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Best Software Engineer Certifications in 2021

Software engineers design and create software products, computer games, and network control systems. They use their knowledge of engineering and programming languages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over one million software developer jobs in the United States.

In addition, the BLS reports that software developers make an average salary of $110,140. You can earn an even higher salary if you have certifications. These courses and exams are the best way to prove your skills in the field. Read below to learn more about the best software engineer professional certifications in 2021.

What Is a Software Engineer Professional Certification?

Software engineer professional certifications are credentials that you can get after completing a course or exam. Holders of any certification in software engineering have demonstrated their knowledge and competence in the field. They are usually awarded by third-party professional organizations.

Professional Certification vs Certificate Program

Professional certifications are issued to professionals who have met predetermined criteria such as passing a specific exam. They are issued by non-governmental organizations and often expire after a few years.

On the other hand, a certificate is often issued after completion of training for a given topic. It is awarded by schools, colleges, and universities. You can also get a certificate from an online course.

Software Engineer Skills: What’s Demand Like in 2021?

The job market for software developers is rapidly growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineer job opportunities will grow by 22 percent over the next ten years. This figure represents a much higher percentage than the national average.

This positive outlook reflects an industry that will keep attracting many new professionals. For this reason, you should enroll in a certification program to increase your profitability and remain competitive.

Importance of Software Engineer Certification

Although you might have a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science, you should consider a certification program for several reasons. For one, earning a certification in software engineering will help you gain valuable credibility. This is vital if you are in the early stages of your career.

Earning a certification also increases your marketability. The job market is very competitive, and certifications are a great way to gain an advantage over other job applicants. Most employers prefer candidates with certifications.

Top 10 Software Engineer Certifications

Top 10 Software Engineer Certifications

Below is a list of the best certifications for software engineers to advance in their careers. These top certifications will demonstrate your knowledge and ability in software solutions. Check out the best software engineering certifications to help you get a job and earn a higher salary.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer - Associate

Cost: $150

Validity: Three Years

Do you have extensive skills in AWS core services, uses, and best practices? You should consider getting the AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification. This certification will validate your skills in AWS services as well as proficiency in using cloud-based applications.

To qualify for the exam, you will need more than one year of experience developing, maintaining, and troubleshooting AWS-based applications. The 65-question multiple-choice exam will last about 130 minutes. Training courses will help you acquire additional knowledge to pass this exam.

The AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam will touch on top programming languages, AWS architecture best practices, features of AWS services, application lifecycle, and serverless applications.

Associate Software Developer Certification

Cost: $295

Validity: No Expiration

This certification from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society proves that you have a good software development foundation. It is ideal for entry-level software engineers.

You should apply for this certification if you have an in-depth understanding of software design, software requirements, and software testing. It has no expiration, which means that you never have to recertify.

The Associate Software Developer Certification exam will test your knowledge in software architecture, interfaces, coding, integration testing, and debugging. There are no prerequisites for this exam, but you still need to prepare for it. The best coding bootcamps are a great way to learn what you need to know.

Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional

Cost: $699

Validity: Three Years

Would you like to be a globally recognized professional in the software lifecycle? The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional certification is limited to professionals who can incorporate the best practices in software development. The certification demonstrates your ability to apply security skills in application development.

Acquiring this certification will prove to your industry peers that you have advanced technical skills and knowledge in cyber security. It’s an effective certification to improve your career, demonstrate your skills, and gain industry support from fellow professionals.

The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional exams cover security domains, software concepts, implementation, testing, deployment, supply chain, and architecture. It is offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)².

Certified Software Engineer (CSE)

Cost: $299

Validity: Two Years

This certification, awarded by the Institute of Certification of Computing Professionals, will open up a whole new world of opportunities in information technology for you. You can easily land new job positions, receive a raise, or change your career.

To acquire CSE certification, you must complete three exams: the Information Systems Core exam, the Software Engineering Exam, and the Object-Oriented Analysis and Design Exam. These exams establish your skills and knowledge in software engineering.

CIW Web Development Professional

Cost: $150

Validity: No Expiration

The certification from CIW proves that the professional is well-versed with web and IT technologies. The certification will prove your knowledge in backend and front end programming languages.

The platform designed the certification for web application developers, software developers, and web architects. It’s an effective certification to help you achieve your career objectives and gain recognition from industry peers.

To earn this certification, you need to pass three exams: CIW JavaScript Specialist, CIW Perl Specialist, and CIW Database Design Specialist. You will earn three separate certifications for the exams in addition to the CIW Web Development professional certification.

Microsoft Technology Associate - HTML5 App Development Fundamentals

Cost: $127

Validity: No Expiration

Would you like to validate your skills in using HTML5 in client application development? Before you take these certification exams, make sure you have extensive knowledge in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Microsoft designed the program to test your foundation in client-side applications.

The certification exams will test your ability to manage an entire lifecycle of an application. It will also test your skills in building user interfaces with HTML5. If you want to pass the exam, you should also learn Cascading Style Sheets and how to code using JavaScript.

