14 Best Software Development Certifications for 2023

Joshua StanfordJoshua Stanford | 8 minute read | November 7, 2022
Best Software Development Certifications, featured image

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Whether you’re a career changer or just looking to upskill, a software development certificate can be a great addition to your programming portfolio. Hiring managers care much more about what you can do, rather than where you learned how to do it, and a certificate is one of the most tangible ways to evince your skills. 

But the increasing demand for software developers has led to a glut of software development certificates. There are now so many programs that it can be difficult to know which one to pick. And, just as importantly, it can be difficult to know which ones are actually worth paying for. 

That’s why we’ve created this guide. Below, we’ll tell you all about the 14 best software development certificates, and what makes each worthwhile, so that you can pick the program that’s best for you. Ready? Then let’s get started!

How Important Is a Software Engineering Certification?

Software engineering certifications are one of the most important parts of your programming portfolio. A certification program can help you stand out from other candidates and better accomplish your career goals. No matter what area of programming you excel at, you will find that there are certifications that you can take that will provide your future employer with proof of mastery and commitment.

The 14 Best Software Developer Certifications to Jumpstart your Career

Here are the top 14 software engineering certifications:

Springboard Software Engineering Bootcamp

Springboard Software Engineering Bootcamp, software developer certifications

Rating

Course Report: 4.64 out of 5 (1306 ratings)

Overview 

Springboard’s Software Engineering Bootcamp is an all-encompassing course with a certification that demonstrates your proficiency in multiple programming languages. In addition to receiving access to many different resources, you receive instruction and mentorship from industry leaders and educators.

Best For

This program is best for beginner to intermediate programmers who are pursuing a career as a software developer.

Duration

9 months with 20-25 hours of work per week.

Prices Starting From

$9900 for the entire program. Financial aid and multiple payment plan options are available.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

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Overview

The CISSP certification is very hard to pass but is totally worthwhile if you want to work in information systems security. 

Best For

Ideal for experienced security analysts, managers, and executives to prove their knowledge in a variety of security systems topics and concepts.

Duration

After 15 hours of lectures, the exam is 2-3 hours long.

Prices Starting From

$941.50 for the course, $749 for the exam, or $1502.16 for both.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

software developer certifications, Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

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N/A

Overview 

This certification is focused on managing information security programs within an organization.

Best For

This course is best for general security managers and for those who are transitioning into information security or CISSP-certified individuals who are making a mid-career change.

Duration

16 hours

Prices Starting From

Online review course: $895 for nonmembers, $765 for members.

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Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), software developer certifications

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Overview

Catching cybercriminals often requires a similar set of skills used in traditional computer hacking, such as social engineering, reconnaissance, and penetration testing. The Certified Ethical Hacker Certification program was launched to help professionals gain knowledge about how to detect and prevent these kinds of malicious cyber threats.

Best For

Security systems practitioners who work want to gain a valuable understanding of how security systems can be hacked.

Duration

Training is approximately 6 months; the exam is 4 hours for 125 questions.

Prices Starting From

Exam costs $1,199; retakes cost $450.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

AWS Certified Solutions Architect, software developer certifications

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Overview

This certification validates that you know the basics of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Best For

This certification provides a basic understanding for developers, architects, and engineers who are working in the Amazon Web Services environment for their organizations’ computing needs.

Duration

The exam lasts 130 minutes, during which you’ll have to answer 65 questions.

Prices Starting From

$150

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

AWS Certified Developer - Associate, software developer certifications

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Overview

This credential demonstrates an understanding of how to develop solutions based on core AWS services.

Best For

This certification is best for experienced developers working in the Amazon Web Services environment.

Duration

The exam lasts for 130 minutes, during which time you’ll have to answer 65 questions

Prices Starting From

$150

Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect

Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect, software developer certifications

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N/A

Overview 

MCADAs are professionals who know how to develop solutions on Microsoft Azure. This certification will show hiring managers that you’re competent in this skill set. 

Best For

This certification is best for candidates with significant knowledge and experience in IT operations. By completing this certification, you are showing your knowledge of topics ranging from networks to data platforms. 

Duration

The exam lasts 2.5 hours.

Prices Starting From

$165

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), software developer certifications

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Overview  

Earned by the same organization that offers the CISSP, the CCSP is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate advanced knowledge about cloud concepts, security operations, and more.

Best For

This certification is best for those who have experience in cloud security and are advancing their certification.

Duration

The course takes four full days to complete but can be completed over the course of six months. 

Prices Starting From

The online, self-paced version of the course costs $836.45, while the instructor-led online class costs $1793.92 with the exam. 

Certified Data Professional (CDP)

Certified Data Professional (CDP), software developer certifications

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Overview

To earn a Certified Data Professional (CDP) certification, you must pass both the data management and information systems core exams.

Best For

A certified data professional has already worked and gained experience in data management and information systems.

Duration

Courses vary, from 2-day courses to a full 4-month semester.

Prices Starting From

$695 to $2,500

Oracle Certified MySQL Database Administrator (CMDBA)

Oracle Certified MySQL Database Administrator (CMDBA), software developer certifications

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Overview

This certification proves that you know how to work with MySQL, an open-source relational database management system.

