Best Python Professional Certifications in 2021
Python certification programs are designed to promote industry excellence and ensure recognition for specialized Python knowledge and skills. If you work with Python on a daily basis, there are several Python certifications that you may be interested in. The exams for many of them are delivered by Pearson Vue, an electronic testing company.
Read on to learn what exams you should take and what training you can do to prepare.
What Is a Python Professional Certification?
A Python professional certification is a credential designed for programming specialists, software developers, and IT professionals. It is a tool that helps professionals in the industry demonstrate their programming skills to employers and peers. Professional certifications are important because having your skills certified by a neutral party can catapult your career.
Professional Certification vs Certificate Program
A professional Python certification is the standard way of demonstrating competence in the industry. It also increases your credibility vis-a-vis potential employers. Professional certifications are provided by independent third parties and involve passing an exam.
Certificate programs, on the other hand, are provided by educational institutions. They are courses that are open to everyone, regardless of expertise. They yield a certificate of completion, but, unlike professional certification, such certificates do not denote mastery of a skill; it only means you have completed a course.
In some cases, completing a certificate program will be enough to impress employers. However, a professional certification carries more weight and will help you find better jobs and earn promotions. In this article, we will discuss some of the best Python certifications in the market as well as some certificate programs that can help you prepare for the certification exams.
Python Skills: What’s Demand Like in 2021?
Python skills are currently in high demand. A slew of careers involving Python is rapidly emerging. To understand the demand for Python skills, let’s take a look at the job outlook for the professions that rely on Python the most.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for web developers and digital designers is set to grow 8 percent by 2029, which is faster than most other industries. The job growth for software developers is even more impressive: BLS estimates a 22 percent job expansion in the same time frame.
Finally, data analyst positions are projected to grow 25 percent in the same period. As you can see, learning Python and getting certified will bring plenty of employment opportunities, all of them with suitably large salaries.
Importance of a Python Certification
Python certifications help bolster your resume and demonstrate a commitment to learning and advancing yourself. These are all things that employers like, and thus becoming certified enhances your employability.
However, there is debate about the value a Python certification adds to your actual work. When studying for a Python certification exam, you will undoubtedly learn a lot and sharpen your skills. However, some argue you can achieve just that by enrolling in a coding bootcamp or web development course online.
The jury is still out on whether a Python certification is more cosmetic than anything else. We hope this article will help you form an opinion on this issue.
Top 5 Python Certifications
The following certifications will bolster your Python skills and set you apart from other candidates. Employers want tech experts that can demonstrate their competence. Passing the certification exams below is a great way to show them what you are worth.
Certified Entry-level Python Programmer (PCEP)
Validity: Does not expire
This is the lowest level of certification awarded by the Python Institute. It demonstrates competence with computer programming basics, formatting methods, and boolean values and functions. The exam for this certification is divided into five blocks.
The first block covers basic concepts and accounts for 17 percent of the final grade. The second block (20 percent) tests you on data types and evaluations. The third (20 percent) is on control flow, loops, and conditional blocks. The fourth block (23 percent) assesses your understanding of data collections, lists, tuples, and dictionaries. The fifth and final block (20 percent) will test you on functions.
Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP)
Validity: Does not expire
This credential, the next level of certification offered by the Python Institute, proves to potential employers that you know your way around boolean values, object-oriented programming, and functions.
The taker must know how programming knowledge is defined and constructed, particularly with regard to Python. You will also be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the formatting and outputting methods most commonly associated with this language.
In addition, you will be tested on modules, packages, controls, evaluations, exceptions, strings, data aggregates, functions, comprehensions, lambdas, and closures.
Certified Professional in Python Programming (PCPP1)
Validity: Does not expire
The Python Institute also awards this certification, which demonstrates advanced programming knowledge and skills. This credential shows that you are invested in growing as a professional Python developer.
