Programming certifications are great options for new and intermediate software developers who want to boost their programming knowledge. Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of certifications available for different programming specializations. All you have to do now is find the best certifications for programming that suit your tech career goals and dive right in.
In this piece, you will find a list of the best-paid certifications for programming, the best free certifications for programming, and the value of these certifications. But first, you need to understand what a programming certification is.
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What Is a Programming Certification?
A programming certification is a professional document that is awarded by an independent body to prove that you have met certain standards for professional development in programming. These certifications are not meant to educate you but to validate your skills as a program. There are also certification training programs that help you gain insight before the final certification exam.
How Much Can You Earn With a Programming Certification?
You can earn an average of $71,382 as a certified programming professional, according to PayScale. However, the salary can range anywhere between $44,000 and $96,000 depending on the type of certification, location, job description, and programming specialization. The years of experience you have in programming will also influence how much you get paid after securing the certification.
Why Is a Programming Certification Important?
A programming certification is important because it boosts your resume amongst your peers and helps you stand out to prospective employers. Knowledge of relevant or popular programming languages, while important, is no longer enough to grow in a tech career.
The best certifications for programming can help attract more industry recognition, a better pay, and open the door for more advanced opportunities. They also show that you have the necessary problem-solving skills to excel at your job.
A programming certification is not awarded as the result of educational experience. Rather, it is awarded to industry professionals who have proven their skills and practical knowledge before an independent body of in-field experts. This achievement comes with industry recognition that you may not receive elsewhere.
Validation of Excellence
There are different levels of certification in programming, namely entry-level, intermediate, and professional or advanced certifications. All these certifications validate your excellence in your respective field of programming or software engineering. The higher the certification, the more validation and recognition you get.
Potential for Higher Pay
With the best certification in programming as part of your resume, there is a strong chance that you will get more money than someone without it. While the difference in salaries depends on several other factors as well, professional certification holders overall tend to earn more in the United States.
Best Certifications for Programming at a Glance
|CLA: C Programming Language Certified Associate||$295||None|
|Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional||$125 yearly||At least four years of paid professional experience in programming|
|Adobe Experience Manager Developer||$180||One year of experience using Adobe Experience Management Platform, knowledge of Java|
|Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer Certification||$245||Take the certification preparation courses, Have basic knowledge of Java|
|PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer||$59/$76.70||None|
|PCAP – Certified Associate in Python Programming||$295||None|
|PCPP – Certified Professional in Python Programming Certifications||$195||PCAP – Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP-31-03, PCAP-31-02, or PCAP-31-01) certification|
|CompTIA Security+||$381||None (recommended two years of security-focused IT administration experience)|
|AWS Certified Developer – Associate||$150||At least one year of experience as an Amazon Web Service Developer|
|Puppet Certified Professional Exam||$200||None (understanding of the Puppet Labs software is encouraged)|
Top Programming Certifications: A Closer Look
CLA: C Programming Language Certified Associate
If you are an entry-level C programmer, this certification can give you an edge and help you fast-track your career. The programming certification is awarded by the C++ Institute and it proves that you understand the fundamentals of C programming and syntax and know how to complete tasks with this programming language.
Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional
This programming certification is great for people in network security, cyber security, and other information security fields. The CSSLP is great for software architects, software developers, software program managers, IT directors, security managers, penetration testers, and any other type of programmer or security expert with hands-on experience.
Adobe Experience Manager Developer
This is one of the best certifications in programming for Java developers, frontend developers, and developers with CMS, AEM, and REST experience. The exam is divided into five sections and there is a series of resources provided by the platform itself to make things easier for you and increase your chances of passing.
Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer Certification
This is an associate-level Java certification path for people who have the foundational knowledge of the programming language. To get the certification, you need to pass the Java SE Programmer (1Z0-808) examination after which you can aspire for more advanced Java certifications offered by the same body.
PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer
This is the entry-level certification in the series of certifications offered by the Python Institute. This certification is particularly for entry-level Python developers who want an edge in the job market. While there are no prerequisites for taking this certification, you need to know the basic concepts of Python and universal syntax for other popular programming languages.
PCAP – Certified Associate in Python Programming
If you already have the PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer certification, you can apply to take the PCAP – Certified Associate in Python Programming certification exam from the Python Institute. The PCEP is not a requirement but it will make you more prepared for the associate certification. The passing grade is 70 percent of all the questions during the exam.
PCPP – Certified Professional in Python Programming Certifications
There are two types of certification for advanced programmers awarded by the Python Institute. Before you can qualify for this professional level programming certification, you need to have in-depth knowledge of Python and all its accompanying technologies. This certification and all others awarded by the Python Institute last for about one year, after which you will be required to renew them.
This is another popular programming certificate for programmers with a background in data protection. It gives experts an edge in one of the hottest tech fields today, security. Anyone from cybersecurity, forensics, cloud computing, incident response, and other security fields can take the CompTIA Security+ certification exam. The test provider is Pearson VUE and it can be taken both in-person and online.
AWS Certified Developer – Associate
Amazon Web Services is one of the leading providers of cloud services in the world. This is why it is not a surprise that Amazon Web Service developers earn up to $122,799 on average according to ZipRecruiter. The AWS Certified Developer – Associate is one of the best certifications in programming you can get as an AWS developer. The best part is that there are certification preparation tutorials available online, albeit for a fee.
Puppet Certified Professional Exam
This 90-minute certification program is for puppet developers or any developer interested to explore this software configuration management tool. The certification exam has global recognition and anyone can register, irrespective of location. Everything you will be expected to answer during the certification is listed on the website so you can be well-prepared for your exam.
Free Programming Certifications Worth Your Time
- Advanced Diploma in Computer Networks and Internet Protocol. This is not a professional certification but it is a free diploma that can help you advance your career if you do not have any formal education in computer science. The course lasts for 30 to 40 hours.
- Network Server Security – Protecting the Server and Client Computers. You can access this diploma on Alison if your interest is in network security and you need a professional credential to stand out. It is a simple and short course so all you have to do is create an account on Alison and start learning.
- Diploma in Advanced iOS and Swift. Do you want to thrive as an iOS developer, this is one of the best programming courses for iOS development and it comes with a free accredited diploma. Each session covers a vital aspect of Apple and Swift development.
- Discord Servers for Programming. While not a direct certification, Discord servers are an invaluable tool for developing practical skills in coding. The community provides a support system when taking on independent development projects and often serves as a notice board for new opportunities like internships or certifications.
Are Programming Certifications Worth It?
Yes, programming certifications are worth it for any developer who wants to get a professional edge in the job market. The best certifications for programming prove to prospective employers and clients that you have the skills and industry validation required to get the job done. Sources also show that they are associated with higher-paying salaries within similar positions.
Best Certifications for Programming FAQ
PCAP (Certified Associate in Python Programming), CEPP – Certified Expert in Python Programming, PCPP1 (Certified Professional in Python Programming 1), and PCPP2 (Certified Professional in Python Programming 2) are some of the best Python certifications available. Suitability for these certifications depends directly on the proficiency of your skill set.
To get a C professional certification, you need to choose a certification that matches your level of expertise from the C++ Institute, enroll, make the payment, and take the certification exam. If you pass the exam, you will subsequently receive the C programming certification and can add it to your resume.
It takes about three months for a beginner to get certified in C++. Intermediate C++ developers require between one to three months to prepare for the certification. These certifications’ preparation may even last for more than three months depending on the software certification you choose.
C++ programmers earn an average of $103,704 yearly, according to ZipRecruiter. This amounts to about $50 per hour. However, salaries can range from $66,000 to $148,500 depending on the state, level of experience, company, and job description, among other factors.
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