A software engineering certification is a professional credential issued after you take an exam in a particular field of software development.
While a college student may study a wide range of subjects, the best software engineering certification program narrows down a specific area to give you in-depth knowledge in fewer subjects.
Gaining certification showcases your skill as a software engineer to potential employers. No matter your specialization in the coding industry, a developer-related or programming certificate boosts your resume. It’ll help you stand out from competing candidates.
This article looks at the benefits of certification and some of the top offerings out there for beginners.
If you’d like to skip ahead to a certain section, just use the clickable menu:
- What is a software engineer certification?
- Nine of the best software engineer certification courses out there in 2023
- Software engineer certification FAQs
- Do I need a college degree to be a software engineer?
- What does a certified software engineer do?
- How do I choose the right certification course?
- Is it hard to learn software engineering?
- Can you be a software engineer without a certificate?
- What is an AWS certification?
- What’s the average certified software engineer salary?
1. What is a software engineer certification?
A software engineer certification program covers all the basics of software engineering as well as programming—including tools and techniques for software development.
Professional certification helps you to stand out in a crowded job market and attain advanced positions in your career as they demonstrate your expertise and specialized skills. For this reason, many top technology companies like Oracle, Salesforce, Amazon, and Microsoft offer certifications for experts in their software.
Professional credentials in software engineering require a mix of experience and education. However, there are some fields where you can gain certification as a beginner. Often, the credentials will remain valid for several years before you have to renew your certification.
2. Nine of the best software engineer certification courses out there in 2023
A quick Google search for these can be more confusing than illuminating. You’ll find many training options from different organizations and industry buzzwords thrown about trying to grab your attention.
In this fast-paced world, time is of the essence. It’s not easy finding a good course that you can fit into your already busy schedule.
But don’t worry—with proper time management, you can easily take a course and still keep your life running smoothly. You just need to find a good time tracking software that comes with crucial features such as time blocking to allow you to plan time for learning.
There are many software engineer certification courses to choose from, but here are some of the most in-demand in 2023:
Oracle MySQL certified professional
The field of cloud computing has seen tremendous growth in recent years and is now an integral part of the technology industry.
As per Statista, the worldwide public cloud computing segment is worth $495 billion and growing. The cloud computing market involves software, platforms, infrastructure, and business processes provided as a service.
Oracle is an application provider and cloud platform that issues certifications to confirm expertise with its products. A top-rated platform, software engineers, benefit from earning certifications in Java, cloud infrastructure, systems, SQL, and virtualization. Oracle offers six proficiency levels that start from Junior Associate to Master.
Attaining Oracle MySQL certification is particularly useful if you use SQL to develop your software projects. The Oracle Certified Professional MySQL credential indicates knowledge of software infrastructure, syntax, architecture, and other subjects.
CareerFoundry Full-Stack Web Development Certification
A web development certification shows employers that you are skilled in designing and setting up websites and web interfaces from scratch.
Professionals in this field will typically be known as developers, coders, programmers, or software engineers, depending on their level of expertise. This role is further divided into frontend website development, backend website development, and full-stack web development.
Suppose the idea of building engaging, beautiful websites appeals to you, and you’re ready to dive into this exciting career field. In that case, it could be time to get a full-stack web development certification from CareerFoundry.
You can study part-time for 15-20 hours each week to complete the program in less than ten months; You could study for 30 to 40 hours per week to finish the program in 5 months.
Microsoft Azure fundamentals
Because many companies use Microsoft solutions like Azure to power their software needs, official Microsoft certification could strengthen your qualifications when starting a career as a software engineer.
You could start by taking the Azure Fundamentals certification to obtain further certification as an Azure DevOps Engineer, Azure Solutions Architect, or Azure AI Engineer, among other advanced Microsoft cloud software engineering certifications.
The Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification demonstrates your fundamental knowledge of cloud technology regarding Azure’s services, security, pricing, privacy, workloads, and support.
The Azure Fundamentals certification exam has 30–50 questions, which you should answer in 85 minutes.
Salesforce developer certification
Salesforce is an industry-leading customer relationship management (CRM) software provider that issues a certificate to indicate your ability to design and develop apps based on their system.
As a result, this is a valuable software engineering certification that gets you noticed at companies that need to customize their salesforce implementations.
Becoming a certified Salesforce developer takes 14 to 16 months.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon is the world’s largest cloud platform provider, so it makes sense that a software engineering certification from the company would be highly coveted.
If you want to land a software engineering position in an organization that uses the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, you’ll naturally need to be familiar with cloud computing with AWS.
You should also consider taking the AWS Certified Developer examination. This exam is at the associate level and covers AWS fundamentals, including user support, best practices, software development and deployment, software lifecycle management, and debugging.
Once you become a certified AWS developer, you can further your software engineering career by adding more advanced certifications like AWS Certified Machine Learning, or AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional.