You will be tested on advanced object-oriented programming, GUI programming, best practices and PEP conventions, text file processing, communicating with a program’s environment, and the elements of network programming, among other topics.
Certified Professional in Python Programming (PCPP2)
Validity: Does not expire
This certification is also awarded by the Python Institute. It shows your competency when it comes to creating and distributing packages and designing patterns. The test also covers interprocess communication, Python network programming, and Python-MySQL.
Expert in Python Programming
Validity: Does not expire
This is the highest level of certification issued by the Python Institute and the culmination of its general programming certification program. It distinguishes you as an expert Python programmer and a master of Python-related technologies.
To earn this certification, you are expected to pass three sets of exams: PCAP-31-xx, PCPP-32-1-xx, and PCPP-32-2-xx. In other words, to have a shot at this exam, you must first obtain the PCAP, PCPP1, and PCPP2, all of which have been discussed above.
How to Choose the Right Python Certification
The core of the matter is that you don’t actually need a Python certification to be employable. However, there are instances where it can be a valuable tool in your career or set you apart from other candidates. Here are a few considerations before signing up for a Python certification exam.
Before signing up for a certification exam, make sure that you can afford the cost. Some of the credentials listed above are not cheap, so you should give some careful thought to whether or not they are worth it.
Is Certification Needed?
As a Python developer, you don’t actually need certification. However, the process of earning a certification can bolster your skills. In addition, certification will boost your credibility when seeking employment or promotion.
Is the Exam Offered in Your Region?
Some certification exams may not be available at your current location. Before signing up for an exam, make sure there is a test center in your region that offers it.
Top Courses to Prepare for Python Certifications
Python skills are in demand, which means there are lots of courses out there to learn them. Many of these courses serve as perfect training for some of the certification exams listed above.
Introduction to Predictive Analytics Using Python | edX
Duration: Six weeks
Outcome: Shareable certificate
In six weeks, this course will teach you the fundamentals of Python, predictive modeling, modeling processes, variables, data preparation, transformation, anomalies, and regression.
This course assumes you have previous experience with programming languages. It starts with an introduction to Python and predictive modeling that will prepare you for the more advanced content in the following weeks.
MicroMasters Program in Software Development | edX
Duration: Nine months
This course will help you build a solid foundation upon which to pursue a Python certification. It doesn’t focus exclusively on Python which is a good thing as you will develop wider expertise. If you later choose to specialize in Python, this course gives you the knowledge you need to make that transition easier.
You’ll learn to code with simple data first and with complex data next. This will help you master any programming language, including Python. Your coursework also covers object-oriented programming, data abstraction, and full-stack development.
Internet of Things (IoT) Programming and Big Data | edX
Duration: Five weeks
This course covers a broad range of information. Perhaps the most important lesson is on creating Python scripts. The creation of Python scripts facilitates large data file processing. This will help you formulate solutions for real-world problems.
Beyond that, this course will also teach you everything there is to know about the Internet of Things. This includes dealing with projects, networks, or the application of software solutions.
Introduction to Visual Programming Languages | edX
Duration: Eight weeks
This course includes an introduction to programming languages, including Python. The lessons cover visual programming languages, statecharts, hierarchy, orthogonality, programming with stories, live sequence charts, playful programming, and robots. There is also a lesson on the future of programming.
Introduction to Python Programming | edX
Duration: Five months
This course, created by professors at Georgia Tech, is divided into four sections. During the first phase of your learning, you tackle the fundamentals as well as procedural programming. In the second phase, you will learn about control structures, while the third goes over data structures. The final section is all about objects and algorithms.
Is a Python Certification Worth It in 2021?
A Python certification is definitely worth it in 2021. The average salary for a Python developer is about $80,000 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. Python developers can earn as much as $128,000 per year, depending on the company they work for and where they live.
The figure mentioned above puts Python developers among the top earners in the United States. This means that the cost of a Python certification is a small price to pay given the huge earning potential associated with this type of credential.