10 Best Programming Certificates to Increase Your Skills

Joshua StanfordJoshua Stanford | 9 minute read | November 9, 2022
10 Best Programming Certificates to Increase Your Skills

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The demand for programmers is growing faster than ever before. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software engineering is projected to grow around 25% percent in the next few years. It’s a pretty astounding growth rate. There’s no doubt that jobs in software, digital design, and data analytics are going to become leading roles in most industries in just a matter of years. 

This increase in jobs is causing people to transition to software jobs at an ever-increasing rate. And as a result, more people are scrambling to upskill and prove that they have the necessary skills to fill these roles through programming certificates. 

So how do you know which programming certificate is right for you? With this guide, of course. Below, we’ll tell you all about the 10 best programming certificates, so that you can decide which programming certificate is right for you. 

What Is a Programming Certificate?

A programming certificate evinces that you’re proficient in one or more programming languages. They provide proof of your technical skills and are even required in many jobs as proof that you can meet the needs of the role. Many certification programs provide a course tailored to best help you prepare for the certification exam. Through the provided training, you will not only be best prepared to pass the exam but will also gain valuable programming skills along the way. 

The 10 Best Programming Certificates

We’ve researched tons of programming certification programs and found the 10 best. These certificates will provide you with proof of your knowledge and will help to accelerate your career in whatever entry-level programming position you’re pursuing. 

Springboard: Software Engineering Bootcamp

best programming certificates Springboard Software Engineering Bootcamp

Rating

Course Report: 4.6 out of 5 (1306 ratings)

Overview

This course is an all encompassing software engineering course that offers 1:1 mentorship and classes taught by development expert Colt Steele. Coursework ranges from front-end and back-end development to production-ready web app development. Mentorship is provided through experts who are working in the field and who will provide key insights, networking tips, and interview advice.

Best For

This course and certificate are best for beginner to intermediate programmers and is ideal for those who are making a transition into software engineering.

Duration

This course contains 800 hours of content and can be completed over a 9-month period.

Prices Starting From

$9,900, with multiple payment methods available.

CompTIA Security+

best programming certificates CompTIA Security+

Rating

Indeed: 4.5 out of 5 (225 ratings)

Overview

The CompTIA certification covers a number of key security skills and validates technical skills that are necessary for a career in cybersecurity.

Best For

This certification is best for someone with 2 years of experience in IT administration.

Duration

The exam is 90 minutes long.

Prices Starting From

$392

MongoDB Certified Developer Associate Exam

best programming certificates MongoDB Certified Developer Associate Exam

Rating

KnowledgeHut: 4.8 out of 5 (4208 ratings)

Overview

The Certified Developer Associate Exam consists of a training course made up of progressive course modules that can be completed in a blended learning and self-paced mode. In order to receive the certification, all modules must be completed. This course structure makes this certificate a unique experience that differs greatly from many other certification options.

Best For

This certificate is best for anyone with a basic understanding of Java in relation to databases. The course teaches database development and a number of other concepts related to the structure of databases.

Duration

16 hours of lectures; 80 hours of Cloud Labs practical application; 51 hours of self-paced learning.

Prices Starting From

$1350, with monthly financing options available.

Google Cloud: Professional Cloud Architect

best programming certificates Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect

Rating

Coursera: 4.7 out of 5 (1282 ratings)

Overview

This certificate is obtained by taking an exam on the tools and environment of Google Cloud Products with a cloud architecture focus. Cloud practitioners will find this a highly beneficial option to certify their knowledge of development tools within Google Cloud.

Best For

It is best for cloud practitioners who are working within the Google Cloud Products environment.

Duration

The exam is 2 hours long.

Prices Starting From

$200

CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer

best programming certificates CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer

Rating

Whizlabs: 4.5 out of 5 (5 ratings)

Overview

This certificate consists of 8-12 tasks using Apache Spark and tools developed by Cloudera Enterprise.

Best For

Developers with experience using Spark SQL and Spark API.

Duration

The exam is 120 minutes long.

Prices Starting From

$295 for the exam.

General Assembly: Software Engineering Immersive Online

best programming certificates General Assembly Software Engineering Immersive Online

Rating

Course Report: 4.31 out of 5 (589 ratings)

Overview

This course and certificate are designed to help beginners in programming gain the necessary skills that they need to transition from another industry into tech and land a job as a software engineer. 

Best For

This software engineering course and certificate are best for those with entry-level to intermediate experience who are making a career transition.

Duration

40 hours a week for 12 weeks.

Prices Starting From

$15,950

C Certified Professional Programmer Certification

C Certified Professional Programmer Certification, best programming certificates

Rating

N/A

Overview

The CLP certificate is the next level of certification after the entry-level C++ programming certificate. The exam covers many advanced topics like library functions, network sockets, processes and threads, and floats and ints. It is an excellent way to show employers and hiring managers that you have a strong understanding of the C++ language that you can utilize even when under the pressure of an exam.

Best For

This course is best for C++ developers who have already had their C Programming Language Certified Associate certificate.

Duration

The exam is 65 minutes.

Prices Starting From

$295 for the exam.

Scrum Alliance: Certified Scrum Developer®

best programming certificates Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Developer

Rating

N/A

Overview

This course certifies a strong understanding of scrum project management processes. There are several preparatory options, and each will provide different approaches to prepare, depending on your background.

Best For

This certification is best for project managers with practical experience.

