Computer programmers play a crucial role in the technology sector. Tasked with creating, modifying, and thoroughly testing code and scripts, these professionals are responsible for ensuring the functionality of computer applications. However, with 132,740 employed computer programmers as of 2022, the industry is more competitive than ever.
For those navigating the early and intermediate phases of their software development careers, it is worth earning certifications to set yourself apart. Programming certifications strategically equip individuals with the skills to enhance their professional proficiency.
In this guide, we provide a roadmap for aspiring and current programmers by listing some of the popular certifications that can advance their software, digital design, and data analytics careers.
What are programming certifications?
Programming certifications are formal recognitions that validate an individual’s proficiency in specific programming languages or technologies. These certifications serve as credentials, providing employers with tangible evidence of a programmer’s skills and expertise.
As technology rapidly evolves, earning programming certifications becomes paramount for professionals seeking to stay competitive and showcase their commitment to continuous learning and mastery in the ever-changing field of software development.
When exploring programming certifications, consider the following factors:
- Relevance. Seek a programming certification aligned with your career objectives and preferences and take into account the industry’s demand for specific programming languages, platforms, and technologies. This will allow you to choose a certification is relevant to current industry needs.
- Cost. Evaluate the expense associated with the programming certification and weigh its value against the investment. Opt for certificates that offer a favorable return on investment so it not only contributes to your career progression but also your income potential.
- Credibility. Look for a programming certification that enjoys industry recognition and esteem. Select certificates affiliated with reputable organizations and institutions known for producing accomplished graduates.
- Flexibility. Select a programming certification that provides flexibility in scheduling and course delivery. Explore certifications with online or self-paced courses, enabling you to learn at your preferred speed and accommodate your studies within your schedule.
- Content. Explore a programming certification covering various subjects, offering a thorough comprehension of programming principles and methodologies. Evaluate credentials that address programming languages, data structures, algorithms, and other fundamental elements of computer science.
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Top Programming Certifications to Have
Enhancing your programming career prospects is possible through various certifications, from entry-level to advanced tiers. Here are some of the programming certifications that you can choose from.
1. AWS Certified Developer Associate
The AWS Certified Developer Associate is a programming certificate affirming the ability to design, construct, and manage applications on the $300 billion Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform industry. This certification demonstrates proficiency in utilizing AWS software development kits to write code, enhance AWS application performance, and implement changes.
As businesses increasingly adopt cloud-based applications, the demand for AWS Certified Developer certification has surged, spurred further by the growth of cloud-dependent mobile games and applications. To be certified, pass the certification exam that evaluates knowledge in AWS fundamentals, cloud-based application development and execution, security protocols, and other relevant areas.
2. Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP)
The PCAP certification evaluates an individual’s proficiency in coding tasks related to Python programming basics and fundamental object-oriented programming concepts. Emphasizing the Object-Oriented Programming approach to Python, the certification indicates familiarity with advanced aspects.
Attaining PCAP certification is valuable for those aspiring to advance into higher-paying roles in Software Development, Security, Networking, IoT, and engineering. To get a PCAP certification, one must pass the exam, which assesses the ability to accomplish coding tasks about Python fundamentals and object-oriented programming techniques.
3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The CISM certification is an advanced credential provided by ISACA, a non-profit organization championing information security, assurance, risk management, and governance professionals. This certification signifies an individual’s capability to develop and oversee an enterprise information security program, attesting to their knowledge and experience.
Designed for information security managers, aspiring managers, and IT consultants supporting information security program management, the CISM certification requires passing an exam covering four content areas: Information Security Governance, Information Security Program Development and Management, Information Risk Management, and Information Security Incident Management.
4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The CISSP certification is a globally acknowledged cybersecurity certification catering to seasoned security practitioners, managers, and executives aiming to showcase their expertise across diverse security practices. This certification signifies a high level of proficiency in the cybersecurity industry and is for roles such as chief information officer, security systems engineer, security manager, and network architect.
To attain certification, individuals must pass the CISSP exam, assessing knowledge in eight domains: security and risk management, software development security, and communication and network security.
5. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
The CSM certification, offered by the Scrum Alliance, serves as an introductory-level credential designed to impart professionals with a comprehension of Scrum methodologies and values. Scrum methodologies include understanding team performance, accountability, and iterative progress.
The CSM certification is applicable across various industries and is particularly beneficial for scrum masters, software engineers, business analysts, project managers, and new scrum team members. Certification requires passing an exam evaluating vital Scrum elements, encompassing general Scrum knowledge, roles, meetings, and artifacts.
6. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
The CCNA certification is a highly regarded credential within the networking domain, affirming an individual’s proficiency in installing, configuring, operating, and troubleshooting medium-sized routed and switched networks. Made for individuals with at least one year of experience utilizing and implementing Cisco products, this certification validates a comprehensive skill set. Achieving CCNA certification requires passing an exam covering IP services, foundational security knowledge, programmability, and automation.
7. CompTIA Security+
The CompTIA Security+ certification is a globally recognized credential affirming fundamental skills essential for executing core security functions, serving as a launching pad for pursuing a career in IT security. Tailored for IT professionals with two years of experience in security-focused IT administration or equivalent training, it provides a solid foundation for those entering or advancing in the security domain.
The certification positions candidates for security analyst, security engineer, network administrator, and cybersecurity specialist roles. CompTIA Security+ certification requires passing the Security+ exam assessing proficiency in diverse security domains, including network security, threats and vulnerabilities, identity and access management, and cryptography.
According to Statista data, the average cost of a data breach globally hit $4.35 million in 2022, emphasizing the increasing importance of certifications like CompTIA Security+ in safeguarding against cybersecurity threats.
8. Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer (OCAJP) Certification
The OCAJP certification is an introductory credential from Oracle, showcasing proficiency in the foundational aspects of Java programming. This certification marks the initial stage of becoming an Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer. To achieve OCA certification, one must pass the Java SE Programmer (1Z0-808) examination, covering key topics such as Java basics, object-oriented programming, and exception handling.
9. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate
The PMP certification attests to project managers’ competence in overseeing projects with a structured and repeatable approach. This certification is tailored for those starting a career or seeking advancement in project management.
To be certified, one must pass the comprehensive PMP exam that assesses proficiency across various dimensions of the project management system. Certification also requires mastery of project management, strategic planning, and project implementation.
Increase Skills and Work Opportunities with Programming Certifications
In the dynamic IT landscape, continuous learning is imperative to stay current with evolving technologies. Elevating your skills and expanding work opportunities is achievable through programming certifications, as they provide employers with a tangible measure of your work against industry standards. Whether you are a seasoned IT professional or a newcomer, possessing skills backed by certifications is crucial.
By pursuing programming certifications, you demonstrate your expertise and offer valuable experience and insights. As each certification is unique, it contributes distinctively to your career advancement. Be visible in the technology job market by embracing growth opportunities. Embark on this path today and transform your career aspirations into tangible achievements through programming certifications.