Software engineering certifications are an asset to your professional portfolio. Not only do they increase your earning potential and lead to advancement within your profession, but they prove to employers that you are dedicated to developing your skills.
Certifications for software engineering are an essential next step in kick starting your career. We have compiled a list of the highest-paying software engineering certifications that will give you the necessary skills, knowledge, and motivation to succeed in a tech career.
What Is a Professional Certification?
A professional certification is a credential granted by a professional organization to indicate that the holder has met specific academic or industry-based requirements. It is usually obtained after passing a relevant examination or another form of assessment evaluation.
What’s the Difference Between Certification and a Certificate?
The difference between a certification and a certificate can be seen in their varying purposes. A certificate is a non-degree academic program awarded by a recognized educational institution that awards a certificate after coursework.
Meanwhile, a professional certification is granted by an industry-based organization to verify that the holder has acquired particular skills and knowledge required for the profession or industry by taking an exam. In short, a certificate is an education program and certification is an assessment of your skills.
Why Is Certification in Software Engineering Important?
Certification in software engineering is important because it allows you to take a significant leap forward in your career. Certifications for software engineers prove that you have put in the time and effort to learn something new and are qualified to put it into practice in a professional setting.
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software engineering professions are expected to grow by 22 percent from 2020 to 2030. It is important to show employers that you have an edge over other candidates in the competitive market. A survey by Global Knowledge revealed that IT professionals who credited their growth to obtaining certifications received an average raise of $12,000 in 2020.
Best Software Engineering Certifications by Salary
|CISM – Certified Information Security Manager||ISACA||$130,000||Member: $575
|CRISC – Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control||ISACA||$129,000||Member: $575
|CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional||(ISC)²||$120,000||$749|
|AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate||AWS||$118,000||$150|
|PMP – Project Management Professional||Project Management Institute||$111,000||Member: $405
|CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor||ISACA||$107,000||Member: $575
|Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect||$100,000||$200 (plus tax where applicable)|
|VCP-DVC – VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization||VMware||$99,000||$250|
|Google Certified Professional Data Engineer||$58,000||$200 (plus tax where applicable)|
Best Software Engineering Certifications to Further Your Career
How to Choose the Best Software Engineering Certification for Your Career
There are a lot of certifications for software engineering available in the market. To choose the best software engineering certification for your career, you need to consider its reputation, job compatibility, and job scope. We detail these factors below.
Take a Look at the Reputation
Courses offered by well-known software companies and acknowledged by large organizations are considered to be highly regarded. Do some research to ensure you’re getting a certification from a reputable company.
Determine Job Compatibility
This is a decision that must be made based on your unique circumstances. Certifications assess knowledge in a specific field, so be sure to choose the one that compliments your skills. Before spending money on any certification, figure out what you want to accomplish by obtaining one.
Consider Job Scope
It is important to consider the long-term possibilities of the field you are entering to get the most out of the certification. For example, according to BLS, the job scope for computer and information technology professionals is expected to grow by 13 percent by 2030. As such, that might be a good field to specialize in.
Which Software Engineering Certifications Pay the Most?
The software engineering certifications that pay the most are related to cyber security, cloud computing and architecture, data science, and project management. Take a look at the top five highest-paying software engineering certifications in the 2022 job market below.
Highest-Paying Software Engineering Certifications
- CISM – Certified Information Security Manager: $130,000
- CRISC – Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control: $129,000
- CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional: $120,000
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: $118,000
- PMP – Project Management Professional: $111,000
Which Software Engineering Certifications Are the Best for Beginners?
The software engineering certifications that are best for beginners are CompTIA Security+, VCP-DCV: VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization, and PMP – Project Management Professional. These software engineering certifications require minimal experience or prerequisite courses but still provide great career growth opportunities.
Best College Certificate Programs
How to Prepare for Your Software Engineering Certification Exam
When undergoing any certification process, it is important to properly prepare and ensure you have all of the essential skills. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help both young and seasoned professionals. Below, we have listed the best courses and resources like books and online support that you can use for software engineering exam prep.
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Best Courses to Prepare for Software Engineering Certification Exams
Most of the certifications for software engineering require previous knowledge related to the field, which is often in the form of a prerequisite course, experience, or a degree. Below, you can find out more about some of the best software engineering prep courses that are available online.
Other Resources to Prepare for Your Software Engineering Certification Exams
The other resources for software engineering exam prep include books, online publications, communities, blogs, and podcasts. These resources can be extremely beneficial to your career aspirations in software engineering.
Fundamentals of Software Architecture: An Engineering Approach
By focusing on new tools and engineering techniques, this book aims to provide a more modern perspective on software development. Experts in the field have shared their knowledge and expertise. It is a worthwhile read if you want to learn more about your domain.
