When you first think about learning Python and becoming a Python developer you must have thought or heard about Python certification. I started my career as a QA engineer and I was in the same situation as you. I’ll answer the “Is It Worth It To Do A Python Certification?” question based on my personal experience in this post!
Is It Worth It To Do A Python Certification?
Yes, but whether or not a Python certification is worth it depends on your goals and the specific certification you are considering.
Certification can demonstrate a level of knowledge and proficiency in the language, which can be beneficial for Python beginners seeking jobs or those looking to advance in their careers.
However, I can tell you from my own personal experience, employers value real-world experience and a portfolio of projects so gaining hands-on experience through personal projects and internships is way more important than just having a Python certification.
🚨 A true example of this was when one of my students Yullia got hired after 6 months of working on her Python portfolio project, here’s the whole story of how she did it!
How Difficult Is Python Certification?
The difficulty of a Python certification exam will vary for you depending on the level of the certification and the organization offering it. Obviously, entry-level certifications may be less difficult than more advanced certifications.
As far as I’ve seen a typical Python certification usually tests your knowledge of the language’s syntax and core concepts, as well as your ability to write and understand Python code.
How Long Does It Take To Be Python Certified?
One I can tell you for sure, preparing for a certification exam can be TIME-CONSUMING!
Passing the exam requires a significant amount of study and practice!
Think of a university exam…
I used to study for university exams like CRAZY, brainwashing myself into remembering all the stuff I never used to this day in my dev career.
It’s going to be time-consuming and you should be prepared to invest time and effort in order to pass the certification.
If you have prior experience with Python and have been using it frequently, you may find the exam easier to pass.
However, if you are new to Python or have limited experience, it will likely take more time and effort to prepare for the exam.
You might run into unexpected questions and have to retake the exam…
How Do I Prepare For Python Certification?
It’s always a good idea to check the certification’s syllabus, prerequisites, and sample questions before deciding to take the exam.
I have nothing against Python certification…
… but I’ve personally ONLY STUDIED FOR 1 CERTIFICATE in my career which was for Quality Assurance, yet I’ve managed to become a Python developer and have a high-paying job! 🔥
In the real world, employers often place more value on your practical experience and skills than on your certifications.
I noticed this early on, realizing that my Quality Assurance certification didn’t do anything for MY CAREER or SALARY..
The thing with certification is that while a certification can demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and proficiency in Python, it does not necessarily indicate that you have hands-on experience and problem-solving abilities that are required for the job.
And this is THE BIGGEST PROBLEM when you’re hired to do the job, you are not regurgitating the certification syllabus.
You’re solving real-world problems! 🔥
How Much Does Python Certification Cost?
Here are a few examples of Python certification costs from popular organizations:
|Certification/ Course Name||Cost (USD)|
|Python Institute’s Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer (PCEP)||$59|
|Python Institute’s Certified Professional in Python Programming 1 (PCPP-32-1)||$195|
|Python Institute’s Certified Professional in Python Programming 2 (PCPP-32-2)||$195|
|DataCamp’s Python Career Track||$499|
|Codecademy Pro’s Python course||$20/month|
|Coursera’s Python for Everybody Specialization||$49/month|
The prices of the certifications I listed above can be considered relatively affordable compared to some other certifications in the field of technology.
Is Coursera Python Certificate Worth It?
However, the cost of Python certification is not the only factor to consider when determining whether it is a GOOD VALUE!
While a cheaper certification may save you money in the short term, it might not even change anything for your career and be a total waste of your time!
A cheaper certification may not provide as much in-depth coverage of the language or may not include hands-on experience or practical exercises!
Also, keep in mind that some of the cheaper Python certifications are entry-level…
If you’re already familiar with Python, know the basics and can build a few scripts yourself, such certification is not going to change a lot for you…
At this point, you should be looking out for more advanced certifications, mentorship and education that focuses on a specific area of Python language or a specific library (e.g. Django, web projects, databases, etc.) 🔥
Can You Get Certified In Python For Free?
It is possible to become certified in Python for free, but it may take more effort and time compared to working with a mentor personally or working on a paid certification.
The way you could go about becoming certified in Python for free is the following..
Online tutorials and courses
There are many free online tutorials and courses that cover Python, such as Codecademy, Coursera, and Udemy.
While these resources may not provide a certification, they can help you learn the language and build a solid foundation of knowledge.
(Not the recommended way as these resources will likely teach you only the very basic stuff and have not direct support and feedback to fix your mistakes)
Instead of taking a course at one of the mentioned sites, I’d rather recommend you try to go through a couple of blog posts I’ve written on this blog.
I guarantee you’ll learn more about Python.
All of my blog posts are based on real experiences I’ve encountered in my career.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Why Python Requests Are Crucial For Your Career?
- Should You Learn Excel Or Python?
- Why You Must Learn To Use Subprocess In Python?
Participating in open-source projects is a great way to gain hands-on experience and demonstrate your skills to potential employers.
