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In the exciting world of technology, computers, and apps, being a computer programmer or demonstrating a basic knowledge and skill in programming could make a difference in employment opportunities. As a result, the creation of programming certification programs is on the rise, and these programs allow individuals to pursue specific programming skills or verify their competency in a field. For individuals interested in attaining a programming certification, a certificate program can be attained through either online, or through a partial online and in-person program. In order to enroll in a program, most students typically need only a high school diploma or a GED, although some previous knowledge in computer science, college level math, and reading comprehension skills can help.

Program Requirements

Most online certification programs completed online or through a hybrid program will take approximately 1-1.5 years to complete. Depending on the program, students can complete their course load through online classes, seminars, and possibly take exams or attend lectures in-person. However, the coursework that students learns through certification depends on the program in which they enroll. The most prominent requirement that students need to enroll is access to the required computer equipment such as updated software, stable Internet connection, and microphones and webcams. Nevertheless, certain certifications will still require students to have some background knowledge and proficiency in programming or computer languages. These computer programming certificate courses aid and prepare students to pass the respective program certification exam necessary to gain actual certification.

Common Computer Programming Courses

Computer certifications specialize in demonstrating proficiency in a specific program language or brand name software. Some of the most popular and specific types of programming certification include Microsoft applications, Java Programming, and CNC Programming with each topic proving relevant in a programmer’s career and prospective job.

Java programming certification courses aid students in passing a certification exam that shows proficiency in Java. Java is a programming language commonly used in computer programming and that can be practically applied to website development and client servers. However, before enrolling in a Java Programming certification course, most prospective students need a background proficiency in computer science and other computer programming languages. As a result, Java certification courses aids in attaining advanced skills in the Java language. Subjects typically covered in Java certifications include: introduction and intermediate Java programming, unified modeling language, object-oriented analysis, Java design patterns, and AJAX programing. The most popular choice for Java programing examination options is administered through the Oracle Certification program that allows students to take online examinations and receive leveled titles such as Oracle Certified Associate—Java SE 5/SE6, Oracles Certified Professional—Java SE 5 Programmer, and Oracle Certified Master—Java EE5 Enterprise Architect depending on the individual’s mastery of Java.

Microsoft Applications certification courses aid students in gaining proficiency in the specialized, brand named software and can help earn two certifications known as Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA). When a student pursues one of these areas of specializations, he or she becomes a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), a credential that gives the individual access to Microsoft professional resources, tools, training, and networks. Certification courses gives a student study aids and training to take the Microsoft certification exam along with an intimate knowledge with Microsoft software and Windows. In order to gain a Microsoft Application certification, a student must take an online, computer-administered exam at a Prometric authorized testing center. The format of the exam varies depending on the exam and the level of proficiency that the individual is trying to prove.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Certification allows programmers to gain specialized training for exceedingly practical applications in careers like machining or press braking. CNC programmers write programs that specialize the control of motion of machines and tools that prove useful in everyday functions such as making precision cuts to hard, solid materials, programming a sequencing of events, or maintaining operational machines. The courses typically taught in a CNC certification course include: introduction to CNC technology, industrial print reading, and CNC programming and machine operation. CNC certification can normally be completed in a community college or trade school.


With other certifications available, potential programmers can receive advanced knowledge in subjects such as Linux, Adobe, C++, Google Apps, and a number of other relevant topics that could greatly influence their career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmers make an approximate median salary of $77,550 per year. However, computer science and other technologically associated degrees may allow an individual to enter other computer-centered careers. Programmers can take positions as front end developers and engineers, web designers and developers, software developers, multimedia developers, Java developers, and software engineers. The salaries of these careers tend to vary according to experience, promotion possibilities, and certifications. With certifications like Sun Certified Java Programming (SCJP), HTML programming, or C++ programing, salaries can range between $59,000--$87,500, where salaries and benefits can be negotiated according to certifications. Ultimately, certification may have an impact on candidates’ ability to earn a job, negotiate their salary, and demonstrate the knowledge and competence that they have in their field.

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