Python is known for its simplicity, versatility, and powerful features, It is arguably the most popular programming language in the world, making it an ideal choice for software developers looking for employment in a wide variety of software development fields. That being said, since Python is so popular, programmers may find stiff competition for jobs, especially in the early stages of their careers. Acquiring Python certifications can help you edge out the competition, as well as validate your experience and expertise. In this tutorial, we take a look at the top certifications for Python developers, their prerequisites, and what to expect when taking a certificate program.
- Importance of Python Certifications
- How to Choose the Right Python Certification
- PCEP Certification
- Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP)
- Certified Professional in Python Programming (PCPP)
- Machine Learning and Data Science Certifications
- TensorFlow Developer Certificate
- Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate
- Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer
- Certified Web Developer Certifications
- Django Certification
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
Importance of Python Certifications
Certifications are a great way to demonstrate your experience and expertise in software development and related fields, such as data science or research. In addition to showcasing your experience, Python certifications offer the following benefits:
- Validation: Certification can validate your skills and knowledge as a developer, making you a more appealing candidate to employers and clients.
- Career Advancement: Many software development organizations prefer – or even require – potential employees to hold certifications. Companies that require certifications tend to pay more, raising your earning potential.
- Enhances Skills: There is usually a generous amount of preparation involved to acquire a programming certification. This in-depth study and practice further enhances your skills and coding abilities.
How to Choose the Right Python Certification
Prior to making the journey towards certification, programmers should consider their career goals and what career paths they are interested in. Python, being such a powerful language with many use cases, offers a wide range of specialization options, including data science, web development, mobile development, gaming, machine learning/artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.
Since there are so many options available, you should choose a certification that aligns with your career goals and interests. Another consideration is the prerequisites, exam details, and fees involved, as some certifications might require previous experience or knowledge.
With these considerations in mind, below are some of the top certifications for Python developers.
Certified Entry-level Python Programmer (PCEP)
The Certified Entry-level Python Programmer (PCEP) certification is offered by the Python Software Foundation (PSF). It is designed for Python programmers seeking to validate their Python coding skills using Python 3.x. The certification showcases proficiency in Python’s core concepts, libraries, and coding best practices.
PCEP certification does not have any strict prerequisites. It is, however, suggested, that you are experienced with Python and have a solid understanding of Python’s concepts, features, and fundamentals.
The exam format for the PCEP certification consists of a mix of multiple-choice questions and coding exercises. It takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and requires a 70% score to pass. It typically costs around $195 per attempt, though this cost will vary.
Benefits of Certified PCEP Certification
Below are some of the benefits of achieving the PCEP certification:
- Recognition: CPD certification is a globally recognized certificate that provides official validation of a developer’s Python programming skills.
- Career Enhancement: Achieving a CPD certificate opens up job opportunities and a possible increase in salary range.
- Community: Being a certified Python developer makes you an official part of the global Python community, which can be a valuable tool for networking.
Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP)
The Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) certification is also offered by the Python Institute. It is an entry-level certification for new programmers looking to start down the Python programming path. PCAP is focused on Python’s core fundamentals and programming concepts.
PCAP certification, being a beginner certification, has no specific prerequisites and requires no previous Python experience.
The PCAP certification exam is multiple-choice and has students perform coding exercises and common programming tasks. It takes 65 minutes to complete and requires a passing score of 70%. Although it can vary, the average cost is $295.
Benefits of Certified Associate in Python Programming Certification
Receiving your PCAP certification offers the following benefits:
- Python Foundation: PCAP helps beginning developers build a strong foundation in Python programming, as it focuses on the languages core principles.
- Prep for Advanced Certifications: PCAP certification is commonly a stepping stone to more advanced Python certifications.
- Employability: Earning a PCAP certificate makes you a more appealing candidate for entry-level Python programming positions.
Certified Professional in Python Programming (PCPP)
The final Python Institute certification on our list is the Certified Professional in Python Programming (PCPP) certification. This certificate is for experienced Python programmers that want to demonstrate advanced coding skills. Topics covered in PCPP include object-oriented (OOP), graphical user interface (GUI), and network programming.
Before attempting to achieve PCPP certification, you should have experience coding in Python and have completed the PCAP certification, or, at the very least, have acquired equivalent knowledge and skills.
The exam format for PCPP certification involves a hands-on, in-depth exam that focuses on advanced Python topics. It lasts 180 minutes and requires a passing score of 70%. The typical cost for the exam is $295.
Benefits of Certified Professional in Python Programming Certification
Achieving PCPP certifications offers the following benefits:
- Advanced Skills: PCPP certifies that developers have advanced Python programming skills. This makes you a much stronger candidate for more challenging projects or higher-level positions.
- Versatility: PCPP certification covers a broad range of Python topics, allowing programmers to explore a variety of Python software development arenas.
- Career Opportunities: PCPP opens up senior Python developer roles and the possibility of higher salaries.