Many open-source projects are written in Python, and contributing to them can help you build a portfolio of projects and gain experience in a real-world setting.
(This is a good way to demonstrate your experience, but you won’t likely be able to participate here as a beginner)
Before attempting to contribute to an open-source project, you should be able to develop working software by yourself.
Some communities or organizations may offer free certifications based on completing specific tasks or projects, take for example, Linkedin.
While these certifications may not be as widely recognized as those from more established organizations, they can still demonstrate your skills and knowledge to potential employers.
(Again, it’s an acceptable solution, but the return for the invested time is very low)
When it comes to learning on your own, looking for ways to get certified in Python for FREE, there are a couple of pros and cons I’ve noticed through my own experience.
Let’s continue with those 👇🏻
FREE Certification: Pros And Cons
The pros are:
- Cost-effective: This is the most obvious advantage, as it eliminates the need to pay for certifications.
- Hands-on experience: Participating in open-source projects or completing tasks and projects can provide valuable hands-on experience that can be just as valuable as a certification. If you have enough time and willpower to come up with your own solutions, you’ll likely be very successful! But that’s not the majority of people, most people need help, even I needed mentors and help at the beginning of my career.
- Flexibility: Free certifications may not have a set curriculum or schedule, allowing you to learn at your own pace.
On the other hand, the cons of trying to become certified in Python are:
- Recognition: Community-based or self-study certifications may not be as widely recognized or respected by employers as certifications from established organizations.
- Lack of support: Free certifications may not provide the same level of support and guidance as paid certifications, which can make it more difficult to learn the language and pass the certification. When you’re learning to code for the first time you need mentors and code reviews. Most beginners are not aware of how many bad mistakes they’re making. The fact that your solution “works” doesn’t mean it’s the best, most professional, industry-level expected solution.
- Lack of structure: Self-study can be challenging for some people as it lacks a structured curriculum and schedule. Most people end up wasting a ton of time and giving up after a while of not seeing any results.
Long story short, it is possible to become certified in Python for free, but you’ll likely waste a lot of time just because of the LACK OF STRUCTURE AND SUPPORT!
I’ve halfway gone through this process myself thinking: “Yeah, I can do it myself..” just to realize years later HOW MUCH TIME I WASTED not seeking out help and mentorship!
Yeah, I managed to learn all the simple things Python developers do by myself, but all the most important techniques and concepts I learned from my mentors and it skyrocketed my career! 🚀
Now, looking at my students today, they’re lost like I was, it’s my duty to give them the SHORTCUTS and all the tricks I’ve learned over the years.
If you click on the above image, you’ll be able to read about Yuliia’s experience in Python mentorship!
If you’re NOT afraid of working hard for your career…
See if there’s a way you can contact me at the end of this post!
🔥 I’m willing to talk to you and see if I can help you the same way I helped Yuliia!
What Can I Do With Python Certification?
Earning a Python certification can open up a variety of career opportunities in the field of software development and data science.
Of course, from my own personal experience, I can tell you that learning Python was one of the best decisions I made as a young student.
MY WHOLE GOAL, in the beginning, was to become a Python developer… 🔥
… which is one of the things you can do after passing an exam and having a Python certification!
A Python developer is mostly responsible for writing server-side web application logic.
Most of my job is about developing back-end components, connecting the application with the web services, and supporting the front-end developers by integrating their work with the Python application.
Of course, throughout the years, I’ve learned to work on frontend applications too, if necessary, but my main focus is the development of server-side web application logic and I totally love it!
Next to web development, Python certification could open up doors for the following career opportunities:
- Data Analyst: Data Analysts work with large sets of data, using Python to clean, process, and analyze the data.
- Data Scientist: Data Scientists often use Python to develop predictive models and analyze large sets of data.
- Machine Learning Engineer: Machine Learning Engineers use Python to develop and deploy machine learning models to solve real-world problems.
- Research Scientist: Research Scientists use Python to develop and test hypotheses and theories.
These are just a few of the most common fields where Python is being used.
Additionally, Python certification can also open up opportunities in other fields such as finance, healthcare, and education where Python is used as a tool to automate and analyze data.
PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND! ⚠️
Certification is just ONE PART of the equation and should be combined with practical experience, skills and a portfolio of projects to make you a more attractive candidate for a role!
How Do You Get Practical Knowledge In Python?
I can’t stress this enough, but you have to understand that certification alone may not be enough to land a job, it’s important to combine it with practical experience and skills to be more attractive to employers.
If you’re looking to get hired as a Python or Django developer as soon as possible, some of the most effective ways to combine your Python certification with practical experience are:
- Building a portfolio of projects: Creating your own projects using Python and Django and adding them to your portfolio is a great way to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to potential employers. Ideally, you should be working on a single project and developing it as far as you can for months.
- Getting an internship: Look for internship opportunities in companies that use Python and Django. This will give you the chance to work on real projects and gain practical experience.