Microsoft Technology Associate - Software Development Fundamentals

Cost: $127

Validity: No Expiration

This is an excellent certification from Microsoft to prove your skills in software development. The Software Development Fundamentals certification exams will test your ability on different facets of application development. You should expect exam questions assessing your skills and knowledge.

The certification exams will assess your programming skills, web applications, and a general understanding of databases. You should learn how to program using C# and Microsoft Visual Basic .NET.

The platform designed a training course available online for free and an instructor-led class for professionals to prepare for exams. Do not hesitate to seek further education or a refresher course to get ready.

Oracle Application Express 18: Developer Certified Professional

Cost: $245

Validity: No Expiration

You should acquire the Oracle Application Express 18: Developer Certified Professional certification to validate your competency in developing apps using Oracle Application Express. Offered by Oracle’s education platform, it is ideal for app developers.

To earn this certification, you must pass the Oracle Application Express 18: Developing Web Applications 1Z0-750 examination. The 120-minute examination will test you on all aspects of application development using Oracle APEX solutions. You will need to achieve a 56 percent passing score to earn the certification.

Professional Software Developer Certification

Cost: $485

Validity: Three Years

The Professional Software Developer Certification will demonstrate your world-class skills in software design construction and testing. It also proves that you have in-depth knowledge of software requirements. It is offered by the IEEE Computer Society.

To earn the Professional Software Developer Certification, you will need to sit through a three-hour examination. The exam will test your skills and knowledge in different aspects of software engineering such as design, constriction, testing, and requirements.

To earn this certification, you will need at least an Associate Degree in Computer Science or equivalent. You will also need an additional two years of experience in any relevant industry. This is an essential general software engineering certification for your career path.

Professional Software Engineering Master Certification

Cost: $865

Validity: Three Years

The Professional Software Engineering Master Certification validates your extensive knowledge in software engineering. If you seek this qualification, you need to ensure you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or equivalent. You will also need at least four years of experience.

The certification exams will assess all your skills in software engineering. You will find questions on software engineering configuration, software engineering management, software engineering processes, and more. This certification is offered by the IEEE Computer Society.

How to Choose the Right Certification

How to Choose the Right Certification

There many different certification programs online. However, scrolling through dozens of web pages trying to find the best one can be tedious. Having a checklist when reviewing multiple certification programs can help you make an informed decision. Below are some tips that will help you choose the right certification.

Validity

Certifications have expiration dates. When choosing a certification program, consider one whose certificate will last the longest, especially if you are starting your career in software engineering. Having to recertify can cost time and money.

Relevance

There are many sectors within software engineering, and the same also goes for certification programs. When choosing a certification, make sure it is relevant to your specific profession in software engineering. Remember, these programs are designed to test your skills in a specific topic or subject.

Resources

You should choose a certification with adequate guides and study materials, as these can be very useful in helping you prepare for an exam. Many certification providers have courses that specifically prepare you for a certain exam. Do your research before you start to make sure you will be ready for your certification.

Top Courses to Prepare for Certifications

Not every certification provider offers preparatory courses. Instead, you can take unaffiliated courses online to help you get ready. Read below to learn more about the best prep courses for software engineering certifications.

CSSLP Cert Prep: 6 Secure Lifecycle Management | LinkedIn Learning

Cost: $29.99

Duration: One hour and 21 minutes

Format: Self-paced

Outcome: Certificate

This course is designed to prepare you for the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) exam. The course is led by industry experts. You will learn how to define your strategy and roadmap, promote security culture, and manage security using different methodologies.

Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization | The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Coursera)

Cost: Membership subscription ($59 per month)

Duration: Three months

Format: Self-paced

Outcome: Certificate

This course will help you prepare for the Professional Software Developer Certification program, which will test your technical skills as an app developer. Among other things, you’ll learn more about front end web development with React, server-side development with Node.js, Express, and MongoDB, and more.

HTML5 and CSS Fundamentals | W3C (edX)

Cost: Free

Duration: Six weeks

Format: Self-paced

Outcome: Certificate for $199

Although this is not an official prep course, it will help you get ready for the Microsoft Technology Associate – HTML5 App Development Fundamentals certification program. Among other things, you’ll learn the basics of web design, style, HTML, CSS, and concepts of a markup language for front end web development.

Software Design and Architecture Specialization | University of Alberta (Coursera)

Cost: Membership subscription ($59 per month)

Duration: Four months

Format: Self-paced

Outcome: Certificate

This course will prepare you for the Associate Software Developer Certification and the CIW Web Development Professional programs. The course is designed for beginners looking to learn object-oriented design, design patterns, software architecture, and service-oriented architecture.

Software Development Lifecycle Specialization | University of Minnesota (Coursera)

Cost: Membership subscription ($59 per month)

Duration: Four months

Format: Self-paced

Outcome: Certificate

This course is designed to prepare you for the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) exam. If you’ve already developed software but are looking to understand software development practices better, you should take this course. You’ll also work on fictional case projects to help cement the theoretical concepts.

Is a Software Engineer Certification Worth It in 2021?

Yes, software engineer certifications are worth it for a host of reasons. You can earn a higher salary and get a more senior position wherever you work. If you’re interested in becoming a software engineer, you should get one of these certifications.

Find a training program that will help you start your tech career journey.

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