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10 Software Engineering Certifications [2022 Guide]

Top 10 Software Engineering Certifications [2023 Guide]

10 minute read | September 16, 2023
Sakshi Gupta

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Sakshi Gupta


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Do you want to become a software engineer? Excellent choice! Software engineers are in high demand. The general consensus on software engineering certifications is that they’re a nice addition to your resume. But just how much value can professional software engineer certifications bring to your existing career as a software engineer?

In a report released in 2022, Global Knowledge found that IT professionals who attributed their rise to gaining new skills or completing certifications earned raises of $12,000 on average. That’s a lot higher than the $5,000 bump that the average IT professional or software engineer got with salaries rising by 6% in the industry overall, which means becoming a certified software engineer is certainly worth the investment!

Obtaining software engineer certifications are generally an easier and faster way to kickstart your career in software development or web development, or can be a way of supplementing or refreshing your knowledge if you’ve already completed a Computer Science Degree.

A focus on skill development appears to correlate positively with higher paychecks and career growth. With that being the case, we’ve created a list of the best certifications for software engineers out there to help you make steady progress in your career.

Company Course/Certification Price Details
springboard-logo-copy Software Engineering Bootcamp $16,500 Learn More
isc Software Security Certification $431 Learn More
ieee-computer-society-logo Software Developer Certification $775 Learn More
ciw-logo Web Development Professional $150 Learn More
aws-logo AWS Certified Developer $150 Learn More
oracle-university-logo Oracle Certification Exam N/A Learn More
kryterion-logo Salesforce Certification Exam $200 Learn More
microsoft-certified-logo Sofware Engineering Certification $165 Learn More
scrum-alliance-logo Certified Agile Leadership N/A Learn More
project-management-institute-logo Project Management Professional $405-$555 Learn More

What Is a Certified Software Engineer?

A software engineering certification is a skills training process that focuses on a narrow niche within the discipline that software engineers can follow. So while a college degree would cover a wide range of topics and skills that relate to software engineering, a certification hones in on just a few of those things. For example, you could do a software engineering certification on a single software like Amazon Web Services or a development methodology like Agile.

Earning a certification represents a marked jump in your software engineering career (more on how to become a software engineer here). It serves as evidence that software engineers have spent time studying a particular language or skill, and are now ready to put their skills to use in a professional environment. Based on the stipulations of the certification, you might have to pass an exam or execute a cornerstone project to get your certificate. Completing all of those requirements translates to recruiters and managers assessing your skills in particular areas highly, which is where a software engineer certification comes in hand.

A software engineer certification can also open up new career paths for software engineers. For example, let’s say you’re not really enjoying your work as a database solutions architect or software testing and want to work in cybersecurity instead. An easy way to make that shift is to complete certifications in cybersecurity and then apply for a role in the area. It helps that certain jobs require specific certifications as a prerequisite to being hired. You can also look for a software engineer certification that teaches software testing or other skills. So keep an eye out for those kinds of requirements in job descriptions. The good news is that software engineers already have plenty of transferrable skills that they apply to a number of fields.

Top 10 Software Engineering Certifications

Here’s our list of the best software engineer certification programs you can choose from:

Springboard Software Engineering Career Track

The Software Engineering Bootcamp by Springboard is a certification 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 if you want to become a software engineer.

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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Springboard

Length: 800+ hours

Price: $16,500

How Can You Opt for It?

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

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 the development lifecycle.

This cybersecurity certification 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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: (ISC)²

Duration: 3-hour exam

Price: $431 (online instructor-led training)

How Can You Opt for It?

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. You can register for the exam at this link.

Certified Software Development Professional

This certification is provided by the IEEE, 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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: IEEE

Duration: 3 hours for the exam

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

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)

Duration: 90 minutes per exam

Price: $150 each for the Javascript and database design courses

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

Get To Know Other Software Engineering Students

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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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Amazon AWS

Duration: 130-minute exam

Price: $150

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

Oracle Certified Master

software engineer certification: 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 programme here.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Oracle

Duration: Exams spread out across two days

Price: Contingent on candidate’s location

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Salesforce

Duration: 105 minutes

Price: $200 plus taxes

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Microsoft

Duration: 120 minutes

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

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Scrum Alliance

Duration: Two-day course

Price: Dependent on instructor

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

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.

Certification Details

Certification Provider: Project Management Institute (PMI)

Duration: 4 hours

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

How Can You Opt for It?

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.

Do You Really Need a Software Engineer Certificate?

A software engineering certification can bring value to your career in several ways.

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 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. There are many jobs in the tech world that require you to be certified. Every time you get a new certification, you’re making yourself that much more attractive to recruiters.

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

Is a Software Engineering Certification Worth It?

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

Course Reputation

Well-reputed 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.

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.

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. Clarify your own goals before you decide to spend money on any certifications.

Earning Potential

The ROI of any certification 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.

FAQs About Software Engineer Certifications

Is Software Engineering Hard To Learn?

Software engineering is not hard to learn if you’re committed to working in the industry. If you are, then there are plenty of free resources and online courses that you can use to make steady progress in your software engineering career.

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 a Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Software Engineer Certification?

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.