Programming & Coding Certifications Blog Feature

10 Best Programming Certifications to Improve Your Job and Career Prospects

From creating your first Hello, World! program to building your first game on Scratch, the journey of every programmer starts pretty much the same way. 

But it doesn’t (always) end there. 

It takes months, even years, of consistent learning and improvement before you become an expert and land your dream job. Pursuing developer certifications is an indispensable part of this journey as they help you build proficiency and gain the momentum you need to succeed. 

To give you some inspiration, we’ll introduce you to 10 excellent programming and coding certifications you can take to supercharge your software development career. 🧑‍💻

What Are Programming Certifications?

Programming certifications are formal credentials issued upon the completion of a test or exam that gauges your proficiency and competency level in a particular computer programming field. They serve as official proof of your expertise and typically carry significant weight and credibility in the job market. 🥇

While some certifications have an associated training or course that applicants are required or recommended to take, others allow self-study preparation or work experience and/or degree qualifications.

Certifications are regulated by professional bodies, educational institutions, or major names in the industry like Oracle, Microsoft, and Azure. They usually have minimum requirements that you have to meet before you can take the exam or enroll in the training program.

Programming certifications typically come in several levels that correspond to the expertise and experience of the candidate. The initial level is commonly referred to as entry-level, followed by associate and professional levels.

Programming vs. coding certifications

Though sometimes used interchangeably, programming and coding are distinct yet closely related terms. Simply said, coding is just one aspect of programming, which is a broader concept that also includes planning, designing, testing, and debugging a computer program. 

Accordingly, coding and programming certifications refer to different ranges of expertise. Professional certifications cover various fields like software development, algorithm design, data science, computer science, and system analysis.

On the other hand, coding typically involves writing instructions for a computer to follow in a code editor, so coding certifications verify proficiency in specific programming languages like Python and Java. 

Benefits of Getting a Programming Certification

Aside from being a measure of expertise and proficiency, programming certifications have numerous other benefits, including the following:

  • Career advancement: Certifications generally qualify you for higher roles and, as a result, better pay
  • Relevance: In the ever-changing tech space, programming certifications ensure your skills remain relevant and aligned with the demands of the job market
  • Knowledge gain: Preparing for programming certifications can provide a structured way to master the skills and concepts essential for excelling in your career 
  • Credibility: Programming certifications validate your skills and experience to employers and increase your chances of securing employment

Top 10 Programming Certifications to Take in 2024 

When working in a field as dynamic as software development, continuous learning is vital for keeping up with the latest trends and changes. So, whether you are a newbie in the programming world or a seasoned veteran, you can almost never run out of certifications to take!

Yet, not all programming certifications are created equal, and that’s why we’re here to propose 10 of the most exceptional ones that can make a real difference in your professional development. Let’s check them out. 👇

1. AWS Certified Developer-Associate

AWS Certified Developer-Associate
Via: AWS

The AWS Certified Developer-Associate tests your proficiency in developing, optimizing, and deploying cloud-based technologies on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. It typically covers areas like AWS core services, deployment, database management, and serverless technology. 

Candidates are recommended to have general IT knowledge, including proficiency in a high-level programming language, development tools, and the ability to use cloud-native applications in writing code. 

The exam questions are in multiple-choice and multiple-response format and are scored over 1,000. A passing score of 720 is required, and each topic area is weighted differently. 

Topic areas

  • Development of code for applications hosted on AWS
  • Security 
  • Deployment of application artifacts on AWS
  • Troubleshooting and optimization

Price 

  • $150

Eligibility/recommendations

  • Individuals proficient in one high-level programming language
  • Knowledge of AWS
  • Experience with IT and cloud services

Exam format 

  • 65 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions
  • 130 minutes

2. CIW Web Development Professional

CIW Web Development Professional
Via: CIW

Certification Partners is a leading certification company that provides educational programs for IT and cybersecurity professionals, most notably the CIW (Certified Internet Web Professional) program.

The CIW certification is a comprehensive, vendor-neutral certification that tests your knowledge and understanding of web development concepts and applications. These include HTML, CSS, Javascript, and web design/management principles.

To earn the CIW Web Development Professional certification, applicants must pass three individual exams/certifications

  1. CIW Javascript Specialist
  2. CIW Database Design Specialist 
  3. CIW advanced HTML5 and CSS3 Specialist 

Topic areas

  • HTML5
  • Javascript language essentials, code implementation, and website implementation
  • CSS
  • Database design and planning
  • Structured Query Language

Price

  • CIW Javascript Specialist: $150
  • CIW Database Design Specialist: $150
  • CIW Advanced HTML5 and CSS3 Specialist: $150

Eligibility/recommendations

  • CIW Javascript Specialist
    • CIW Web Foundations Associate or its equivalent
    • Familiarity with developing web pages and network configurations
    • Knowledge of HTML code development
  • CIW Database Design Specialist
    • Basic knowledge of databases
    • Familiarity with operating systems like Windows 7
  • CIW Advanced HTML5 and CSS3 Specialist

Exam format

  • CIW Javascript Specialist: 55 questions, 90 minutes
  • CIW Database Design Specialist: 50 questions, 90 minutes
  • CIW Advanced HTML5 and CSS3 Specialist: 56 questions, 75 minutes

3. Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer

Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer
Via: Google

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer is designed to demonstrate your proficiency in running and developing software solutions on the cloud. The certification verifies that you’re able to design, deploy, and manage cloud-based applications, as well as integrate them with Google services. 

