Do they exist? Are they worth winning?
Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, used across a wide range of industries. In addition to its importance as a general-purpose language, it is increasingly used in specialized activities such as data sciencewhere it gobbled up market share for more specialized languages like R. It created an entire ecosystem of Python certifications, courses, online tutorials, and more.
In January, for the second time in a row, the TIOBE Index (which tries to rank the most popular programming language in the world) named Python its language of the year. Organizations around the world are asking technologists to know Python, leading to a key question: if you want to work with Python, do you need a certification?
Does Python have an official certification?
Although there is no “official” certification, there is Python Institutewhich is widely known and offers organization-specific certifications, including those in general-purpose programming and data analytics.
The Python Software Foundation is the official Python development organization, and although they have considered offering official certifications in the past, they have yet to do so.
Matthew Deneroff, vice president of technology talent solutions at IT Staffing and talent solutions company Robert Half, explained how technology professionals who want to earn a Python certificate will find plenty of options from different organizations and institutions.
“Microsoft and the Python Institute are great places to start if you want to get a Python certificate,” he said. “Microsoft is a well-known company, so name recognition lends itself well to credibility. The Python Institute is another well-known organization for this type of training, and it offers a range of certifications to meet the needs of programmers with various job requirements or skills.
Currently, Microsoft’s only Python certification is the Technology Associate 98-381: Introduction to Programming with Pythonintended for programmers who can recognize and write syntactically correct Python code and recognize the data types supported by Python.
If you’re going to go through the Python Institute, Deneroff points to entry-level PCEP (Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer) as a great place to start, followed by Associate-level PCAP (Certified Associate in Python Programming). (Certified Professional in Python Programming) is the highest Python certification offered by the Institute, which comes in the form of two certifications, PCPP 1 and PCPP 2, and measures a candidate’s proficiency in various coding-related tasks to advanced Python programming.
“Achieving these certificates demonstrates advanced coding and programming capabilities in Python and related technologies,” Deneroff said.
Is it worth getting a Python certification?
Although certifications aren’t required to be a Python programmer, Deneroff noted that certifications demonstrate to potential employers a willingness to learn outside of day-to-day work. “It gives you the opportunity to show genuine interest in the subject and that you are committed to improving your understanding,” he said. “Of course, this can also lead to a higher salary depending on the programming requirements of the employer.”
Can you get a job with a Python certification?
Ultimately, the individual’s coding skills, certified or not, are the most important element of the job search. Even so, having these certifications can help you stand out in a tech job market that may soon become much more competitive.
“There are far too many Python certifications offered by third parties,” says Yehuda Rosen, senior application engineer at nVisium. “Pretty much every vendor, from the aforementioned Python Institute to Microsoft, SANS and GIAC, can and does offer some type of certificate. That doesn’t even include places like Udemy where you can get a course-specific certificate.
Like Deneroff, he agrees that no specific certification would necessarily be “best.” However, having a name like Python Institute on a resume could help a candidate stand out.
Rosen points out that Python is easy to use because all the documentation is online. “At nVisium, we seek engineers proficient in Python and focus on Python coding experiences rather than just any certifications,” he says. “For advanced topics such as security or networking, a certificate in those specific areas might be useful, but no specific certification is really required.”