Most people use software in one form or another, at least once a day. From business packages like Word and Excel to mobile games, social media platforms, and communication apps. Even some kitchen appliances need programs to function correctly.
If you find yourself wondering who makes this software, how it’s created, and how to build the technology behind it, then you’re already thinking like a software engineer.
This branch of computer science deals with building computer systems and application software. The world in which we live has increasingly grown to rely on technology. Every industry is becoming technology-driven, and the need to keep up with constantly changing tools and user expectations has further strengthened this demand.
If you’re motivated to become a software engineer and enter a growing, high-paying field, we’ve pulled together some of the most popular certificate programs to get you on the path to a new career. But first, let’s explore what it means to be a software engineer.
What Do Software Engineers Do?
Software engineers design and develop computer software by applying the principles of computer science and mathematical analysis. The types of software that engineers develop include business applications, computer games, operating systems, and network control systems.
There are two types of software engineers:
- Application Engineers: Their job is to analyze the user needs and create or adapt applications accordingly. Software applications engineers are responsible for designing, building, installing, and maintaining these computer programs or applications.
They use languages like Java, C, C++, PHP, Perl, and Python. The developers who create applications for smartphones and tablets are specialized application software engineers.
- Systems Engineers: Their job is to coordinate the process of creation, maintenance, and growth of the computer systems of a business. They set up networks that connect the computers with the organization. They are also responsible for synchronizing the needs of each department in an organization and suggesting the technical direction when required.
They take care of computer-related needs like sales, inventory, and payroll for each department in every organization. They are also responsible for ensuring system security.
Certificate in Software Engineering
A certificate will strengthen your knowledge of computer science and help you advance within the software engineering industry. Based on the knowledge gained in this program, it can springboard your education and lead to further postgraduate study.
Although not mandatory, the desired prerequisites for this program include a bachelor’s degree in computer science or any programming related field. Bear in mind you can also enroll with any degree subject but will require relevant work experience. You’ll also have to take supplementary coursework as a part of their preparation.
Software Applications Specialist Certificate
Offered by North Iowa Area Community College, the purpose of this specialized software engineering certification is to expose you to Microsoft software. This program consists of courses that are business electives and can also be applied to diplomas and degrees.
After completing the Software Applications Specialist curriculum, you’ll need to have a GPA of 2.00 or higher to earn the certificate.
Software Engineering Graduate Certificate
This certification program from Boston University Metropolitan College is designed to teach software engineers how to lead development projects.
The key areas of focus of this program are object-oriented methods, structured techniques, project management, and testing. The principal languages used are C++ and Java. However, skills in Java is not a prerequisite.
Whether you’re a software engineer who wants to gain expertise in object-oriented concepts, or you’re a programmer looking for avenues of professional growth and development, this certificate will be well suited to you.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of software projects, which include design patterns, testing, maintenance, object-oriented methods, and requirement analysis.
- Showcase expertise in computer-aided software engineering, software project management, software design, and Unified Modeling Language usage.
- Have enough expertise to participate in planning, requirements analysis, and design.
- Demonstrate a timely implementation of quality software applications within the budget.
Software Engineering and Quality Certificate
This certification program from UCSC: Silicon Valley Extension combines the latest advancements in software quality assurance, testing, and user experience design with foundation-level software engineering coursework.
The objectives of this certificate program are:
- Use Agile software development techniques and testing methods
- Apply user-centered design strategies to software and mobile application development
- Use JSON and XML to build and utilize JAX-RS services
- Build objects using object-oriented Java programming concepts
- Program in languages like C, Java, C++, Perl, and Python
In this program, you will learn how to:
- Build new products
- Restructure business processes
- Design dynamic websites
- Navigate relational databases
CIW Web Foundations Associate
CIW stands for Certified Internet Web professionals. CIW is the fastest growing online training and certification program for software engineers. It’s vendor-neutral and is a web technology standard that’s embraced by governments, academic institutions, businesses, and organizations.
The Web Foundations Associate courses teach valuable skills that can be applied by IT professionals, web and graphic artists, marketing professionals, healthcare professionals, sales professionals, and entrepreneurs as well as software engineers.
This certification is ideal for students who are either preparing to enter the workforce or are currently working and want to advance their careers. The features of this program make it an ideal choice for high school students, college students, as well as technical and trade school students.
The program consists of 3 courses:
- Internet Business Associate: It includes job-readiness business skills, social networking, webcasting, blogging, podcasting, web conferencing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and FTP and Secure Shell skills.
- Site Development Associate: It includes website development, XHTML and HTML, e-commerce practices, image techniques, and hyperlinks.
- Network Technology Associate: It includes an introduction to networking, TCP/IP, networking, hardware, operating systems, and network security.
CIW Web Development Professional
This software engineering certification program is designed for individuals who want to validate their skills in web technologies. A web development professional should be competent in both front-end and back-end techniques. They should have a good understanding of creating, optimizing, and maintaining database systems.
This certification is best suited for web application developers, software developers, application programmers, client/server developers, and web architects.
CIW Web Design Professional
This certification will help build your understanding of web design and development. This program also ensures that you understand how to conduct online business, construct e-commerce websites, and manage any technical glitches that might arise in the software engineering process.
You must pass two exams: the CIW web design specialist exam and the CIW e-commerce specialist exam, to earn this certification.
It’s best suited for web and graphic designers, web marketing professionals, creative directors, art directors, and advertising professionals.
Oracle Certified Associate (OCA): Java SE 8 Programmer
This certification will help you build a solid understanding of the Java programming language. To become a professional Java developer, you will require certain high-level skills. The exam doesn’t have any prerequisites except for the basic knowledge of Java programming.
This program covers all aspects of Java such as:
- Java Basics
- Working with Java Data Types
- Using Operators and Decision Constructs
- Creating and Using Arrays
- Using Loop Constructs
- Working with Methods and Encapsulation
- Working with Inheritance
- Handling Exceptions
- Working with Selected classes from the Java API
Focus on Skills Instead of Certifications
If you’re new to software engineering, then you’ll need to build a foundation in programming first. Once you’ve mastered some back-end and front-end languages and are familiar with the agile development process, then you can start adding certifications to your resume.
Software engineering bootcamps teach you the skills you need to get hired and start a lasting career. It’s the fastest way to learn the hard skills employers are looking for, build up a portfolio, and break into tech.
Your Next Step
A certificate in software engineering validates your skills and helps you stand out from the crowd. Once you’ve decided to go forward with a program, dedicate daily or weekly time slots to finish the modules on time and hold yourself accountable.
If you’re serious about becoming a software engineer and want a more focused education, enroll in our Software Engineering Bootcamp. Unlike certification programs, these courses are 100% geared towards kickstarting your new career. You’ll learn everything you need to know to land a dream job at a top tech company.
Want to read more? Check out Salaries and Careers in Software Engineering to learn about the various career paths open to you.