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Best Software Engineering Certifications
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Best Software Engineering Certifications [2024 Guide]

6 minute read | February 21, 2024
Sakshi Gupta

Written by:
Sakshi Gupta

Ready to launch your career?

Pursuing a certification in the software engineering field is a strategic move for career advancement. In this field, certifications not only set you apart but can also lead to significant salary increases. A 2022 report indicated an average salary boost of $12,000 for IT professionals with additional certifications.

Ideal for those looking to elevate their career in a competitive market, this guide highlights key software engineering certifications and courses that can propel (or jumpstart) your professional journey.

What Is a Certified Software Engineer?

In the bustling world of tech, a Certified Software Engineer stands out by mastering specific skills or technologies through rigorous certification programs. Unlike broad college degrees, these certifications zoom in on niche areas—think mastering Amazon Web Services, Agile methodologies, or diving deep into machine learning with AWS.

Certified software engineers contribute to the advancement and integrity of the software engineering industry by adhering to best practices and demonstrating a commitment to professional development. This badge of honor not only elevates your professional profile but can pivot your career path, opening doors to new opportunities. Whether it’s transitioning into cybersecurity or enhancing your role, certifications are your secret weapon in the tech arena.

Top Software Engineering Certifications

In the realm of software engineering, certifications can dramatically impact your career trajectory, offering recognition of your specialized knowledge and skills. Each software engineering certification listed here has been carefully selected to represent the pinnacle of professional achievement in various areas of the field, from secure software lifecycle management to cloud computing and agile practices. Pursuing these certifications will not only enhance your software engineering skill set but also position you as a leader and innovator in the industry.
Here’s our list of the best software engineer certification programs you can choose from:

Springboard

The Software Engineering Bootcamp by Springboard is a certification program that covers front-end and back-end web development, data structures, databases, and algorithms. It requires you to have a basic understanding of Javascript, problem-solving approaches, and it helps to know some HTML and CSS and other software requirements if you want to become a software engineer. This certification program is also a great way to build towards a more advanced certification down the line.

Springboard enlisted Colt Steele, who has some of the most successful software engineering courses on Udemy, as the instructor for this certification. Along with that, students also get access to a mentor who provides 1-on-1 guidance throughout the course. The best thing about this course might be that you are guaranteed a job on completion.

Next Steps

You can sign up for the Springboard Software Engineering Track at this link. Springboard has you complete a 5-minute form to start the process off.

PROVIDER

Springboard

LENGTH

800+ hour

PRICE

$16,500

Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional

The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional certification looks at the software development lifecycle through the lens of security. Students learn about how application security skills can be applied to the authentication, authorization, and auditing processes in software lifecycle management.

This cybersecurity certification program is aimed at software engineering professionals who want to be able to follow security best practices while working on applications. So you could be a software architect, project manager, penetration tester, or anyone else involved in the engineering process and benefit from completing this certification.

Next Steps

To be a part of this program, you need to first pass an exam and have a minimum of four years of experience as a software development professional, so it’s best for established software developers and software engineers. You can register for the exam at this link.

PROVIDER

(ISC)²

LENGTH

3-hour exam

PRICE

$431 (online instructor-led training)

Certified Software Development Professional

This certification is provided by the IEEE computer society, so you know that you’re in good hands. The goal of this course is to give students an in-depth understanding of four key aspects of the software engineering process: requirements, design, construction, and testing.

Next Steps

Those who want to take up this certification need to have at least two years of college education in computer science or a related field and two years of professional experience to go with that. You’re required to recertify yourself every three years to keep your certification as a Certified Software Development Professional active.

You can create an account on the Computer Society website to start the process of applying for the Certified Software Development Professional certification.

PROVIDER

IEEE

LENGTH

3 hours for the exam

PRICE

$775 for the course and exam bundle for non-members

CIW Web Development Professional

The CIW Web Development Professional certification, as the name suggests, is geared towards individuals who want to demonstrate aptitude in the area of web development.

You need to complete two courses in order to earn the certification. The first is a CIW JavaScript Specialist course, which gives you an understanding of fundamental concepts in Javascript. The other is the CIW Database Design Specialist course. This course introduces learners to Oracle Database, MySQL, MS SQL, and other database technologies.

