11 Software Engineering Certifications To Pursue in 2023

Updated March 16, 2023

As a software engineer, being able to showcase your engineering skills is one of the best ways to be a competitive applicant during a job search. By becoming certified in subjects related to software engineering, you can  show employers you’re serious about developing your skills in the IT field and are committed to lifelong learning. When you get certified, it’s a good idea to start by learning about which software engineering certifications employers look for when hiring software engineers for their IT department.

In this article, we discuss software engineering certification and review 25 software engineering certifications you may consider pursuing to advance your career in 2023.

What are software engineering certifications?

Software engineering certifications are designations that confirm you have a certain skill level for the concepts and tasks involved with being a software engineer. Depending on the requirements of the certification provider, earning software engineering certifications can involve taking a written test, completing a course or creating a project that demonstrates your abilities.

Getting certifications for software engineering can help you prove your skills to potential employers and set you apart from other applicants by showcasing your experience. When you seek certification from a well-known authority, employers can trust the quality of your work in your certification area.

Some employers even require specific certifications as a basic qualification to be considered for software engineering roles. Earning a variety of certifications can help you qualify for more positions or even negotiate a higher salary based on the additional value you bring to the company through your certification status.

Person sitting at computer and reviewing code on multiple monitors.

Related: Software Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

Certifications for software engineers

Here are some of the top certifications to consider pursuing if you're looking to strengthen your software engineering qualifications:

1. Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional

The cybersecurity organization (ISC)² offers the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional or CSSLP certification to test your skills in software development safety and security practices. It reviews content on software design, security requirements, implementation practices and application testing, operational maintenance among other topics. Earning the CSSLP certification demonstrates your ability to identify vulnerabilities in your software engineering projects, protect client data and guard against security breaches through best practices for cybersecurity.

The exam consists of 175 multiple choice questions that you can answer over a period of four hours. The standard price for the CSSLP course and exam is $599.

2. Certified Software Development Professional

The Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) exam from the IEEE Computer Society is one of the standard industry certifications for software engineers. This advanced certification is for experienced software engineers and recommends at least two years of related professional experience or computer science education. It requires four other IEEE CS certifications as prerequisites: Software Requirements, Software Design, Software Construction and Software Testing.

The exam costs $395 for IEEE CS members and $495 for nonmembers. It covers a range of topics over 160 questions with a time limit of three hours.

Related: Software Engineer vs. Programmer: What's the Difference?

3. Certified Software Engineer

The Institute of Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) offers a wide range of certifications for IT professionals, including the Certified Software Engineer designation. You can earn this certification by taking three exams from ICCP: Information Systems Core, Software Engineering and Object-Oriented Analysis and Design.

Certification requires an initial $45 membership fee, a $299 exam fee and a $50 proctor fee. You can also purchase study materials and tutor support from the ICCP website.

4. CIW Web Development Professional

CIW is a widely recognized IT certification company that offers certificates in several paths. Their web development series is especially useful for software engineers that want to display their knowledge of programming, database engineering and other web skills. To become a CIW Certified Web Development Professional, you need to pass three exams:

  • JavaScript Specialist: 55 questions, 90 minutes

  • Database Design Specialist: 50 questions, 90 minutes

  • Perl Specialist: 50 questions, 75 minutes

These certifications cover programming language essentials like data categorization and syntax, interacting with files, implementing websites and debugging techniques. Each exam is $150, for a total cost of $450.

Related: How To Learn Website Development (And Why It's Important)

5. C programming language

C is of the most integral programming languages for software developers and engineers. Many advanced certifications require certificates in C and its popular derivative C++ as a prerequisite, so getting certified is a great way to start building your skills. The C++ Institute has four certifications you can take based on skill level with the professional level certificates requiring you to first pass the associate level:

  • C Programming Language Certified Associate (CLA)

  • C Certified Professional Programmer (CLP)

  • C++ Certified Associate Programmer (CPA)

  • C++ Certified Professional Programmer (CPP)

Each exam has a $295 base price, but you can get discounts by signing up for their online study course.

6. Oracle

Oracle is a cloud platform and application provider that offers its own certifications to confirm competency with its products. Oracle is an extremely popular platform, and software engineers can benefit from taking Oracle certifications in Java, SQL, cloud infrastructure, database development, systems and virtualization. There are six levels of proficiency you can earn, ranging from Junior Associate to Master.

The MySQL Oracle certification is especially useful for software engineers who use SQL development in their software projects. The certification test reviews software infrastructure, architecture and syntax among other subjects, with increasing difficulty for each level. The Oracle Certified Professional MySQL test costs $245.

Read more: 94 Oracle Certifications To Consider for Your Career

7. Microsoft

Because so many companies use Microsoft services like Azure to run their software needs, getting an official certification from Microsoft can strengthen your qualifications as a software engineer. After taking the Azure Fundamentals certification example, you can qualify to become an Azure Security Engineer Associate, DevOps Engineer Expert, Azure AI Engineer Associate, Azure Data Engineer Associate or Azure Solutions Architect Expert depending on what kind of software engineering you want to focus on.

The Azure Fundamentals certification exam costs $165 and lasts 150 minutes. Advanced exams vary in cost and length.

Related: Your Guide To an MS Certification

8. Amazon Web Services

If you're looking for a software engineer position where you use the Amazon Web Services platform to develop web applications, consider seeking the AWS Certified Developer certification. The associate level exam covers the fundamentals of AWS, best practices for AWS architecture, user support, web development and deployment, debugging and software lifecycle management.

The associate exam lasts 130 minutes and costs $150, with optional $20 practice exams. If you master the AWS Certified Developer Test, you can take additional certifications like AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional or AWS Certified Machine Learning.

Related: AWS vs. Azure: How the Two Storage Services Compare

9. Salesforce

Salesforce is a prolific customer relationship management software provider that offers a certificate to confirm your ability to design applications on their cloud-based system. Your Salesforce certification can help you get noticed at any company that uses Salesforce to interact with customers. The Salesforce Platform Developer I and II, JavaScript Developer I and B2C Commerce Developer certifications test your programming skills in the context of the various Salesforce and Lightning platforms.

Each of the developer certifications cost $200 or $100 when re-taking the exam.

10. Agile

While the Agile project management methodology isn't exclusively a software engineering concept, many companies look for candidates with Agile certifications to facilitate their software development cycles. There are many different versions of Agile, so consider seeking multiple certifications to demonstrate your expertise to a range of potential employers.

Start by taking the Certified ScrumMaster course from ScrumAlliance for $595 to show your project management skills, then take the Certified Scrum Developer test to relate your knowledge of Agile to software engineering.

Read more: 9 Agile Certifications for IT Project Management

11. Chef

Chef is a popular server configuration software program that businesses use to automate their services. They offer five "badges" or certification levels that describe your proficiency in developing networks and programs using Chef: Chef Fluency, Cookbook Deployment, Extending Chef, Cookbook Development and Auditing with InSpec. The certifications cover topics like Chef design theory, workflow management, Ruby programming, custom resources, user roles and system troubleshooting.

Chef certification badges are valid for three years, range in price from $75 to $99 and last from 60 to 90 minutes. You can hone your Chef software engineering skills by reviewing the provided assessment guide.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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