Best For

This certification is best for professionals who have worked as database administrators and are advancing their career options.

Duration

This exam lasts for 120 minutes, during which you’ll have to answer 73 questions.

Prices Starting From

$95

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP), software developer certifications

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Overview 

This certification will help you develop skills in project management—you’ll gain proficiency in planning, organizing, staffing, monitoring, controlling, evaluating, and closing a project.

Best For

This certification is for those who have completed a degree and have at least 36 months of experience in project management.

Duration

The exam lasts for 230 minutes, during which you’ll answer 180 questions.

Prices Starting From

$405

Software Engineering Master Certification (SEMC)

Software Engineering Master Certification (SEMC), software developer certifications.png

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Overview

This certification will help you develop skills in managing projects across an organization. With this certification, you’ll gain proficiency in planning, organizing, staffing, monitoring, controlling, evaluating, and closing a project.

Best For

Candidates must have already completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science or an equivalent in a related field.

Duration

3 hours for the exam.

Prices Starting From

$445

Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

software developer certifications, Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Rating

N/A

Overview

Being certified as ScrumMaster shows that you know how to properly use Scrum, a framework for project management.

Best For

This certification is best for cross-functional teams like data scientists, full-stack developers, or digital marketers who may be familiar with the interdisciplinary nature of Scrum techniques.

Duration

Training lasts for two days

Prices Starting From

$25

Sun Certified Java Associate (SCJA)

Sun Certified Java Associate (SCJA), software developer certifications

Rating

N/A

Overview 

The SCJA exams validate basic knowledge about the Java platform and its technologies.

Best For

This certification is best for software engineers who are developing their proficiency with Java.

Duration

The exam lasts for 120 minutes, during which you’ll have to answer 56 questions.

Prices Starting From

$95 

How Do You Choose a Software Developer Certification?

How Do You Choose a Software Developer Certification
Source: Freepik

Consider these factors when choosing a certification. 

Syllabus

Finding a curriculum that can help you pass the certification that you are pursuing is a great strategy for success. Most certifications have their own preparatory courses that are either free or paid. The best plan for passing each certification is a strong understanding of the subject covered through sufficient study.

Career Advancement

Knowing your goals and planning out your career as a software developer or software engineer can help you decide which certifications will serve your needs. It’s also wise to research in what sequence you need to take certifications. Many certifications have prerequisites that have to be completed in order. By knowing in what order you should take certain certifications, you can prove that you’ve mastered your specialty.

Instructor Reputation

For certification programs that have instructors, it is always good to have an instructor who is well-versed in their field and whose teaching style matches your learning style. Many courses are taught by industry leaders who are able to communicate concepts with authority. You will find that a great instructor with a strong background in the language that you’re studying will make a big difference in how well you learn.

Pricing & Payment Options

While many certifications require payment, there are also inexpensive or free options for some certifications that can be great assets to your portfolio. Finding the best pricing options for your goals is a great way to decide which certification is best for you. 

Schedule

As a working professional, you’ll find that planning out your preparation to take a certification exam is best done in advance. If a certification program requires a significant investment of time and energy, it’s best that you know this upfront before you begin the process.

Reviews & Ratings

There are many third-party review sources that can help you decide which course is right for you. Ultimately, your goal is to find the best quality certification for the price.

Making the Most Out of Your Software Developer Certification

Making the Most Out of Your Software Developer Certification
Source: Freepik

Ask yourself these questions to make the most of your certification:

How Do Software Developer Certifications Work?

Certifications typically involve coursework and an exam. By passing the exam, you are showing potential employers that you have the skills necessary to carry out certain tasks and that you have a strong knowledge of certain industry standards. Many certifications will be valid for only a certain period of time. With innovations in tech happening each year, it’s very common to have to recertify once standards have changed.

What Should You Expect to Learn from Software Developer Certifications?

A software developer certification should provide you with the tools to accomplish certain levels of programming proficiency. While the certification process is to show your proficiency, a good preparatory course will also give you a chance to gain a better understanding of your field.

What Will Your Schedule Look Like?

Your schedule for completing a software development certification looks very different, depending on which certification program you pursue. Some are shorter and only require preparation and an exam. Others require a schedule of 20 or more hours a week for several months. 

FAQs about Data Software Developer Certifications

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

Do You Need Previous Experience To Complete a Software Developer Certification?

Depending on the certification, prior experience may be necessary. In order to complete a programming certification that requires an exam, some preparation and study will be necessary to ensure your success.

Will Tech Companies Hire You After You Complete a Software Developer Certificate?

Completing a software engineering certification is part of the process of showing proficiency in your craft. However, it is only one part of a complete successful portfolio. Online courses and practical application projects both play key roles in this process.

Do Software Developer Certifications Teach You How To Make an App?

Certain software engineering certifications have web application development in their coursework. An example of this is the Springboard Software Engineering Course with a certification.

Since you’re here…
Interested in a career in software engineering? Join our mentor-led Software Engineering Bootcamp or our foundational Software Engineering Course if you’re just starting out. We help people make the switch every day (just peep our reviews). You can do it, too!

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.