There’s no denying that software runs the world, and underpinning all excellent software is well-written code. Programming skills are considered among the most in-demand career skills in today’s IT environment, so it makes sense to hone and sharpen your programming expertise.
Today’s computer programming certifications are as much about development platforms and environments as specific programming languages. The best programming certifications include an interesting mix of language-focused or language-specific credentials – like C/C++ certifications – and platform or operating system-oriented credentials like Microsoft’s Azure Developer Associate certification or CompTIA’s Linux+ certification.
Read on for the best programming, platform and operating system certifications of the year.
Programming and platform-specific certifications demonstrate a baseline of knowledge. These certifications are typically highly technical and showcase applied knowledge.
These programs are vendor or programming language-specific, making the right certification extremely useful for the right job. Even for jobs not using a language or platform with which you are certified, holding a related certification demonstrates a certain aptitude and willingness to learn that can help individuals succeed in any role.
Some of our favorite certifications here include:
More than 20 years after Linus Torvalds developed Linux, the operating system remains a force in the computing industry. While Linux is not widely used on desktops, it is extraordinarily strong on the web server side, where it enjoys a market share of 45 percent, according to W3 Techs.
Information technology (IT) professionals invest considerable time learning about server computing for everything from installation, configuration, maintenance and virtualization to application support and security. This also means that many IT professionals are working with and around Linux operating systems daily, often alongside Windows and various UNIX OS brands as well.
Some of the best certifications include:
The LPIC and Linux+ exams are great ways to demonstrate broad knowledge of the Linux system without having to specialize in a specific Linux distribution. This is a good pathway for either professions starting off in Linux or those who wish to maintain a wider knowledge base.
Microsoft is best known for its Windows operating systems and Office software. But the company has a much broader product portfolio that includes online services (Bing, MSN, advertising), servers, gaming (Xbox 360), and hardware (tablets, PCs, keyboards and mice). The company also has a sizable certification program that turns out qualified administrators and technicians to support its system and application products.
Achieving IT certifications through the Microsoft Certification Program shows a person’s competence in a specific IT role, and it can result in all kinds of work-related and personal benefits. For example, studies show that IT certifications increase the chances of landing a job (or getting a promotion). Some of our favorite Microsoft certifications are:
Many other certification programs can help further the careers and professional development of IT professionals who work as programmers. Here are a few certs and resources to consider:
Pursuing the best IT certifications, including programming certs, is an excellent career advancement asset that validates your skills and knowledge.
Those interested in programming certifications have no shortage of choices, so choose carefully and wisely. IT professionals should carefully determine the technologies used in their work environments and consider the roles they may want to pursue in the future.
Before even thinking about which certification program you want to choose, it’s important to consider your goals. Are you angling for a specific job opportunity? Do you want to deepen your expertise in a particular language? Are you interested in learning a new skill? Answering questions like these will help you better understand which program might be best for you.
When investing in your own education and skill development, you want to be sure the investment will pay off. Think about the current landscape in programming, and ask yourself which skills are likely to be valuable well into the future and which may soon be obsolete. Technology is rapidly evolving and the relevance of your skill set is of top importance, so try to spend time earning certifications with staying power.
Plenty of your colleagues are likely to have gone through certification programs, or they’re aware of desirable certifications in your field. Ask them about their experiences or what types of credentials they’d want to see. Feedback from your professional network can be a powerful way to find out which certifications are most highly sought after amongst programmers and employers.
While you can count on the list above, it’s important to do your due diligence and vet every program you’re considering before signing up. Look into the track record of the program and organization you’re considering. How well do people who hold this certification do in their career? Are there any complaints from others who went through the program before? If you find any red flags, you may want to look elsewhere.
Programming is a highly in-demand skill and will be well into the future. Those who succeed in programming careers are those who continually learn and evolve along with technology. So, periodically learning new skills and strengthening old ones, while earning the certifications to demonstrate your expertise, can never hurt. The certification programs above are a great place to start, whether you’re just beginning your career in programming or growing it to the next level.
Mary Kyle contributed to this article.