Machine Learning and Data Science Certifications
Outside of the Python-specific certifications offered by the Python Institute, you may be interested in pursuing certifications for related fields, such as data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. We highlight a few of these types of programming certifications in the following section.
TensorFlow Developer Certificate
The TensorFlow Developer Certificate is offered by Google. It validates a programmer’s proficiency in the deep learning framework, TensorFlow. Topics covered in this certification include building and training neural networks.
The only prerequisite for this certification is a basic understanding of machine learning, Python, and TensorFlow.
The exam for the TensorFlow Developer certification consists of a practical coding exam, during which you will build machine learning models with TensorFlow.
Benefits of TensorFlow Developer Certification
Becoming TensorFlow Developer certified offers programmers the benefit of being able to demonstrate their expertise in machine learning and deep learning techniques using TensorFlow, enhancing your ability to land a job in the machine learning or artificial intelligence field.
Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate
The Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate certification is focused on the implementation and management of AI solutions hosted on the Azure cloud platform. Topics covered include a variety of AI services and tools, which include Azure Machine Learning.
Prerequisites for the Azure AI Engineer Associate certificate includes knowledge of Python, machine learning fundamentals, and familiarity with Azure services.
During the certification exam, developers will need to demonstrate AI solution development skills and tackle deployment scenarios.
Benefits of Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate Certification
Obtaining this certification validates a programmer’s ability to work with AI tools and platforms in cloud-based environments, enhancing your career opportunities in the realm of machine learning and cloud development.
Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer
The Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer certification is not only for Python developers. It is, however, relevant for Python programmers wanting to work within the realm of data engineering and data analytics on Google Cloud. Topics covered include data storage, data processing, and machine learning.
Prerequisites for the Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer certificate includes a working knowledge and familiarity with Python, data engineering concepts, and Google Cloud services.
The certification exam has developers focus on the design and build process for a data processing system hosted on Google Cloud.
Benefits of Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer Certification
The primary benefit of achieving a Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer certificate is that it demonstrates your abilities and knowledge within the realm of data engineering and analytics, with an emphasis on working within a Google Cloud environment. This gives you an upper hand when applying for roles in data-driven or data-centric software development organizations.
Certified Web Developer Certifications for Python
Benefits of Web Developer Certifications for Python Developers
The benefits of being web developer certified include:
- Full-Stack Development: Web development certifications tend to cover both front-end and back-end development, helping Python developers become full-stack developers. This, in turn, opens up many more employment opportunities.
- Web Development Skills: Studying for these types of certifications grants programmers the skills to design, create, and maintain websites and web applications.
We would be remiss if we neglected to mention web frameworks as part of our discussion on web development certifications. Django, in particular, is popular Python web framework used to create powerful, highly scalable web applications. There is presently no official Django certification, but developers can still pursue Django-related certifications featured on websites like Udemy and Coursera.
Benefits Django Certifications
The following are some of the benefits of obtaining a Django-development related certificate:
- Django Skills: Earning a Django-related certificate showcases your expertise in building web apps using Django and web frameworks in general. This is a valuable skill web development shops look for.
- Portfolio: Most web development and web framework certifications require you to complete a real-world project. This completed project can be used for your portfolio and added to your resume.
- Career Opportunities: Python developers with Django experience are in demand, and a certification in this arena can help your career prospects in the web development arena.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is another certification that is not specific to Python. That being said, the certificate is valuable to Python programmers that are interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity or ethical hacking. Obtaining CEH demonstrates you ability to ethically hack, which includes skills like vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.
The prerequisites for CEH certification includes having knowledge of information security practices and a strong understanding of network and cybersecurity concepts and fundamentals.
The certification exam format consists of multiple-choice questions and a series of hands-on hacking challenges. It lasts 4 hours and requires a passing score of 70%. The average cost for the certification is $1,200.
Benefits of Certified Ethical Hacker Certification
The benefits of achieving the Certified Ethical Hacker certification include the following:
- Ethical Hacking Skills: A CEH certificate validates a coders ability to address security vulnerabilities, a crucial skill for those pursuing a cybersecurity role.
- Career Opportunities: Ethical hackers are very much in demand – a trend that does not seem to be slowing down. CEH certification can lead to more job opportunities in cybersecurity.
- Increased Security: Even for those that do not wish to pursue a career in cybersecurity, obtaining a CEH certificate provides valuable insights into how to secure your own applications and software.
Final Thought on Python Certifications
In this tutorial we learned that Python certifications can be a valuable asset for a developer’s career, regardless of whether you are a new programmer or seasoned veteran. The choice of which certificate(s) you choose will depend on your available funding, interests, and career path you wish to pursue.
When picking which certifications make the most sense for your goals, be certain to check the prerequisites and required skills to pass any examinations you will need to take. Keep in mind that certification is only one step in your professional development. Good programmers continuously update their skills and challenge themselves with complicated projects.
Finally, investing time and money into developer certifications can open doors for better employment opportunities, make you more competitive in the job market, and can raise your earning potential.
Read: Best Python Frameworks