- Look for freelance or contract work: Look for freelance or contract work opportunities that allow you to work on Python and Django projects. (HARD TO DO unless you already have experience)
- Networking: Attend local meetups, networking events, and conferences to connect with other Python and Django developers and learn about new projects and opportunities. Networking can help you learn about job openings and get your resume in front of the right people.
If you honestly take a look at the possible choices above, for a beginner, the safest choice is to build your own portfolio of projects.
There’s nothing to lose if you’re starting out with your own project! 👇🏻
⭐️ Getting an internship is going to be quite difficult unless you have contacts in a specific company looking for interns to train.
⭐️ Look for freelance or contract work is another good option, but who will hire you if you don’t have a track record of success already?
Most people think freelancing is such an easy thing to do.
The truth is, it’s even harder than working for a company as a Python developer.
Yeah, this is an option, but not the best one for most people. You’d have to be pretty smart to jump into freelancing right away.
⭐️ Networking is something everyone should do, especially at the beginning of their career.
When I was working as a QA engineer, I used to work alongside developers, I used to ask them how did they become developers, I used to ask them to go on lunch breaks with me to talk more and understand the path they took.
You’re not gonna figure it out on your own, talk to people, find out what steps they took and just do the same thing!
🚨 I’m still an open-minded person and willing to give advice to people in a similar position I was in years ago, if you have any questions, feel free to find my contact details below this post and shoot me a message with your questions! 👌🏻
How Do You Get Expertise In Python?
THE HONEST TRUTH is that you may not be able to do all of the things I mentioned at the same time…
… and it’s important to prioritize and focus on the most effective ways to combine your Python certification with practical experience.
If you’re looking to get hired as a Python or Django developer as soon as possible, the most effective way to start is by BUILDING A PORTFOLIO OF PROJECTS!
🔥 It’s a proven method, I’ve done that, my students have done that and it works!
Having a portfolio of projects that demonstrate your skills and knowledge in Python and Django is crucial for getting hired in Python-related roles!
Potential employers will want to see WHAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO and how you approach problem-solving!
- STEP 1: You can start by building small projects and gradually increasing the complexity of the projects as you gain more experience and confidence.
- STEP 2: Make sure to include a variety of project features that showcase different aspects of your abilities.
- STEP 3: Once you have a solid portfolio project, you can start to focus on other ways to combine your certification with practical experience.
- STEP 4: On the side, while building your portfolio project, consider possible networking opportunities.
It will help you learn about job openings and get your resume in front of the right people.
You can start by attending local meetups and networking events, and following relevant groups or communities online.
Is Python Institute Certification Useful?
The honest truth is it depends on your goals. I can’t tell you what to do or what not to do, but I can tell you from my own experience, I’m fine without certificates.
My goal always was to become a Python developer, just work on projects that interest me and collect a good salary.
I do not have any urge to polish my ego by collecting certificates just for the sake of that, instead, I prefer focusing on other aspects of my life!
⚠️ But it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with Python Institute Certification.
In fact, I think it’s great and you’ll likely learn new things that will help you in your career, I just don’t see the return of investment for me, personally at this point in my career, in the beginning, maybe.
But still, having real-world experience and real projects you’ve worked on is way more important than any certificates.
🚨 Certification is not going to teach you what to do when real situations come up, that can only be learned through experiences, that’s why I preach building projects so often!
If you are a beginner in Python…
… and looking for a way to demonstrate your basic knowledge of the language, getting a PCEP certification can be a good starting point!
If you are looking for a career in Python development…
…. having a certification such as PCAP or PCPP1 and PCPP2 can be helpful in demonstrating your knowledge and skills to potential employers!
👉🏻 But remember, real-world projects and the experience of going through building your own projects come first!
Can You Get A Job With Only Python Certification?
It is possible that if you’re a highly skilled developer with a Python certification you may be able to leverage your skills and certification to get hired for a higher salary, but for a beginner, it’s not gonna be that easy!
Keep in mind, certification alone does not guarantee a high salary and a good dev jov, I can’t stress this enough!
You have to put in the work! 💪🏻
Employers typically consider a combination of factors when making hiring decisions, including education, experience, skills, and certifications.
But the most important one is your EXPERIENCE in real-world projects! 🔥
Passing the certification exam alone DOES NOT GUARANTEE that you will get a high salary and a good job!
In order to increase your chances of getting a high salary as a Python developer…
… it’s important to COMBINE your certification with practical experience, specialized skills, and other certifications if possible!
Continuously improve your skills and knowledge by learning new libraries, techniques, and technologies in Python and networking.
On top of that, once you have at least some sort of Python project that you can include in your portfolio, you should already be proactively researching the market, looking for job postings, and applying to companies that pay the highest salaries!
I'll help you become a Python developer!
If you're interested in learning Python and getting a job as a Python developer, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll see if I can help you.
I help engineers to become backend Python/Django developers so they can increase their income
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