Chrome offers new operating system administrator certification

Three students, two men and one woman, use an Acer Chromebook Spin 311 to collaborate on a class project.


IT administrators, take note. Google plans to introduce a new certification exam for the Chrome operating system.

The Professional Chrome OS Administrator certification will launch in the fall, a Chrome spokesperson confirmed to ZDNet. It replaces the Chrome OS administrator certification, which is currently offline.

“Like all certifications, this exam is designed to showcase a person’s comprehensive skills in a particular field,” Leah Coleman, who works on partner training and support for Chrome OS, told ZDNet.

Certifications in computer science are offered by various organizations and are typically test-based measures of your proficiency in a particular skill or tool.

The previous version of the Chrome OS administrator credentials measured your ability to:

  • Manage Chrome OS devices with the Google Admin console

  • Configure and manage organizational unit access and security and privacy settings

  • Create, delete, and manage user accounts for an organization

“Google wants to make sure the exam meets the high bar the industry expects from Google,” Coleman said.

In this case, we think we are excelling further than expected as our new exam will offer a hands-on lab, which is actually less common. Google wants to give those who pass the test something to be really proud of. With that, we’re just working on some improvements to make it the best in the industry.

Linux-based Chrome OS has a global market share of 11% for desktop operating systems, according to market research firm IDC† The Linux-based Chrome OS lags far behind Microsoft’s Windows, which controls about 80% of the operating system market. In 2020, however, ChromeOS pushed macOS into third place with about 7% of the market.

TO SEE: What is an Apple Certified Support Professional?

Chromebooks powered by Google’s Chrome OS dominate the K-12 education market.

One reason is the pricing. For about $250, parents can buy — or give schools — a functional internet-enabled digital device with an 11.5-inch screen and keyboard. Chrome OS powered devices are also available at higher and lower prices.

When the Professional Chrome OS Administration certification exam goes online, Coleman said it will be free for 12 to 24 months.

After that, “it costs about $125, like most exams on the market,” Coleman said. “However, it’s worth noting that many exams cost that amount but don’t offer a lab portion like this exam will. We think the lab portion is critical to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and help test takers take real pride in their achievements .”

Coleman said the term “professional” refers to the challenge level of the exam. Unlike associate-level certification exams, the Professional Chrome OS Administrator exam target audience is people with at least 12 months of functional experience.

“This means raising the bar, meaning those who succeed can feel really proud and confident about their skills in managing in the Google Admin console,” said Coleman. “In doing so, it sends a signal to the market, prospective employers and customers that those who have achieved this certification have the right skills to offer their professional services and make a difference in schools or businesses.”

Prior to the introduction of the new certification exam, those with access to Google’s Partner Advantage Portal will be able to de Chrome Enterprise Deployment Details through Google University.

Coleman said the Chrome OS team expects to announce more details about the rollout of the Professional Chrome OS Administrator certification later this year, in mid- to late summer.

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