Top 11 Entry Level Developer Certifications
This article provides an overview of the best certifications for entry-level developers that can help jumpstart a career in programming.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are important for an entry level developer in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to the field and show that a candidate has a basic knowledge of the necessary skills. Certifications can also be used to differentiate between candidates who have similar experience and qualifications. Employers often look for certifications as one of the key criteria when evaluating potential hires, as it provides them with assurance that their new employee is equipped to handle the job. Additionally, certifications can help an entry level developer stand out from other applicants by showcasing their dedication to learning and professional development.
This article reviews some of the top certifications for Entry Level Developers and explains how they can help to further an entry level developer's career.
What are Entry Level Developer Certifications?
Entry level developer certification is a type of professional certification that can help individuals demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field of software development. This certification is usually targeted at those who are just starting out in the field, such as recent graduates or those with some experience but limited formal training. The certification covers topics such as programming languages, database design and management, web development, mobile application development, and other related topics. By obtaining this certification, individuals can demonstrate to employers that they have the necessary skills to work as an entry-level developer.
Having an entry level developer certification shows potential employers that applicants have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of software engineering and can be trusted to quickly learn new concepts. It also demonstrates commitment to the field and helps applicants stand out from others who do not possess such qualifications. Additionally, having this certification may open up job opportunities at companies where more experienced developers may not be available or needed. Finally, it can provide a sense of satisfaction knowing that one has achieved a certain level of competence in the field of software development.
Pro Tip: Before investing in an entry level developer certification, make sure to research the certifying body and the value of the certification. It is important to understand what employers are looking for and if the certification is recognized in your field.
Related: What does an Entry Level Developer do?
Top 11 Entry Level Developer Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Entry Level Developers today.
1. CompTIA A+ Certification
CompTIA A+ is an industry-recognized certification for entry-level computer technicians. It validates the knowledge and skills necessary to install, configure, diagnose, maintain, and troubleshoot hardware and software components of PCs.
The CompTIA A+ certification requires two exams: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). Both exams must be passed in order to achieve the certification. The exams are 90 minutes each and cover a variety of topics including mobile devices, networking technology, hardware, virtualization and cloud computing, security, operational procedures, and more.
To get CompTIA A+ certified you must first purchase the exam voucher from CompTIA or an authorized reseller. Once you have purchased your exam voucher you can register for the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center. You will need to provide your voucher number when registering for the exam.
The cost of CompTIA A+ certification varies depending on where you purchase your exam vouchers from but typically ranges from $219 - $299 USD per exam. This does not include any additional fees associated with taking the exams such as travel expenses or study materials.
In total it usually takes around 6 months to complete both exams and become CompTIA A+ certified. However this timeline can vary depending on how much time you dedicate to studying for the exams each week.
2. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is a certification program designed to provide an entry-level credential for individuals who are interested in beginning a career in technology. It provides an introduction to core Microsoft technologies, such as Windows Server, networking, virtualization, and security. The MTA program is also beneficial for IT professionals who want to gain more knowledge about the latest Microsoft technologies.
The MTA certification consists of five exams that cover different areas of technology. Each exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and covers topics such as Windows Server, networking fundamentals, security fundamentals, database design and development, software development fundamentals, and web development fundamentals.
It typically takes between two weeks and one month to obtain the MTA certification depending on your individual study schedule. To get started with the MTA program you must first register for an account at Microsoft Learning website and purchase the exam voucher from Microsoft Learning or any other authorized vendor. The cost of each exam varies depending on the country you are located in but typically ranges from $50-$100 USD per exam. Once you have purchased your exam voucher you can then register for your desired exams online through the same website.
Once all five exams have been completed successfully you will be awarded with the MTA certification which will be valid for three years after which it must be renewed by taking additional exams or completing other approved activities.
3. Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer
Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer is an entry-level certification for those who want to demonstrate their knowledge of the Java programming language. It validates a programmer’s ability to create and maintain Java applications that run on server and desktop systems using Java SE 8 technology.
The exam consists of multiple choice questions that test a candidate’s understanding of the fundamental concepts of object-oriented programming, basic syntax, and core libraries. The exam also tests the candidate’s ability to apply these concepts in solving coding challenges.