Topic areas

  • Designing cloud-native applications
  • Building and deployment of applications
  • Integrating Google cloud services
  • Managing deployed applications

Price

  • $200 (including tax, where applicable)

Eligibility/recommendations

  • Recommended 3+ years of industry experience 
  • Recommended 1+ years of design experience using the Google Cloud platform

Exam format

  • 50-60 questions; multiple-choice and multiple-select

4. Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer

Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer
Via: Oracle

Whether used for mobile or web app development, Java is one of the most versatile and widely used programming languages. So, if you are looking to solidify your skills in writing effective Java code, the Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) Java SE 8 Programmer certification might be just up your alley.

This is a foundation-level certification tailored towards entry-level programmers, helping them gain proficiency in Java fundamentals and coding techniques. 

Topic areas

  • Java basics and data types
  • Operators and Decision constructs
  • Arrays, loop constructs, Methods, and Encapsulation
  • Inheritance
  • Working with select classes from Java APIs

Price

  • $95

Eligibility/recommendations

  • Completion of Java foundation courses

Exam format

  • 56 questions; multiple choice
  • 120 minutes

5. CLP – C Certified Professional Programmer Certification

Administered by the C++ institute, CLP – C Certified Professional Programmer is an advanced-level certification designed to prove a programmer’s proficiency in the C programming language. It tests and assesses advanced C programming concepts like advanced data types, libraries, syntax, and language semantics. 

Topic areas

  • Handling a variable number of parameters
  • Low-Level IO
  • Memory and Strings
  • Network sockets
  • Floats

Price

  • $295

Eligibility/recommendations

  • CLA – C Programming Language Certified Associate Programmer Certification

Exam format

  • 55 questions; single-choice and multiple-choice
  • 65 minutes (exam)
  • 10 minutes (NDA/tutorial)

6. CompTIA Security+ Certification

CompTIA Security+ Certification
Via: CompTIA

Whether you’re looking to start a career in cybersecurity or hone your skills, CompTIA Security+ is an industry-standard certification that opens many doors in this IT niche.

It is popular among individuals working or looking to work as cybersecurity analysts, network administrators, and security engineers.

By passing the exam and obtaining the certification, candidates demonstrate requisite knowledge in accessing network structures of enterprise environments, as well as recommending and monitoring security solutions. On top of that, a proper understanding of applicable laws, policies, and principles of risk and compliance governing these systems is required.

Topic areas

  • Key security concepts
  • Security operations and architecture
  • Threats and vulnerability management
  • Security program management

Price

  • $392

Eligibility/recommendations

  • CompTIA Network+ certification
  • 2 years of experience working in IT administration with a focus on security
  • 2 years of experience working in a security/systems administrator job role

Exam format

  • 90 questions; multi-choice and performance-based
  • 90 minutes

7. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification

Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
Via: PMI

Project managers work closely with programmers, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and overseeing the planning, execution, and delivery of projects in conjunction with stakeholders. They also help mitigate risk and are crucial to the success of software development objectives. 

The Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification qualifies you to manage projects and successfully lead teams toward reaching organizational goals. It is available in over six languages and tests real-life knowledge of project management techniques and principles.

Being a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), which administers the certification, is an added advantage, as it entitles you to a discount on the certification fee.

Topic areas

Price

  • PMI member: $284
  • Non-member: $555

Eligibility/recommendations

  • Four-year college/university degree
  • 36 months of experience leading projects within the past eight years
  • 35 hours of project management training/education or the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) Certification

Or

  • High school or secondary school diploma
  • 60 months of experience in leading projects in the last eight years
  • 35 hours of project management training/education or the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) Certification

Exam format

  • 180 questions
  • 230 minutes

8. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
Via: Cisco

The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is a certification awarded to individuals with advanced skills in designing, managing, and troubleshooting network solutions.

Candidates can be certified in specialized areas like Enterprise, Data center, Security, Service provider, Collaboration CyberOps, and DevNet. They are required to take one core exam, which covers general networking concepts, and a concentration exam in their chosen specialized field of networking.

