For the first question, yes. These are things which I’m currently working on day to day as a machine learning engineer.
It’s worth it to my employers as we can now partner with other enterprises who require professional certifications.
If I had the choice to hire a guy with 3-years versus only the exam, I would default to 3-years, however, in my case, I couldn’t wait to gather 3-years experience. And in the case, someone hasn’t got 3-years experience, a portfolio or certification are ways to demonstrate ability.