Jan 23, 2019

A Quick Guide to Software Engineering Certifications

Software engineers of all types and experience levels can benefit from certification. Whether you're interested in Big Data or you want to become a Robotics Software Engineer, having the education and credentials to back you up provide credibility, concrete proof of your skills, and the edge you just might need to land your dream job. This quick guide is designed to give you the information you need about software engineering certifications before deciding which one is right for you.

Is a Software Engineering Certificate Worth It?

Getting a software engineering certificate is purely voluntary. It's not required to work in the field. That leaves many people wondering if a software engineering certificate is worth the time, money and brain power you need to invest in the course, testing, and certification process. To answer the question simply: yes, it is definitely worth it. Here are five reasons why:

  • Certification demonstrates that you've mastered specific skills, which can give you an edge over the competition and help you gain credibility in the field.
  • Some employers may require it. Software Engineer Insider notes that there's a long list of employers looking for candidates with certification from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), including enterprises like Honeywell.
  • Certification provides a credential that can be very helpful for freelancers and contractors looking to attract new clients.
  • Certification often leads to higher compensation levels.

Software Engineering Certifications List

Now that you understand a little better about why you might consider pursuing certification, here's a closer look at some of the top options out there. Popular software engineering certifications include the following:

  • Microsoft is a trusted, well-known name throughout the industry. Certifications from the company carry some weight. Options ranging from the entry-level Microsoft Technology Associate to the intermediate Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer to advanced credentials that each have their own requirements, including passing certification exams.
  • Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) credential is an entry-level option from IEEE that budding software engineers can earn before completing their education. Candidates in their final year of a bachelor's degree program and non-degreed software engineers are eligible to sit for the exam.
  • The Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) certification from IEEE is one step up from the CSDA credential. You need either a bachelor's degree plus four years of experience in software development or engineering, or an advanced degree and two years of experience.
  • Professional Software Engineering Master Certification from IEEE: prerequisites for this credential include completing at least four years of computer science or a related degree program and four or more years of work experience. Candidates have to complete Certificates of Proficiency in 11 knowledge areas, including Software Requirements, Software Design, Software Engineering Process, Software Engineering Management, and more.

If you're ready to pursue certification, these are some good options to start with. If you're just starting out in software engineering, consider taking your knowledge base and skills to the next level with a Udacity Nanodegree program to jump-start your future.