Technology is constantly changing and sometimes it takes more than just a degree program to stay competitive in the computer industry. Read on to learn about software programming certifications and see if you might be able to benefit from obtaining a professional designation.
Software programmers write the code to execute the instructions used by software applications. Computer programmers use different programming languages depending on the programming project. Programming certifications can give you an advantage over other applicants who are otherwise equally qualified. Certifications can also lead to advancement opportunities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that programmers were expected to see an 8% increase in job opportunities from 2012-2022, so job prospects should be average (www.bls.gov). Programmers who keep up with the latest changes and have experience working with multiple programming languages had the best job prospects. Certifications can show potential employers that you are competent using one or more programming languages, which can give you an edge over the competition, according to the BLS.
The first step to becoming a certified software programmer is to decide which certifications might be useful. Certifications are available from a number of different sources, including professional societies and software vendors. Requirements to become certified vary, but most software programming certifications involve satisfactory completion of at least one exam and relevant experience using the programming language or development software.
Before pursuing programming certification options, you should consider which programming languages you plan to use. If you use the Java programming language, the Oracle Certified Associate designation can be useful for entry-level Java programmers. You can become an Oracle Certified Professional if you wish to obtain a more advanced designation for using Java. Microsoft offers the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer, which demonstrates that you are able to develop applications using particular Microsoft technologies. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers offers the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) designation, which shows employers that you have proficiency in software development.
You can prepare for certification exams with courses and books designed for the particular certification you are pursuing. Some master's degree programs prepare you to take the exams for certifications such as the CDSP. Most software vendors and professional societies provide training options for the certifications they offer.