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Top 10 C# Developer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top C# developer certifications available, highlighting the key qualifications and benefits for each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications for a C# developer in the job market are important because they demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and skills in the language. Certified developers are more attractive to employers, as certifications prove that an individual is well-versed in the use of C# and can apply their knowledge to solve complex problems. Certifications also provide employers with a reliable way to assess the competence of potential hires, which can help them make informed decisions when hiring developers. Additionally, certifications may be required for certain positions or roles within organizations. In summary, certifications are important for C# developers because they demonstrate mastery of the language and can help employers make better hiring decisions.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for C# Developers and explains how they can help to further a c# developer's career.

What are C# Developer Certifications?

C# developer certification is a professional credential offered by Microsoft that validates an individual’s expertise in developing applications using the C# programming language. This certification proves that an individual has the necessary technical and coding skills to develop, debug, maintain, and optimize complex software applications written in C#. Certified C# developers are highly sought after by organizations looking for skilled professionals who can help them develop and maintain their software applications.

The benefits of having a C# developer certification are numerous. For starters, it demonstrates an individual’s commitment to their craft and helps them stand out from the competition when applying for jobs or contracts. It also serves as a validation of their technical abilities, which can be beneficial when negotiating salaries or other terms of employment. Additionally, certified C# developers often have access to exclusive resources such as online forums and training materials that are not available to non-certified individuals. This can help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the field, further improving their skillset. Finally, having a C# developer certification may even open up opportunities for career advancement or higher pay grades within organizations looking for experienced professionals with this type of credential.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to become a C# developer, consider obtaining certification from Microsoft or other reputable organizations. Certification can help demonstrate your expertise in the language and give you an edge when competing for jobs. Additionally, staying current with the latest C# technologies and best practices is essential to growing as a developer and remaining competitive in the job market.

Related: What does a C# Developer do?

Top 10 C# Developer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to C# Developers today.

1. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): App Builder

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): App Builder is a certification that demonstrates an individual's expertise in developing Windows Store apps and Azure cloud services. It is designed for developers who have at least one to two years of experience in developing applications with Microsoft Visual Studio, C#, HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.

To become MCSD: App Builder certified, you must pass three exams: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 (70-480), Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications (70-486) and Developing Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 and JavaScript (70-482). Each exam costs $150 USD.

The total cost for all three exams is $450 USD. The total time it takes to get the certification varies depending on the individual’s experience level and study habits, but it typically takes between four to six months to complete all three exams.

2. Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD): Enterprise Application Developer

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD): Enterprise Application Developer is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in developing enterprise applications using Microsoft technologies. It covers topics such as Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation, Entity Framework, and ASP.NET MVC.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the necessary training and exams to become an MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer. To get the certification, you must pass three exams: Exam 70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4; Exam 70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4; and Exam 70-519: PRO: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4. The cost of each exam varies depending on the country you are taking it in.

3. Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Windows Applications Development with C#

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Windows Applications Development with C# is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s proficiency in developing Windows applications using Microsoft’s .NET Framework and the C# programming language. It is aimed at software developers, systems engineers, and other IT professionals who are responsible for designing, building, testing, and deploying Windows applications.

The MCTS certification requires passing one exam: Exam 70-536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation. This exam covers topics such as the architecture of the .NET Framework, object-oriented programming principles, creating user interfaces with Windows Forms, using data access technologies to work with databases, debugging and deploying applications. The exam takes approximately 2 hours to complete and costs $125 USD.

To get certified as an MCTS: Windows Applications Development with C# you must first pass Exam 70-536. After passing this exam you will be awarded the MCTS certification. There is no time limit on how long it takes to get certified; however it typically takes several months of studying to prepare for the exam.

4. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Web Applications with C#

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Web Applications with C# is a certification that validates the skills and knowledge necessary for developing and maintaining web applications using Microsoft’s .NET Framework and Visual Studio. It is designed to help developers become proficient in using C#, ASP.NET, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, XML, LINQ and SQL Server.

It typically takes between 3-6 months to complete the MCSA: Web Applications with C# certification depending on your experience level and study time commitment. To get the certification you will need to take two exams: Exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript & CSS3 and Exam 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications.

The cost of the two exams varies depending on where you are taking them but typically ranges from $150-$200 each. You can also purchase practice tests or online courses to help you prepare for the exams which may increase the cost of getting certified.

5. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure with C#

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure with C# is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in developing, deploying, and managing applications using Microsoft Azure cloud services and the .NET framework. It also covers the fundamentals of Windows Server, Active Directory, Hyper-V virtualization, system center operations manager, and more.

It typically takes around 6 months to complete the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure with C# certification. This includes taking two exams: Exam 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions and Exam 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions.

In order to get certified you must first purchase an exam voucher from Microsoft or a third-party vendor. The cost of the exam voucher will vary depending on which vendor you choose. Once you have purchased your exam voucher you can register for the exams online through the Microsoft Learning website.

The total cost of getting certified will depend on how much time it takes to study for each exam as well as the cost of purchasing an exam voucher. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500-$1,000 USD depending on these factors.

6. Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer (XCMD)

Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer (XCMD) is a certification program offered by Xamarin, a leading cross-platform mobile development platform. The certification is designed to recognize and validate the skills of experienced mobile developers who are proficient in developing applications for iOS and Android using the Xamarin platform.

The certification process consists of two parts: an online assessment and a hands-on project. The online assessment covers topics such as Xamarin architecture, user interface design, data access, networking, security, and debugging. The hands-on project requires you to develop a real-world application using Xamarin.