Topic areas (CCNP Enterprise)

  • Network architecture
  • Network assurance
  • Security
  • Automation
  • Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

Price

  • Varies depending on core exams and concentration area

Eligibility/recommendations

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Depending on the certification specialization area, 3-5 years of experience in implementing network solutions is required

Exam format

  • Varies depending on core exams and concentration area

9. Microsoft Azure Developer Associate

The Azure Developer Associate Certification, offered by Microsoft, is designed for programmers developing software on the Azure cloud computing service. It covers areas related to Azure storage solutions, connections, app authentications, debugging, etc. 

To take the exam, candidates have to be proficient in tools like Azure CLI and Powershell, in addition to being able to program with Azure-supported languages. 

Topic areas

  • Implementing secure Azure solutions
  • Implementing Azure app services
  • Developing for Azure storage
  • Implementing user authentication
  • Monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing Azure solutions

Price

  • $165

Eligibility/recommendations

  • Recommended at least two years of professional development and experience with Azure
  • Take the AZ-204 (Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure) exam

Exam format

  • 40-60 questions; multi-choice and multi-response
  • 150 minutes

10. Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP)

Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP)
Via: PCAP

Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) is one of the more intermediate-level, though still popular, programming certifications geared toward aspiring programmers, software developers, and individuals in other security and networking roles. 

It is designed to acquaint candidates with foundational Python programming concepts, such as the essentials of Object-Oriented Packaging (OOP), modules, packages, and exception-handling mechanisms in OOP. It’s also meant as a stepping stone for more advanced Python certification tracks.

Topic areas

  • Modules, packages, and PIP
  • Strings and string processing
  • Generators, iterators, files, and file streams
  • Exception hierarchies, classes, and objects
  • Fundamentals of the Object-Oriented Packaging (OOP) approach

Price

  • $295

Eligibility/recommendations

  • None

Exam format

  • 40 questions; single and multiple-select
  • 65 minutes (exam), 10 minutes (NDA/tutorial)

How to Manage Programming Projects with ClickUp

While acquiring programming skills and knowledge through certifications is a great way to advance your software development career, much of your success still depends on how you organize your work and collaborate with team members. That’s where a capable project management and productivity platform for developers like ClickUp can be a lifesaver, with various tools for managing tasks, collaborating with your team, and supercharging productivity—in one powerful package. 💪

ClickUp’s Software Project Management Suite is carefully designed to simplify the entire development cycle and empower cross-functional teams to work together toward shared goals and successful product releases.

Work with your team on strategic roadmaps and product requirements or document vital project workflows using ClickUp Docs, the platform’s text editor and document management tool. It lets you collaborate on documents in real time, assign tasks, add comments and files, and change project statuses—while never leaving the editor.

Connect ClickUp Docs to Workflows
Connect ClickUp Docs to your workflow by linking tasks together

ClickUp Docs reaches its full potential when combined with ClickUp AI. This omnipotent writing and even coding assistant lives inside Docs and can generate exceptional product requirement documents, design user test studies, create test plans, and much more in a matter of seconds!

ClickUp AI Product Requirements Document Example
Automate documentation writing with AI, monitor progress through charts and sprints, and resolve coding bugs quickly using ClickUp

Use ClickUp’s 15+ views to observe your work from all angles and maintain maximum visibility while keeping everyone in the loop. For example, the Gantt chart view is an excellent solution for monitoring task dependencies and blockers while keeping a close eye on goal progress with custom statuses and fields, Milestones, and priority tags. 

ClickUp 3.0 Gantt chart simplified
Group, filter, or hide tasks in ClickUp 3.0 Gantt charts to track and connect workflows across all your work

There is an even better way to track progress on ClickUp—using ClickUp Dashboards. They are like mission control centers of your projects and products, visualizing everything from workloads and defined goals to sprint progress and tracked time to enable data-based decision-making. The best thing about the Dashboards is that they are completely customizable and easily shareable with your stakeholders.

ClickUp 3.0 Dashboards Bugs per view and tasks per status
Create detailed Dashboards and easily add Cards to view sprint point progress, tasks per status, and bugs per view

Sounds like a lot? There’s no reason to worry as you don’t have to do anything on your own. ClickUp gives you a leg up with its massive library of 1,000+ ready-made templates for virtually every usage case, from comprehensive program management templates to highly practical product backlog templates

For example, the ClickUp Project Plan Template for Programming sets you up with an entire framework for effectively managing a software development project with a detailed workflow, various collaboration tools, and progress-tracking options. 💯

Program Your Way to Success with ClickUp

No doubt, climbing up the career ladder as a software developer can be an uphill task requiring great effort and determination. However, by taking programming certifications and incorporating project management tools into your workflow, you can apply your skills within a framework that ensures success, collaboration, and efficiency. 🌟

Considering ClickUp’s extensive features for project management and productivity, it is a tool worth having in any programmer’s toolbox. So, sign up for ClickUp today to take control of your projects from start to finish.

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