It typically takes between one and two months to prepare for the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer exam. Candidates should have a solid understanding of object-oriented programming principles, basic syntax, and core libraries before attempting the exam. Additionally, candidates should be familiar with the features introduced in Java SE 8 such as lambda expressions and streams.
To get certified as an Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer, you must pass the 1Z0-808: Java SE 8 Programmer I exam. The exam costs $245 USD and can be taken at any Pearson VUE Test Center worldwide or via online proctoring.
4. Zend Certified PHP Engineer
Zend Certified PHP Engineer is a professional certification for PHP developers. It is designed to demonstrate a developer’s knowledge and proficiency in the development of web applications using the PHP language. The certification is offered by Zend Technologies, the creators of the popular open source scripting language.
The certification consists of two parts: an online exam and a hands-on performance-based assessment. The online exam tests your knowledge of core PHP concepts and syntax, while the performance-based assessment requires you to create a working application that meets certain criteria.
It typically takes between one and three months to prepare for the certification exams, depending on your experience level. You can find study guides and practice tests online to help you prepare for both parts of the exam.
To get certified, you must register with Zend Technologies and pay a fee of $195 USD. Once registered, you will be given access to an online testing center where you can take the exams at your convenience. After passing both parts of the exam, you will receive an official Zend Certified PHP Engineer certificate from Zend Technologies.
5. Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) is a certification program offered by Adobe that recognizes individuals who demonstrate proficiency in the use of Adobe products. It is designed to validate an individual’s expertise in the use of Adobe software and its related technologies. The ACE program covers a wide range of Adobe products, including Creative Cloud, Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator.
The time it takes to become an ACE depends on the individual's level of experience with Adobe products and their familiarity with the certification process. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from one to three months to complete all necessary requirements for certification.
To become an ACE, you must first pass a written exam that tests your knowledge of the specific product or technology you are seeking certification for. After passing the exam, you must submit proof of your current employment or educational status as well as two references from either employers or colleagues who can attest to your proficiency with Adobe products. Once these steps have been completed, you will be eligible to receive your ACE certificate.
The cost for becoming an ACE varies depending on which product or technology you are seeking certification for; however, most exams cost between $100-$200 USD per exam.
6. CIW Web Foundations Associate
The CIW Web Foundations Associate is an industry-recognized certification that validates a professional’s knowledge and skills in web development. It is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of web development and related technologies, as well as the design principles for creating effective websites.
The cost of the CIW Web Foundations Associate certification varies depending on the type of exam you are taking (online or in-person). Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $150 to $200 USD.
In order to become certified as a CIW Web Foundations Associate, you must pass the required exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once you have passed the exam, your certification will be valid for two years before it needs to be renewed.
7. Apple Certified iOS Technician (ACiT)
Apple Certified iOS Technician (ACiT) is a certification program offered by Apple to recognize individuals who have achieved mastery in the maintenance and repair of Apple iOS devices. The certification requires individuals to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in diagnosing, troubleshooting, and repairing Apple iOS devices.
The ACiT certification consists of two parts: an online exam and a hands-on lab. The online exam covers topics such as device setup, system configuration, network connectivity, security features, and troubleshooting techniques. The hands-on lab requires candidates to complete a series of tasks related to the installation, configuration, and repair of Apple iOS devices.
It typically takes around 8–10 hours to complete the ACiT certification process. Candidates must pass both the online exam and the hands-on lab with a score of 70% or higher in order to be certified.
The cost for taking the ACiT certification exam is $299 USD per person.
8. Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder
Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder is a certification that verifies an individual’s expertise in building custom applications on the Salesforce platform. This certification demonstrates an individual’s ability to design, build, and implement custom applications using the declarative customization capabilities of the Salesforce platform.
It typically takes about 8-10 hours to study for the exam and pass it. To get certified, you must first register for the exam and pay the fee. The cost of the exam is $200 USD. After registering for the exam, you will have 90 days to take it. You can take it at any authorized testing center or online proctored from home or office. Once you have passed your exam, you will receive your official Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder certification.
9. Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is a certification program offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed to validate an individual’s knowledge and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform. The certification demonstrates an individual’s ability to design, deploy, and troubleshoot applications on the AWS platform.
The exam typically takes around 130 minutes to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as architecture, security, networking, storage, databases, analytics, and deployment. The exam also includes scenario-based questions that require the candidate to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge in a practical situation.
In order to become certified as an Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, candidates must pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Exam. This exam can be taken online or at one of AWS's testing centers around the world. Candidates should be familiar with the AWS platform before taking this exam.
The cost of the exam varies depending on where it is taken but typically ranges from $150-$300 USD. Additionally, there are several resources available to help prepare for this exam including study guides, practice exams, and instructor-led courses offered by AWS partners or other training providers.
10. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)
Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is a certification program from Red Hat that demonstrates an individual’s ability to perform essential system administration tasks on Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. It is designed for IT professionals who are responsible for the installation, configuration, and management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.
The RHCSA exam typically takes 2-3 hours to complete and covers topics such as managing users and groups, configuring network services, installing software packages, setting up storage devices, securing systems, and troubleshooting.
To obtain the RHCSA certification, individuals must pass an online or in-person exam administered by an approved testing center. The cost of the exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $400 to $500 USD.
11. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): App Builder
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): App Builder is a certification that validates the skills and knowledge of developers who build applications for the Microsoft platform. It is designed to assess an individual’s ability to design, develop, deploy, and maintain applications on the Windows platform.
It typically takes between 6-12 months to prepare for these exams depending on your current level of experience with the technologies covered in the exams. You can study using self-study materials such as books, online courses, or instructor-led training classes. Additionally, there are many practice tests available online that can help you prepare for the actual exam.
Once you have passed both exams, you will receive your MCSD: App Builder certification from Microsoft which will be valid for three years. After three years, you will need to take a recertification exam in order to maintain your certification status.
Do You Really Need a Entry Level Developer Certificate?
A certificate in entry-level development can be a great asset for anyone looking to break into the software development industry. However, it is important to consider whether or not such a certificate is really necessary for success in this field.
While a certificate may provide some advantages, it is not necessarily essential for success as an entry-level developer. It may be beneficial to have one if you are trying to stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs, but the most important thing is having the right skills and experience. Having a solid understanding of programming fundamentals, an ability to work with different types of technology, and being able to solve problems quickly and efficiently are all key attributes that employers look for in developers. If you possess these qualities, then you should be able to find employment opportunities without needing a certificate.
On the other hand, if you want to become certified as an entry-level developer then there are many online courses available that can help you do so. These courses will provide instruction on essential development topics such as coding languages, algorithms, data structures, databases, web development tools and more. The benefit of taking these courses is that they will give you an edge over other applicants who don’t have such certification when competing for jobs.
In conclusion, while having an entry-level developer certificate may be advantageous for those seeking employment in this field, it isn’t absolutely essential for success. Ultimately it comes down to having the right skills and experience along with a passion for learning new technologies and problem solving techniques that will help you achieve your goals as a software developer.
Related: Entry Level Developer Resume Examples
FAQs About Entry Level Developer Certifications
1. What are the benefits of obtaining an entry-level developer certification?
A: Entry-level developer certifications can give you the technical skills and knowledge to get a job in the tech industry, as well as help you stand out from other applicants. It can also give you a competitive edge for promotions and higher salaries within your current role.
2. How long does it take to complete an entry-level developer certification?
A: The length of time to complete an entry-level developer certification will depend on the program and the individual’s experience level. Generally, most programs take between 3 - 6 months to complete depending on how much time is spent studying each week.
3. What is the cost of obtaining an entry-level developer certification?
A: The cost of obtaining an entry-level developer certification varies depending on the program chosen; however, most courses range in price from $500 - $2000 USD.
4. Are there any prerequisites for taking an entry-level developer certification?
A: Most entry-level developer certifications do not have any prerequisites; however, some may require basic computer science or programming knowledge, which can be acquired through online courses or self-study prior to taking the exam.
5. Which organizations offer recognized entry-level developer certifications?
A: There are several organizations that offer recognized entry-level certifications such as Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and CompTIA. You should research each organization to determine which one best meets your needs and interests before enrolling in a program.