A computer screen showing code

What Does It Take to Become a Certified Programmer: An Unbiased Guide

Many of us want to become a certified programmer as certified programming is a satisfying and fulfilling career. In this impartial guide, we are going to discuss the various aspects of a programming career. We will elaborate on the qualities, skills, and certifications needed to become a certified programmer. In addition, we will also cover the job market outlook for a certified programmer and will provide some tips for showcasing your programming skills.

Who is a Certified Programmer?

A certified programmer is a computer programmer who has successfully passed an industry-recognized examination or certification program in a specific programming language or technology. Generally, these certifications are administered by organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Microsoft, Oracle, and other technology companies.

The ultimate aim of these certificate examinations is to test and certify the skills and knowledge of programmers for ensuring that they can work efficiently and effectively to create reliable software applications. In the market, a wide range of certifications are available and these certificate examinations depend upon the programming language or technology you are interested in.

For example, if you are interested in learning Python programming, you can pursue a Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) certification. This certification tests the Python programming abilities of the examinees and allows them to work with experienced developers and gain access to better job opportunities. Other popular programming certifications include R Programming Certification, CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer, Oracle MySQL Database Administration Training and Certification (CMDBA), CompTIA Security+, and MongoDB Certified Developer Associate Exam.

These various programming certifications will require you to demonstrate your programming knowledge and skills through a series of tests and examinations. Depending on the level of certification you are pursuing, you may need to complete several exams or just one exam to prove your knowledge and abilities. Each certification will also have its own set of requirements, such as prerequisites, mandatory courses, and required experience.

Taking a programming certification course will enable you to outperform your competition. During the certification course, you will practice the concepts and techniques you learn during the classes, which will ultimately help you to strengthen your skills and prepare for the certification exams.

Once you’ve completed your programming course, you’ll be able to showcase your programming proficiency with the earned certificate. By obtaining a certification, you’ll be able to show prospective employers that you are knowledgeable and qualified in the field. Additionally, these programming certifications can increase your marketability and help you stand out among other applicants.

How to Become a Certified Programmer

A certified programmer doing coding task

Becoming a certified programmer can be a challenging task but with the right approach, you can easily ace your certification examination. With the right preparation, knowledge, and attitude, anyone can become a certified programmer. Here’s how you can earn your first programming certificate:

  1. Choose a Certification Program: First of all, you need to choose your certification exam. For selecting a suitable certification exam, it is important to consider factors like cost, duration, accreditation, and marketability.
  2. Understand Certification Requirements: Each programming certification has a peculiar requirement. So, always do a little bit of research about the requirements of your certification exam.
  3. Prepare for the Exam: After you have selected your certification exam, it is time to prepare for your exam. Prepare all the relevant content and research the types of questions you will be probably asked in the exam, become familiar with the test format, and practice with sample tests.
  4. Take the Exam: After the necessary preparation, register for the exam and make sure you arrive early. Bring all necessary documents and be sure to follow instructions carefully.
  5. Get Certified: Congratulations! You’ve passed the exam and now you can proudly display your certification. Stay up to date on new developments in programming and continue to hone your skills to maintain your certification.

How to Become a Programmer Without a Degree

An aspiring certified programmer taking his certificate examination

Though demand for degree-qualified programmers is on the rise still you can earn a decent living, if you are a programmer without a degree. Becoming a programmer without a degree is though not an easy task, however, it is an achievable feat. If you are looking to become a certified programmer without a degree, here are some steps you can take toward achieving your goal:

  • Research available certifications: The first step in becoming a programmer without a degree is to research and understand the different certifications available in the field. Making sure that you understand the certification standards, requirements, and processes are essential for success.
  • Acquire the appropriate skills: After researching the certifications, you need to make sure that you have all of the necessary skills required for the certification. This may include studying programming languages, such as Java or C++, as well as learning about data structures, algorithms, software engineering, and more.
  • Take the necessary exams: Once you are confident in your skills, and have learned the requisite programming languages then you can go for the certification exam. The certification exam may be conducted in one sitting or it may involve a series of exams. The number of exams depends upon your certification program.
  • Showcase your Programming skills: After you have earned your necessary certifications, it is time to showcase your programming skills to prospective employers. You can build your programming portfolio by completing projects, and joining and creating value in relevant programming forums.

By following these easy steps, you can become a certified programmer without a degree. With hard work and dedication, becoming a certified programmer is possible, and earning a decent living is possible.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Computer Programmer?