Duration

3 days at 8 hours a day

Prices Starting From

$795 for the exam

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals, best programming certificates

Rating

N/A

Overview

This certification is to show proficiency with the Microsoft Azure Cloud environment. It is a fundamental certification that is followed by several more that allow cloud practitioners to specialize.

Best For

This certification is best for cloud practitioners who work within the Microsoft Azure cloud environment.

Duration

The exam is 45 minutes

Prices Starting From

$99 for the exam

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

AWS Certified Developer - Associate, best programming certificates

Rating

N/A

Overview

This certificate provides proof that you are able to effectively navigate and develop within the Amazon Web Services cloud-based environment. With this certification, you will be able to progress to further certifications within AWS. However, even without progressing, many employers are happy to see the AWS-certified developer certification on your resume or CV.

Best For

This certification is best if you are looking for a job developing products within the AWS environment.

Duration

The exam lasts for 130 minutes

Prices Starting From

$150 for the exam

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How Do You Choose a Programming Certification Course?

When choosing which certification you should focus on, it’s important to know what practical skills you should be providing proof of for your desired industry. The certifications that a front-end web developer needs will be very different from those that a data analyst or dev ops engineer may need. Making sure that your course and/or certification meet several critical criteria is essential to choosing the right one. Consider the following factors when picking a course.

Course Structure

Most certifications have courses that are designed to prepare you for the certification exam. This factor depends largely on how you best learn to code, as you’ll want to find a course structure that fits your learning style. However, it is always a good rule to look for certifications that allow you to learn practical skills before actually taking the exam. Having a good understanding of your own learning style and the basic requirements of a good programming course will greatly help you in your decision.

Instructor Credibility

You can find information about your preparatory courses’ instructor on the course website. While certification exams are standardized and will be administered by a proctor, the courses themselves are a better learning experience if they are taught by instructors who have experience in their field.

Schedule

To ensure your success, make sure your schedule lines up with the requirements for the course that you will take in preparation for the certification exam. Depending on what your daily schedule looks like, you may be able to commit more or less time to a certification course. Taking into consideration how much time you have available will help you choose a course that is the best fit for your certification process. Pace your progress and take the process one step at a time.

Fees

There are many options for preparatory courses at different price points. However, most certifications themselves require payment to take the actual certification exam. As most of the certificates are good for a certain period of time, paying to complete them is a very good investment. With so many options available, shopping around for the best price point is always a good idea. Make sure that you’ve done your research and found the best options while keeping in mind that each certification has a great return on investment for your career and future income.

Reviews & Ratings

One of the best ways to know that a certification course is good for your career goals is to pay close attention to the reviews to make sure that they receive positive feedback from both previous students and third-party sites that review programming courses. Reviews are generally a great way to ensure that the certification you’re pursuing is one that you can begin preparing for and see to the end without buyer’s remorse. Ultimately, the goal is to find the best course and certification for you.

Making the Most Out of Your Programming Certification

Making the Most Out of Your Programming Certification
Source: Freepik

The best way to ensure that you get the most out of your certification is to take advantage of the process and take away as much as you can. Certifications can help you reach a salary that is well above average. Knowing what to expect from your certification can help you to plan properly and get the most out of the experience. Ask yourself these questions to make the most of your course:

How Does a Programming Certification Work?

Usually, you will take an exam that tests your technical skills in order to determine your competency with that subject. Most certifications are good for limited periods of time and will have to be retaken or advanced to the next level of certification later on. With the tech world being a constantly advancing environment, there is always more education developing. Pursuing a certification helps you stay ahead of this curve and stand out as a qualified professional.

What Should You Expect to Learn From a Programming Certification?

Depending on the certification, you will either have to take a preparatory course or study on your own. Either way, you can expect to learn about programming languages, tools, and environments in that certification’s specialty. 

What Will Your Schedule Look Like?

Some preparatory courses allow for self-paced, self-planned study, which might be better if you need more flexible hours. Others have live teaching sessions and more rigid schedules. No matter which option you choose, a significant time commitment will usually be part of the process.

Programming Certification FAQs

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

What Skills Are Needed To Enroll in a Programming Certification?

Each certification program will have its own prerequisites, so it’s always best to check ahead of time and make sure that you qualify. For most certifications, you can find a way to prepare through a course or online coding classes that will allow you to self-study. In terms of training and mastery, a certification program requires a strong knowledge of the skill or programming language on which it is testing you. Ensuring that you are confident in your skills in that environment is essential before you take an exam.

Are Programming Certifications Worth It?

Certifications help employers see that your work meets an industry standard that is usually set by companies within the industry. The process of pursuing certification can provide you with helpful experience and information that will be very helpful with both technical interview questions. No two certifications are the same, and each will help advance your career in a unique way.

Can I Get a Programmer Job With Only a Certification?

While certifications are a great way to fine-tune your expertise and stand out as an applicant, career coaches typically recommend going into a job search with more than just one certificate. Certificates are a great way to show proficiency and are best when they are part of a strong portfolio. There are several ways to show that you can utilize your programming skills to get a job, and certifications are only one part of that larger process.

Since you’re here…
No one wakes up knowing how to code – they learn how to code. Tens of thousands of students have successfully learned with our courses, like our Software Engineering Bootcamp. If you’re a total newbie, our Software Engineering Career Track Prep Course will be a perfect fit. Let’s do this!

Joshua Stanford

About Joshua Stanford

Joshua Stanford is a content writer and copy editor with a background in academic writing. While he has written on several topics and industries, he focuses primarily on scientific writing and educational materials related to biotech and emerging technologies.