The AWS Certified Developer examination takes 130 minutes, and the company also offers practice exams before attempting the certification test.
C programming certificate
C is an integral programming language used by millions of software engineers and programmers worldwide.
Many advanced programming certifications require you to have a C or C++ certificate as a prerequisite, making it an excellent choice to begin building your skills.
The C++ institute offers four main certifications based on your skill level, with professional certificates requiring that you first pass associate-level certification:
- C Programming Language Certified Associate (CLA)
- Certified Professional Programmer (CLP)
- C++ Associate Programmer (CPA)
- C++ Professional Programmer (CPP)
When you sign up for the institute’s online courses, you get a discount on the exam fee.
CIW Web Development Professional
CIW is a highly respected and recognized technology industry certification organization offering you several paths toward software engineering credentials.
The company’s web development courses are beneficial if you want a way to show off your knowledge of database engineering, programming, and web scripting skills. To attain certification as a CIW Certified Web Development Professional, you should pass three essential exams:
- Database Design Specialist
- Perl Specialist
These CIW certifications cover various programming essentials, including file interactions, syntax, data categorization, debugging techniques, and website implementation.
IEEE Certified Software Development Professional
The IEEE Computer Society’s Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) examination is a standard industry certification issued to software engineers.
It’s an advanced certification designed for experienced engineers and requires you to have more than two years of professional experience or advanced education in computer science.
To become a CSDP, you need the following certifications from the IEEE society:
- Software requirements
- Software design
- Software construction
- Software testing
The IEEE Computer Society offers a discount on the exam fee for members. The test consists of 160 questions you should answer within a three-hour limit.
Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional
The cybersecurity association (ISC)² offers software engineers the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) certification that confirms their knowledge of software development security and safety practices.
The certification course and examination review candidates’ skills in operational maintenance, software design and development, application testing, and security requirements.
Attaining CSSLP certification shows your ability to identify any vulnerabilities within software engineering projects, guard against breaches, implement cybersecurity best practices, and protect client data.
The certification exam contains 175 multiple-choice questions you should answer within four hours.
3. Software engineer certification FAQs
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the top options out there, let’s deal with any related questions you might have when trying to decide.
Do I need a college degree to be a software engineer?
Although a college degree can help, there are many tracks into software engineering careers that do not require a degree.
A study by Course Report revealed that bootcamps and short courses are more affordable, take less time, and provide access to jobs with nearly equal earnings to those requiring a Computer Science degree.
If you’d like to learn more about making this happen, check out our full guide to becoming a software engineer without a degree.
What does a certified software engineer do?
A certified software engineer uses programming languages and engineering principles to design and build software and computer systems that solve real-world problems. They use their skills to develop everything from computer games to network control systems.
Frontend developers mainly focus on the visual design of the app or website, while backend developers mainly focus on the usability and flow of the system. In addition, software engineers are also tasked with testing, improving, and maintaining the products of other engineers.
How do I choose the right certification course?
These are the factors you should consider when choosing the right certification:
- Reputation and credibility: The best software engineer certification courses are backed by a well-established, respected, and highly recognized organization
- Customer support: The certification process itself may be complicated in some cases, so you need to know you have support and that the certifying body or company promptly addresses your questions
- Your career prospects: Your plan for professional development and personal aspirations should determine your certification choice
- The potential ROI (Return On Investment): Look at the earning prospects from your certification of choice
Is it hard to learn software engineering?
At first, a common worry and perception is that learning to code is hard. Although learning software engineering from scratch can be challenging, you can do it if you are ready to put in the work, time, and dedication.
What’s more, you can quickly be ready for an entry-level position with the right training. The best software engineer certification general courses will be designed to teach you according to different learning styles
Can you be a software engineer without a certificate?
There are many opportunities to get into software engineering without a certification.
However, the credential opens the door to more opportunities since some hiring managers prefer to hire candidates with a certification. The reason for this is simple—it stands as proof that more than just their portfolio, that they have been taught the relevant tools and techniques as well to a standard.
What is an AWS certification?
Amazon Web Services offers 11 certifications in cloud development, deployment, and management technologies organized into three tiers—Foundational, Associate, and Professional.
The courses are designed to certify various technical skills associated with building secure cloud-based applications using AWS technology.
What’s the average certified software engineer’s salary?
According to our complete software engineer salary guide, the is $75,803 per year in the US (data from Glassdoor).
The pay range for certified software engineers starts at $52,000 and can climb to as much as $118,000 annually, according to PayScale.
Whether you’re just starting out on your coding journey or a professional developer, we hope by now you’ve seen some of the best software engineer certifications and courses for you.
As well as providing a certification, the CareerFoundry Full-Stack Development Program, offers a highly collaborative learning environment where you can interact with tutors and mentors who will help you at every step.
You can confidently put your newfound skills to work as soon as you’ve graduated, with the help of your own dedicated career specialist.
If you’d like to learn more about the world of coding, check out these articles: