In the context of software engineering certifications, they act as credible proof that one has a certain body of knowledge and expertise level of practices and concepts relevant to a skilled software engineer. Since certification is a global practice, there are numerous certification providers, therefore, the requirements and procedures can vary. Whether it is a course completion, written exam, or project built from scratch — the document you receive at the end of the day is an objective reflection of your capabilities.
Basically, certification is an extra opportunity to succeed in a career. For instance, future possible employees with certification could be in an advantageous position since they have had some experience by the time of the interview. A potential employer is more likely to trust well-known certification providers, and some companies require certain certifications as a mandatory qualification for being hired as a software engineer or manager. Having an impressive number of certifications, a professional has an additional value that companies compete for. Thus, such a specialist can negotiate compensation and pick the best offer.
When assessing the list of available certifications and choosing the necessary one, the following factors should be taken into account:
- Credibility and reputation. Certifications provided by big industry names such as Microsoft, Oracle, or ISTQB® are already well-established, highly recognized, and respected by prominent software development organizations. Make sure the certification provider has a robust community around it.
- Customer service and support. Reputable certifications — just like any industry leader — genuinely care about client support. The process itself might be a bit tricky, and one might get lost during the application stage. It would be a good idea to check how the support system works, and whether the inquiries are addressed promptly.
- Your career future. Much of the certification choice depends on personal aspirations and plans for professional development. One needs to have a clear idea of individual career development. For instance, if you would like to pursue managerial roles, it is essential to pick a certification that would have a real value on this path.
- The potential ROI. The earning prospects of any certification are directly related to a certain skill or technology these certifications provide, more specifically — their relevance, adoption, and popularity in the nearest future.
Now that we have recapped the general assessment checklist, it is worth taking a glance at the top-10 certifications list.