Fundamentals of Software Architecture: An Engineering Approach Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: $37.99
- Ideal For: People who want to learn software design and development
Talk Python To Me
Michael Kennedy hosts a weekly podcast called Talk Python to Me. It covers a wide range of python-related subjects during an informal one-hour discussion with industry professionals. Learning industry terms in a more casual setting can help the information feel less overwhelming.
Talk Python To Me Overview
- Type of Resource: Podcast
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Software development students that are primarily interested in the many uses of Python programming
Created in 2004 by an experienced software developer named Jeff Atwood, Coding Horror is a software engineering blog. It provides insightful information on coding and software development, as well as the people behind different software.
Coding Horror Overview
- Type of Resource: Blog
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Software developers interested in web design and security
As a vital source of information, UIE Brainsparks provides insightful blog entries, podcasts, and articles for beginners in the software development business. It provides connections to talks, workshops, and even schools to help students develop their skills.
UIE Brainsparks Overview
- Type of Resource: Online Community
- Cost: Free (although specific services may cost money)
- Ideal For: Beginner software developers
The Hanselminutes podcast is a must-listen for anyone with an interest in computer programming or technology. It gives a newbie software developer an inside peek at the many different viewpoints that have contributed so much to recent advancements in the field.
- Type of Resource: Podcast
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Computer technology enthusiasts
Best Online Courses
Software Engineering Job Outlook and Average Salary
According to BLS, the job outlook for information security analysts is going to grow by 33 percent by 2030, which is a faster rate than average. A software engineering certification proves that you have the necessary skills and knowledge for this position. Further, as previously mentioned, the software engineering field is projected to see a job growth of 22 percent.
BLS also reports that the average salary of quality assurance analysts is currently $110,140 per year. This is just the national average salary for professionals, meaning that candidates with certifications or four-year degrees will have a higher earning potential.
Best Software Engineering Jobs After Certification
As a software engineer, you have to keep yourself updated on new technologies and research. Professionals related to IT, computer science, and software engineering tend to complete numerous certifications after their degrees to get software engineering jobs that are more certification specific.
For example, Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect jobs are some of the highest-paying jobs in the industry. Let us take a look at some of the best certification-specific software engineering jobs and their average salaries below.
Best Software Engineering Associations
After graduating, it is a good idea to network with people in your sector for professional growth. Software engineering associations are excellent, valuable resources throughout your professional life.
During a typical day in the life of a software engineer, there is very little time available for social networking. These associations provide a platform where they can interact with like-minded people.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society
Science and engineering employees can join the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society to learn more about software engineering. In addition to over 200 conferences, the IEEE Computer Society provides a virtual library with over 800,000 publications and magazines to its members.
Members enhance their professional standing by advancing their practice. The IEEE Computer Society is currently the world’s largest technical professional organization, providing education in computer science to students and professionals.
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Founded in 1947, the Association for Computing Machinery is currently the largest community of educational and scientific computing professionals. It has approximately 100,000 members spread across more than 100 countries. They collaborate on cutting-edge computing projects by exchanging knowledge and resources.
There are 37 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for members to choose from, covering everything from computer graphics to software engineering. In addition, ACM has 860 local pro chapters as well as chapters for college students that allow members to meet and collaborate with others in their area.
Association of Software Professionals (ASP)
The Association of Software Professionals (ASP) is a global trade group for hundreds of companies that sell and develop software. Members can participate in discussion groups that are available around the clock and share their in-depth knowledge. They can also receive discounts on Windows utilities and developing software.
Are Software Engineering Certifications Worth It?
Yes, software engineering certifications are worth it because they serve as verifiable evidence that you possess the skills and extensive knowledge required to work as a successful software engineer. It also shows your passion and dedication to building a career in this field.
A prospective employer is more likely to place their trust in well-known certification providers, and some firms require particular qualifications for their software engineer or manager positions. Certifications also increase your earning potential as you have verified skills in software development.
Additional Reading About Software Engineering
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Software Engineering Certifications FAQ
No, software engineers do not need certifications. However, they give you the potential to make more money and move up the corporate ladder. Get one of the certifications mentioned in this article above to get more value and proficiency as a software engineer.
Yes, tech companies do prefer certifications in general, but the inclusion of certifications in specific job descriptions may vary from company to company. If your job requires you to work with a specialized tool such as Salesforce or AWS, listing your niche-specific certification is a good idea.
To be a software engineer, you need to have a basic level of knowledge about computer science and software, which is gained by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or Information Technology. Getting a certification further enhances your resume. Certifications are evidence of your strong grasp of coding and technical knowledge.
In terms of degree programs, computer engineering and software engineering are nearly identical fields. If you like working with physical systems and hardware, then computer engineering is a good choice for you. If you are more into working with data and creating systems, then you should aim for software engineering.
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