The entire certification process takes approximately 8 hours to complete. You can take the assessment at any time and at your own pace; however, you must complete the hands-on project within 6 months of taking the assessment in order to be certified.

The cost of the XCMD certification is $99 USD. This fee includes access to all required materials as well as support from a dedicated team of experts throughout the entire certification process.

7. CompTIA C# Certification

CompTIA C# certification is a professional certification that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the programming language C#. It is designed to demonstrate proficiency in developing applications using the C# language. The exam covers topics such as object-oriented programming, Windows Forms, web services, and data access.

The CompTIA C# certification exam takes about 90 minutes to complete and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. To become certified, you must pass the exam with a score of 700 or higher on a scale from 100-900.

To get CompTIA C# certification, you must first register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric Testing Centers. You can also purchase study materials such as practice exams and books to help prepare for the exam. Once you have registered for the exam, you will need to schedule a time to take it at one of the testing centers.

The cost of taking CompTIA C# certification varies depending on where you take it and which version of the test you take (standard or advanced). Generally speaking, it costs around $200 USD for either version of the test.

8. Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer II: C# Programming Language Certification

Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer II: C# Programming Language Certification is a certification offered by Oracle that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in the C# programming language. This certification is designed for experienced developers who have mastered the fundamentals of the Java programming language and are looking to expand their skillset.

To get this certification, you must first pass an exam. The exam consists of a series of multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of the C# language and its features. You will also be tested on your ability to design and develop applications using C#. The exam takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete.

In order to take the exam, you must register with Oracle and pay a fee. The cost of the exam varies depending on which country you are taking it in, but typically ranges from $200-$400 USD. Once you have registered for the exam, you can schedule it at any time within one year of registration.

Once you have passed the exam, you will be awarded an Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer II: C# Programming Language Certification certificate from Oracle. This certificate is valid for three years from the date it was issued and can be renewed by taking another qualifying examination or attending an approved training course during that period.

9. Zend Certified PHP Engineer: C# Programming Language Certification

Zend Certified PHP Engineer (ZCPE) is a certification program from Zend Technologies, the creators of the popular open-source PHP programming language. This certification is designed to validate a developer’s knowledge and skills in developing applications using the PHP language. It is a globally recognized certification that demonstrates expertise in web development and helps employers identify qualified professionals for their projects.

The ZCPE exam consists of 70 multiple choice questions that test your knowledge on topics such as object-oriented programming, database integration, security, and performance optimization. The exam takes approximately 2 hours to complete and can be taken online or at an authorized testing center.

To get certified, you must first register with Zend Technologies and pay the associated fee ($195 USD). After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the exam. You must then pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher in order to become certified. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive a digital certificate that can be used to show employers your credentials.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on where you take the exam and whether or not you use any additional resources such as study guides or practice exams. Generally speaking, though, it should cost between $200-$300 USD to get certified.

10. BrainBench Master C# Developer Certification

BrainBench Master C# Developer Certification is a professional certification that recognizes the skills and knowledge of experienced C# developers. It is designed to validate an individual’s expertise in the C# programming language, the .NET Framework, and related technologies.

The certification exam consists of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, Windows Forms development, web services, XML manipulation, database access and more. The exam is available online and takes approximately two hours to complete.

To get certified as a BrainBench Master C# Developer, individuals must pass the certification exam with a score of at least 80%. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will receive a certificate from BrainBench indicating their achievement.

The cost for taking the BrainBench Master C# Developer Certification exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $99 USD to take the exam.

Do You Really Need a C# Developer Certificate?

The short answer is no. A C# developer certificate is not necessary to become a successful C# developer. Learning the language and writing code are far more important than any certification.

That said, having a certificate can be beneficial in certain situations. For example, if you are applying for a job with a large company, they may require that you have a specific certification as part of their hiring process. In these cases, having the certificate can be helpful in demonstrating your knowledge and commitment to the language.

In addition, if you are looking to move into a management or leadership role within the field of software development, having a certification could help demonstrate your expertise and experience to potential employers.

Ultimately, it's important to remember that while having a certificate can be beneficial in certain situations, it isn't always necessary for success as a C# developer. A willingness to learn, work hard and stay up-to-date on the latest technologies will serve you much better than any certificate ever could.

Related: C# Developer Resume Examples

FAQs About C# Developer Certifications

1. What are the different types of C# Developer Certifications?

Answer: The most common certifications for C# developers include Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD), and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA).

2. What is the cost of getting a C# Developer Certification?

Answer: The cost of getting a C# developer certification will vary depending on the type of certification and the provider. Generally, MCSD and MCPD certifications cost around $125 USD, while MTA certifications can range from free to $127 USD.

3. Are there any prerequisites for taking a C# Developer Certification exam?

Answer: Yes, there are usually some prerequisites that you must meet in order to take a C# developer certification exam. Typically, you will need to have knowledge of programming languages such as Java or Python, as well as experience working with Visual Studio and .NET frameworks.

4. How long does it take to get certified as a C# Developer?

Answer: Generally speaking, it takes several months to become certified as a C# developer. This includes studying for the exam, taking practice tests, and finally taking the actual certification exam itself. Depending on your experience level and how quickly you learn new material, this time frame may be shorter or longer.

5. What job roles can I apply for after becoming certified as a C# Developer?

Answer: After becoming certified as a C# developer, you can apply for various roles such as software engineer, application developer, web developer, database administrator and system architect among others.