10 Best Programming Certifications Reviewed in 2021 | To Acquire New Skills and Expand Your Knowledge

In an ever-evolving field like programming, you need to acquire new skills and expand your knowledge continuously. After all, you can't just take a couple of programming courses and expect to stand out from the crowd in such a competitive field. In addition, you can check the best Full Stack Developer courses here, learn how to get VBA certified in this post, and check out the top BI courses in this review.

3 Top Programming Certifications

azure

[Best Programming Certification Overall] 

1.Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals is one of the well-known certifications offered by Microsoft.

4.9/5 

  • Microsoft Azure offers high availability
  • It offers you a strong security profile
  • It is a cost-effective solution for an IT budget
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[Best for the Money] 

2.AWS Certified Developer Associate (AWS CDA)

The AWS Certified Developer Associate is a cloud computing certification offered by Amazon to validate candidates' knowledge of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and their uses. You'll also go through the fundamentals of developing web applications, as well as their deployment and debugging using AWS.

4.8/5 

  • You'll go through the fundamentals of developing web applications
  • The AWS CDA credential doesn't have any mandatory prerequisites
  • You'll also go through deployment and debugging using AWS.
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[Best for a Better Job] 

3.C Certified Professional Programmer (CLP)

As one of the oldest computer programming languages, the C programming language is considered by many as the programming language that every software developer should know.

4.7/5 

  • C++ Institute exams are a good way to complete the education process
  • You can still learn a lot from just taking the exam .
  • C and C++ certification exams provide you with useful information

However, not all programming certifications deliver the same value, as you'd expect for any other certification, not just programming ones. In fact, some certifications can be a complete waste of time. To make the search easier for you, we've reviewed some of the best programming certifications that you can pursue right now, so let's get started without further ado!

What Are the Best Programming Certifications?

Before pursuing a programming certification, consider your personal development goals, current skill set, and what path you want to follow. Software development is an ocean of specializations, and pursuing certifications without a clear path will get you nowhere.

Exam

Cost

Time

Languages

Format

Delivery

Passing Score

Renewal

$99

85 mins

English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Spanish, German, French

Multiple choice and performance-based

Remote

700 (on a 100-1000 scale)

Not required

$150

130 mins

English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese

Multiple Choice and Multiple Select

Testing Center or Remote

720 (on a 100-1000 scale)

3 years

$295

65 mins

English

Single Choice and Multiple Choice

Remote

70%

Not required

$200

1.5 hours

English

Multiple Choice

Remote

70% (Estimated)

18 months

$599

3 hours

English

Multiple Choice

Remote

70%

3 years

$370

1.5 hours

English, Japanese

Multiple choice and performance-based

Remote

750 (on a 100-900 scale)

3 years

$100

1 hour

English, Spanish, Chinese & 10 others

Multiple Choice

Remote

74%

2 years

$400

4 hours

English

Hands-on Tasks

Testing Center

70%

2 years

$200

2 hours

English, Japanese

Multiple Choice & Multiple Select

Remote or Testing Center

80% (Estimated)

2 years

$150-$500

1 hour

English, Spanish, Chinese & several others

Multiple Choice

Remote or Testing Center

65%

Not required

Contrary to popular belief, not all programming certifications are limited to teaching computer programming languages. In this list, we've made sure to present you with certifications from multiple specializations, so you can pick the one that matches your career aspirations.

Best Programming Certifications Reviews

[Best Programming Certification Overall]

1. Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

4.9/5

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals is one of the well-known certifications offered by Microsoft. The tech giant has released dozens of certifications over the past decade, but becoming a certified expert in Microsoft's Azure Cloud Computing Services will give you an exceptional advantage in the cloud computing industry's job market.

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The certification discusses the fundamentals of cloud services and how Microsoft Azure provides such software solutions to optimize the user experience while also complying with cybersecurity and privacy standards.

Some of the topics that the exam covers include Azure web services, cloud concepts, Azure services, security Azure workloads, and Azure data privacy. You'll also know more about Azure's many pricing plans.

There aren't any minimum requirements for this certification, but you're expected to be familiar with some foundational concepts if you want to pass the exam and make the most out of the program. Ensure you have a basic understanding of concepts and topics like storage, networking, and application development, and support before attempting the exam.

Pros

  • Microsoft Azure offers high availability
  • It offers you a strong security profile
  • It is a cost-effective solution for an IT budget

Cons

  • The ease of access may be problematic for some businesses

4.8/5 

The AWS Certified Developer Associate is a cloud computing certification offered by Amazon to validate candidates' knowledge of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and their uses. You'll also go through the fundamentals of developing web applications, as well as their deployment and debugging using AWS.