If you complete both those courses, then you earn individual certifications in Javascript and database design along with the Web Development Professional certification from CIW.

Next Steps

There are two ways to take the CIW exams. One is in person via Pearson VUE and the other is online with remote proctoring. The full details and registration process are available here.

PROVIDER

Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)

LENGTH

90 minutes per exam

PRICE

$150 each for the Javascript and database design courses

Amazon Web Services (AWS Certified Developer – Associate Level)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular enterprise storage and cloud computing infrastructure providers in the world. The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification is meant to train software engineers in creating and deploying cloud-based web apps. Be warned: becoming an AWS certified developer associate isn’t easy, but it opens up doors!

Next Steps

You need to have at least a year of experience working with apps built on AWS before you take this course. AWS provides free training materials on its website for those looking to get the certification. You can click on the ‘Schedule an exam’ button on this page if you’re ready to take the exam.

PROVIDER

Amazon AWS

LENGTH

130-minute exam

PRICE

$150

Oracle Certified Master

Oracle Certified Master (OCM) is one of the most advanced certifications available in the database administration space. If you’re a database administrator, technical consultant, or support engineer, then this is the credential that you need to take the next step in your career.

Oracle has several prerequisites for its OCM certification. That includes completing the Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional (OCP), completing two specialty courses, and basic knowledge of the Linux command line. You can find more information on the program here.

Next Steps

The company recommends that you gain at least three years of experience as an Oracle Database Administrator before attempting to take the certification exam. You can sign up for the certification on this page.

PROVIDER

Oracle

LENGTH

Exams spread out across two days

PRICE

Contingent on the candidate’s location

Salesforce Administrator

The Salesforce Administrator certification is aimed at software professionals who want to display proficiency in setting up, customizing, and managing Salesforce implementations. It is aimed at people who are familiar with the platform and want to learn more about its capabilities and features.

Next Steps

You need to have at least six months of Salesforce administration experience to take this certification. Candidates are expected to know how to run a Salesforce organization and perform the basic tasks expected of an administrator.

You can schedule your certification exam by creating an account on this page.

PROVIDER

Salesforce

LENGTH

105 minutes

PRICE

$200 plus taxes

Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, is among the company’s most profitable products. It’s also a technology that’s widely used by companies, and the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect programme can help you demonstrate expertise in building cloud and hybrid applications with the software. You will need to past the Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam.

Next Steps

You’re expected to have a good understanding of IT operations across several functions including virtualization, disaster recovery, and security before you take this certification. Another important prerequisite is that you complete the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification.

If you have those things covered, you can sign up to take the certification exam here.

PROVIDER

Microsoft

LENGTH

120 minutes

PRICE

$165 in the USA (dependent on test-taker’s location)

Certified Agile Leadership

The Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) program is a fast track to gaining a deep understanding of the agile software development methodology. If you complete this course, you will be able to lead software development teams who use agile methods in their development process.

The certification is composed of three courses: CAL Essentials, CAL for Teams, and CAL for Organizations. It is aimed at software professionals across levels, including agile team members, managers, and executives.

Next Steps

You can sign up to be a part of the CAL certification course by searching for one that’s happening at a time of your convenience on this page and hitting the register button.

PROVIDER

Scrum Alliance

LENGTH

Two-day course

PRICE

Dependent on instructor

Project Management Professional

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the gold standard for those who want to work as project managers in the software industry. It covers the predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches to project management.

Next Steps

The prerequisites for getting a PMP vary based on whether you have a four-year college degree or a high school diploma/associate’s degree. If you have the latter, then you need five years of project leadership experience and 35 hours of project management training. Four-year degree holders can get by with three years of project leadership experience and 35 hours of project management training.

You can learn more about how to apply for the PMP certification here.

PROVIDER

Project Management Institute (PMI)

LENGTH

4 hours

PRICE

$405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members

Do You Really Need a Software Engineer Certificate?

A software engineering certification can bring value to your career in several ways. Your certification proves that you meet a number of software engineering requirements, e.g. having extensive knowledge of network control systems, software engineering management, software design, and software construction.

The most important reason to get certified is so you keep abreast of developments in the space. Software is a field where there’s constant evolution and the best software engineers are always learning. Completing certifications is a great way to give yourself a focused learning path in a new domain.

