more expensive for MCSA and there are more tests for MCSE. At Microsoft, they have different exams for any of their product solutions, which gets quite complex.
I’ve heard there are also 3rd-party Google admin certified bootcamps but I mostly stuck to Google’s provided materials.