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The AWS CDA credential doesn't have any mandatory prerequisites, but you should be familiar with a wide set of concepts and topics if you want to secure a passing score in the exam.

The required knowledge for the AWS CDA courses includes familiarity with a minimum of 1-2 programming languages, application lifecycle 

management, CI/CD pipelines, serverless applications, and cloud-native applications.

So, it's one of those developer certifications that subtly requires prior knowledge even before the course, not just the exam.

Pros

  • You'll go through the fundamentals of developing web applications
  • The AWS CDA credential doesn't have any mandatory prerequisites
  • You'll also go through deployment and debugging using AWS.

Cons

  • It subtly requires prior knowledge even before the course, not just the exam

4.7/5 

As one of the oldest computer programming languages, the C programming language is considered by many as the programming language that every software developer should know, which emphasizes the importance of being C programming language certified. C certifications are the real deal and genuinely help you make progress!

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Becoming CLP C certified is definitely an excellent way for you to demonstrate your fluency in the C programming language and stand out in the crowd.

Once you successfully complete the C CLP certification by passing the exam, you'll be eligible for the C CLA certification, a more advanced version of the C certified professional programmer certification.

As a C certified associate programmer, you'll validate your knowledge of the C programming language even further and give yourself an edge over other candidates in job interviews and freelancing gigs. Becoming a C certified associate programmer might also help you land a promotion.

Moreover, the C programming language rarely gets significant updates, which means that you won't have to renew your certification any time soon after becoming C programming language certified. Could it get better?

Pros

  • C++ Institute exams are a good way to complete the education process
  • You can still learn a lot from just taking the exam and facing some of the programming challenges in the exam
  • C and C++ certification exams provide you with useful and unbiased information about what you know

Cons

  • The exam does not let you avoid studying for very long

The Puppet Labs Puppet Developer (PLPD) validates the candidates' skills in using Puppet, an IT automation and system management tool developed by Puppet Labs. Getting certified as a PLPD will boost your credibility as a proficient user of this software.

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The content covers everything related to the Puppet software, including classification, troubleshooting, environments, orchestration and tasks, and module authoring.

While the exam has no mandatory prerequisites, candidates need to make sure they know how to create basic modules that include external data sources and data separation. It's also expected they have a working knowledge of the Puppet software and its IT industry applications.

Other recommendations include awareness of the Puppet software documentation and finishing the "Getting Started with Puppet" course. They certainly have a lot of value to offer!

Pros

  • Getting certified as a PLPD will boost your credibility as a proficient user of this software
  • The content covers everything related to the Puppet software, including classification, troubleshooting, environments, orchestration and tasks, and module authoring
  • The exam has no mandatory prerequisites

Cons

  • It's expected they have a working knowledge of the Puppet software

The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) credential is a certification offered by (ISC)² that endorses a software developer's capabilities in implementing the necessary security precautions throughout the development cycle of web applications.

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Obtaining this certification and passing the exam demonstrates your skills in authentication, auditing, and authorization throughout the software development lifecycle.

You'll also get hands-on experience in using the proper cybersecurity procedures and policies, so you'll be putting theory into practice as you go.

Currently, there are no prerequisites to pursue this certification. Still, candidates are preferred to have previous work experience in a security-oriented IT role that requires an understanding of application security knowledge.

Pros

  • Validate your expertise in application security
  • Conquer application vulnerabilities offering more value to your employer
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of application security

Cons

  •  Candidates are preferred to have previous work experience in a security-oriented IT role

4.5/5 

If you're interested in cybersecurity and want to kickstart an IT security career as a certified expert, the CompTIA Security+ certification should definitely be on the top of your bucket list. This entry-level certificate covers the ABCs of cybersecurity functions using practical industry-related problems with varying degrees of complexity, enabling you to get real hands-on experience.

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What's more, it prepares you to tackle any security issues that come your way and enhance your problem-solving skills.

The certification is continuously updated, and it's always on par with the current best practices in the industry.

There are no prerequisites for the Security+ certification, but CompTIA recommends that candidates have around two years of experience in the IT field with an emphasis on cybersecurity. A basic understanding of CompTIA Network+ is preferable, too.

Some of the topics that the exam covers include security controls, risk assessment/management, forensics, enterprise networks, hybrid operations, and incident response. The test will also challenge candidates in their knowledge of the current policies and laws that govern cybersecurity.

Pros

  • The test will challenge candidates in their knowledge of the current policies and laws that govern cybersecurity
  • The certification is continuously updated
  • It prepares you to tackle any security issues that come your way

Cons

  • CompTIA recommends that candidates have around two years of experience in the IT field

The Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credential isn't purely a computer programming certification. It's a demonstration of a holder's awareness of Agile and Scrum principles and their software development applications.

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The test will challenge your understanding of the foundations of Scrum, in addition to proper usage of your arsenal of tools and techniques in designing competitive software that complies with the standards of the Scrum framework. The course will also introduce you to Scrum team roles, artifacts, and events.

To become eligible for the CSM certification exam, you need to attend 14 hours of online training or 16 hours of in-person training from a Scrum Alliance REP (Registered Education Provider), as well as attending a face-to-face with a Certified Agile Coach (CAC). You also need a minimum of two years of work experience as a Scrum Master.

Programmers and software developers who lead the development of micro and mega projects in a Scrum environment will find the training insightful. The test will give them a means of assessing their knowledge and showcasing it to work colleagues and potential employers.

Pros

  • The course will  introduce you to Scrum team roles, artifacts, and events
  • The training is very insightful
  • The test will give you a means of assessing your knowledge

Cons

  • You need a minimum of two years of work experience as a Scrum Master

The Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) certificate is designed for anyone interested in Big Data. In this exam, you'll be given 5-10 customer problems from the industry with large data sets and a Cloudera Distribution Hadoop (CDH) cluster. So, what exactly are you supposed to do? 

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Well, to successfully pass each question, you need to find highly-precise technical solutions for each problem based on your analysis of the data given to you. You can use any of the cluster tools you think are suitable for the problem and help you reach a solution.

Just like many other programming certificates, there aren't any prerequisites for this one. You're expected, however, to have a solid background in data ingest and analysis. You should also know how to convert a set of data values into new data values by transforming the format and rewriting them in Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

Moreover, candidates must be able to create a higher value of the data in hand by implementing several actions and jobs and optimizing their workflow. Without meeting these requirements, you may encounter some challenges during the exam.

Pros

  • It is designed for anyone interested in Big Data
  • Just like many other programming certificates, there aren't any prerequisites for this one 
  • The test will give you a means of assessing your knowledge

Cons

  • A beginner may encounter some challenges during the exam

Google offers a wide set of certifications in the fields of software development and information technology, with the Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect (GCPCA) credential being one of the web search giant's most reputable certifications.

google  cloud

There are no mandatory requirements for this certification; however, Google recommends that GCPCA candidates should have a minimum experience of three years in the cloud-based computing field, in addition to one year of using GCP to design software solutions.

The certification extensively tests your application of Google Cloud technologies and how you use them to plan a cloud solution architecture and manage the cloud solution infrastructure with the ultimate goal of achieving business objectives.

It also assesses your expertise in designing following cybersecurity and confidentiality standards while also guaranteeing solution reliability.

This certificate is an excellent option for junior and senior cloud architects to showcase and widen their knowledge in the field.

Pros

  • It assesses your expertise in designing
  • It guarantees solution reliability
  • This certificate is an excellent option for junior and senior cloud architects

Cons

  • Google recommends that GCPCA candidates should have a minimum experience of three years in the cloud-based computing field

4.3/5 

The ITIL Foundation certification from Axelos covers the fundamentals of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), preparing candidates to pursue the ITIL 4 certification.

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You'll learn the basics of the ITIL framework and how you can utilize it to improve IT service management.

 It's a suitable credential for IT professionals who work in organizations planning to implement or have recently started implementing the ITIL framework.

The training for the exam takes two and a half days.

ITIL Foundation aspirants are expected to have basic knowledge of Agile, DevOps, and Lean and the four dimensions of Service Management. However, it's worth noting that these requirements aren't mandatory, but you need to have sufficient experience to pass the exam of this credential.

Pros

  • It covers the fundamentals of ITIL, preparing candidates to pursue the ITIL 4 certification
  • You'll learn the basics of the ITIL framework and how you can utilize it to improve IT service management
  • The training for the exam takes two and a half days.

Cons

  • You need to have sufficient experience to pass the exam of this credential

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Programming Certifications Worth It?

While employers don't usually recognize programming certifications until the candidate proves their capabilities, their presence is essential for landing more and better career opportunities. In other words, a programming credential isn't a guarantee that you'll find a suitable entry-level or senior-level job. Many other factors come into play, like soft skills and years of experience.

Which Programming Certificate Pays the Most?

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect (GCPCA) is one of the highest-paying programming certifications out there, with a median annual salary of $175,761 in the United States.

How Can I Get My First Programming Job Without Experience?

The best way for you to land an entry-level programming job is by building a programming portfolio with a minimum of 2 hands-on projects. These projects don't have to be paid, but they can be of great value to you in your job search.

Final Thoughts

That's it for now! We hope our guide of the top programming certifications has been insightful. If you want to get certified but still don't know where to start, you can read more about each programming specialization and pick a learning path that suits your interests and existing skills.