Certifications can also help your job prospects. Many jobs in the tech world require you to be certified. Every time you get a new certification, you’re making yourself that much more attractive to recruiters. Certified software engineers show that they take their professional development seriously. The best software engineer certifications will boost your knowledge and open up a number of exciting software engineering careers to you.

So do you need a certification? You sure do if you care about making big moves in your software engineering career.

Are Certifications Worth It?

Not every software engineering certification is made the same. There are a few factors that determine whether or not these professional certifications are worth investing in.

  • Course Reputation – Well-reputed software design or engineering courses are ones that are provided by well-established companies in the software industry and recognized by major organizations. Before taking a certification, look up the company providing it and make sure that it has a large community around it and that graduates have enjoyed exciting software engineering careers.
  • Course Support – Courses, much like most other things in the software world, require support. You can, at times, find yourself lost in the application process or not know how to recertify yourself. Look up what kind of support your certification provider offers and whether they are prompt with their responses. Are certification exams required? Are students supported during their certification exams?
  • Future Job Needs – This is one that comes down to your individual needs. If you’re set on working as a full-stack web developer, a cybersecurity course holds very little value as it won’t teach the programming skills you need. Clarify your own goals before you decide to spend money on any certifications.
  • Earning Potential– The ROI of any of these professional certifications depends on the long-term prospects of the technology or skill that it trains you in. So when you pick a certification, take into account the job market and long-term prospects of the field.

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Tips For Pursuing a Certification

Choose the right certification for your field

  • Associate Software Developer Certification: Offered by organizations like the International Association of Software Developers (IASD), this certification validates your grasp of core software development principles and programming languages. Perfect for entry-level professionals seeking a boost in confidence and marketability.
  • Professional Level Certifications: Elevate your game with certifications focusing on specific areas like Microsoft Azure Fundamentals or Certified Information Systems Security (CISSP) from (ISC)². These demonstrate in-depth knowledge and technical expertise, setting you apart from the crowd.

Master Specific Domains

  • Full-Stack Web Development: Certifications like the Full Stack Web Developer Professional from EXIN equip you with the skills to handle both front-end and back-end aspects of web application development. A boon for aspiring full-stack developers.
  • Network Security & Cyber Defense: In today’s digital landscape, cybersecurity knowledge is paramount. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council validates your ability to identify and exploit vulnerabilities, making you a valuable asset in protecting client data.

Expand Your Scope

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Platform: Cloud computing is all the rage, and mastering platforms like AWS is key. Certifications like the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate provide valuable cloud expertise, opening doors to cloud-based development projects.
  • Mobile App Development: The mobile app revolution demands skilled developers. Look for certifications like the CompTIA Mobile App Development Fundamentals, which equip you with the knowledge and tools to build mobile apps for various platforms.

Reputable Issuers Matter

Ensure your certifications hold weight by focusing on offerings from reputable organizations like:

  • IEEE Computer Society: A leading authority in computing, offering prestigious certifications like the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP).
  • CompTIA: Renowned for vendor-neutral IT certifications, including the Network+ and Security+.

Training & Resources

Remember, preparation is key! Utilize training courses and resources offered by the certifying bodies or independent platforms like Udemy to maximize your chances of success.

Beyond the Paper

While certifications provide valuable validation, remember that real-world experience and soft skills are crucial. Apply your theoretical knowledge to actual projects, hone your communication and teamwork abilities, and demonstrate a passion for continuous learning.

By strategically choosing the right certifications based on your career goals and diligently preparing for them, you can unlock new opportunities and confidently navigate the dynamic software engineering field

FAQs About Software Engineer Certifications

Do Companies Prefer Software Engineer Certifications?

Some companies will mention certifications explicitly in certain job descriptions. This is usually the case when you’re working with a specific tool like Salesforce or AWS. But even when they don’t mention it explicitly, it can help your cause if you’re applying for a job and have a certification in that particular technology.

What Is the Average Salary for an Entry-Level Software Engineer?

The average salary for an entry-level software engineer is $76,882.

What Is does “Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Software Engineer” mean?

The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) is a software engineer certification offered by (ISC)² that validates the knowledge and skills of software professionals in securing software throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). A Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) is a software development professional who has the knowledge and skills to apply security best practices to all phases of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). This includes requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

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!

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Managing Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer with experience in the Indian and US markets.