It takes between three months to four years to become a certified programmer. This largely depends on the program you choose and your learning style. For those who are self-taught and can devote 20-30 hours a week, it is possible to learn programming in as little as three months. For those who choose a more traditional route, like completing an accredited Bachelor’s degree, it can take up to four years to complete.

When considering the length of time, it will take to become a certified programmer, it is important to consider the area of study that best suits your individual needs, educational goals, and career aspirations. A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or Information Technology is the most common path toward becoming a programmer. However, many students graduate with entirely different majors and still find their way to programming.

It is also important to consider your learning style when determining how long it will take you to become a programmer. If you prefer a structured classroom environment, you may need to factor in additional time to complete classwork and secure a job.

Programming Language

Once you have chosen the program that best suits you and identified your learning style, it is time to get started! Don’t delay, start today and you can be a certified programmer in no time!

Whatever your academic background may be, but after you have become a programmer then you will need to build a programming portfolio. The importance of a professional programming portfolio can’t be underestimated as your working portfolio alone can impress your prospective employers. A good programming portfolio will prove to employers that you are capable of problem-solving and coding. You can build your programming portfolio by taking freelance programming projects, contributing to open-source programming platforms, and building your own software applications.

Preparing to Take a Programming Certification Exam

Earning programming certifications is an important step toward becoming a certified programmer. With the right skill set, knowledge, and preparation, you can achieve your goal of becoming a programmer. But it’s not just about the skills and knowledge – you also need to know how to prepare for a programming certification exam.

Here are six tips to help you prepare for programming certification exams:

  1. Review the exam content: Before taking any programming certification exam, it is essential to review the content of the exam thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with the topics that are covered in the exam and ensure that you have a thorough understanding of them.
  2. Master the sample questions and practice exams: After getting familiarized with the course content, the next step is to prepare the course content and then test your understanding with practice exams. Just start answering the sample questions and you will be comfortable in your actual exam.
  3. Use the certification prep guide: For preparing the course content, many certifying bodies do provide preparation guides. Make use of these preparatory along with other relevant study materials.
  4. Review the tips & strategies article and the exam prep video: Many certification programs also offer helpful tips and strategies articles and exam prep videos that can help you prepare for the exam. Make sure to review these resources and take advantage of them.
  5. Be confident: It is important to have a positive attitude and confidence when preparing for a programming certification exam. Don’t let fear or worry prevent you from doing your best.
  6. Review our on-demand webinars: Finally, on-demand webinars are available from many certification programs. These webinars are very helpful for exam preparation. So, you should review these webinars before taking the exam.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for your programming certification exam. Good luck! 

Continuing Education for Certified Programmers

A certified programmer doing his job

If you already have a programming skill set and can demonstrate a high level of knowledge, certificates can help to improve your career prospects, earning potential, and more. Programming credentials can not only benefit companies but customers as well.

There is a range of certifications available for C and C++ programmers, including CLE: C Certified Entry-Level Programmer; CLA: C Programming Language Certified Associate; CLP: C Certified Professional Programmer; CPE: C++ Certified Entry-Level Programmer; CPA: C++ Certified Associate Programmer; and CPP: C++ Certified Professional Programmer.

For earning these certifications, applicants must complete four courses for graduate credit, achieving at least a B grade in each course, and completing the courses within three years. Detailed information on pursuing a certificate and the request process is available.

For those who are looking to refresh their skills and further their professional development, there is a range of options available. Self-teaching is one option – Software Developers are naturally curious, so taking advantage of open issues and opportunities to contribute to open-source projects can be beneficial. Additionally, learning on the job – either in an established organization or a smaller start-up – is another option.

Software developers may also want to consider participating in coding competitions or hackathons. These can be found online, through local organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, Tech Councils, or Innovation Centers. Furthermore, completing a training course can be beneficial for quickly picking up new technology. Training courses are available in several formats, from self-paced online courses to live online or in-person courses, delivered during weekdays, nights, or weekends.


Earning programming certifications can greatly enhance your programming abilities and increase your chances of financial independence. With the right approach, relentless dedication, and continuous hard work, you can become a certified programmer. The first step for becoming a certified programmer is to build upon your existing programming skills and start learning new languages, frameworks, and technologies. A certification program can provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and expand your knowledge base. With the right combination of education, experience, and practice, you can become a successful certified programmer and make a difference in the world of technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *