Main image of article Google's Python Professional Certificate Pushes Automation

As anyone involved in programming will tell you, Python is an immensely popular language. From finance to machine learning, developers around the world rely on Python to get their jobs done—and employers recognize that, which is why they’re so intent on hiring Python specialists.

In order to help more technologists master Python (and be recognized for it), Google has issued (in conjunction with Coursera) a new Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate. 

“With this new certificate, you can learn Python, Git and IT automation within six months,” reads a note on Google’s corporate blog. “The program includes a final project where learners will use their new skills to solve a problem they might encounter on the job, like building a web service using automation.” 

Indeed, subject areas covered by the certificate include:

  • Writing Python scripts to automate tasks.
  • Managing resources across physical and virtual machines at scale.
  • Learning version control in Git and GitHub.
  • Analyzing and solving technical problems (i.e., troubleshooting and debugging).

That education is spread across six courses, which include a “crash course” in Python fundamentals, as well as configuration management, manipulating files and processes within an operating system, and more. 

This isn’t Google’s first foray into offering certificates, of course. For example, there’s the IT Support Professional Certificate, also hosted on Coursera, which is designed for technologists interested in showing that they know how to fix things when infrastructure and networks fail. 

Many employers want technologists with certifications, particularly in sensitive areas such as cybersecurity. Studies have shown that tech salaries climb with each certification earned; last year, for example, IT training firm Global Knowledge surveyed 12,271 tech professionals and found that those with six or more certifications earned an average of $117,212, some $12,875 more than those with none. 

But not all certifications are created equal. The most recent update to the IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index (from Foote Partners, LLC) showed that the value of some certifications had actually declined year-over-year, while others—including ones for cybersecurity and project management—resulted in notable increases in salary for their holders. Many technologists also feel they don’t need certifications in order to successfully demonstrate their skills and capabilities to potential employers.

In any case, Google’s new certificate shows that, despite its already-massive base, Python’s popularity just continues to expand. Based on a Dice data analysis, the average Python developer salary is roughly $109,202, just behind Java (which earns $114,780 on average), full-stack developers ($116,951), and backend developers ($118,251). But adding an in-demand discipline such as machine learning or data science to your Python skillset, of course, can only drive that salary higher.