7 Best Python Certifications in 2024

In this article, I share the 7 best Python certifications in 2024.

Whether you’re looking to land a job as a Python developer or want to further your Python career by enhancing your resume, I’ve included Python certifications for juniors and experienced pros.

Python continues to be one of the top 3 languages for beginners and experienced professionals in data science, web development, and more. One of the best ways to stand out is to earn one of the best Python certifications.

Often challenging to achieve, Python certifications can validate your Python skills and show future employers that you have what they’re looking for.

And with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a median annual salary of more than $100,000 for programmers, earning one of the best Python certifications can be highly lucrative.

So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into the best Python certifications, including the skills you need to pass the exam, exam formats, practice tests, and more.

What Is a Python Certification?

Not to be confused with a Python certificate, which is often awarded after you’ve attended and completed a Python course, Python certifications are industry-recognized credentials for verifying your competence and expertise with the Python programming language.

To get a Python certification, you must meet the prerequisites before attending and passing a Python certification exam that tests your skills and knowledge in various aspects of Python programming.

These certifications for Python could be for general programming, or they may emphasize a particular discipline like automated testing or data analytics. You’ll often need to refresh your memory of important concepts and theories via online documentation or Python books.

It’s also essential to point out that a Python coding certificate is much easier to get, and it can be a great stepping stone on your way to learning Python via a Python course or Python boot camp. However, this article focuses on Python certifications awarded by a recognized body.

In 2024, the only show in town seems to be the OpenEDG Python Institute if you’re after a Python certification. Microsoft used to offer a certification for Python newcomers, but the exam for this has now been retired.

Who better to get your certification from than the Python Institute? It’s in the name!

Choosing the Best Python Certification

If you’re not quite sure which Python certification is best for you, consider the following criteria:

  • Required Skills: Do you have the necessary technical and theoretical skills?
  • Cost: Can you afford the investment for the exam and potential practice tests?
  • Renewal Period: How long will your certification be valid? Do you need to renew regularly or at all?

The 7 Best Python Certifications in 2024

1. [Python Institute] PCEP: Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer

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Why we chose this certification

As a stepping stone to the PCAP (associate level), this entry-level Python certification verifies your ability to accomplish essential tasks with the basics of Python, which is ideal for any of the various Python applications you might consider in 2024.

It’s also ideal for anyone that’s new to computer programming, as to pass the PCEP exam, you’ll need a solid but basic understanding of Python programming skills.

That said, you should be prepared to answer questions about language syntax & semantics, the difference between compilation & interpretation, control flow essentials (conditionals & loops), data structure like Python lists, variables & data types, operators, I/O operations, using functions, and exception handling.

One of the best ways to cement these foundational skills is to build Python projects for your portfolio.

Prerequisites: None

Price:

  • Exam only: $59 single shot (PCEP-30-02)
  • Exam + Practice test: $71 single shot (PCEP-30-02)

Validity Period: Lifetime

Total Exam Questions: 30

Content: Single & multiple-choice, gap-fill, code-fill, code insertion

Exam Duration: 40 minutes

Exam Location: Online

Passing Score: 70%

Who is it best for? Entry-level Python programmers or software developers

2. [Python Institute] PCAP: Certified Associate in Python Programming

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Why we chose this certification

If you’ve gained your PCEP certification, or you’re familiar with more advanced Python programming skills, the PCAP is a strong certification choice to demonstrate your ability to design, write, debug, and re-factor complex Python programs, including multi-module applications.

There’s also the fact that the PCAP can really help your resume stand out, which is ideal if you want to impress during Python interviews.

To pass the PCAP exam, you’ll need to understand the Python language Standard Library, Pip, object-oriented programming (OOP), modules and packages, and exception handling.

You’ll also need to have advanced knowledge of strings and finding substrings, data structures like dictionaries and tuples, lambda functions, generators, list comprehensions, and file handling.

Plus, you should be very comfortable with all of the common Python operators.

Prerequisites: None

Price:

  • Exam only: $295 single shot (PCAP-31-03)
  • Exam + Retake + Practice test: $359 (PCAP-31-03)

Validity Period: Lifetime

Total Exam Questions: 40

Content: Single & multiple-choice

Exam Duration: 65 minutes

Exam Location: Online (or authorized test center)

Passing Score: 70%

Who is it best for? Junior Python developers or software devs looking to switch to Python

3. [Python Institute] PCPP1: Certified Professional in Python Programming 1

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Why we chose this certification

Designed for a professional in Python programming that’s passed the PCAP, the PCPP1 is the first stage in a 2 part-professional certification track from the Python Institute.

This advanced Python certification demonstrates to prospective employers your advanced Python skills in various areas, including the Python Standard Library, function syntax (extended argument, decorators, etc), and coding standardization (PEP8, PEP 257, code layout, etc).

To pass the exam, you’ll also need to have advanced knowledge of OOP (inheritance, polymorphism, etc.), GUIs, event-driven programming, network programming (HTTP methods, data formats), and simple REST clients.

You should also be able to demonstrate extended knowledge of file processing in various formats (XML, CSV, etc.) and exception handling, building upon the skills needed to pass the PCAP.

Being a professional-level Python certification, it is much more challenging to earn the PCEP and PCAP, so there’s no room for common Python mistakes!

Prerequisites: PCAP

Price: $195 exam only, single shot (PCPP-32-101)

Validity Period: Lifetime

Total Exam Questions: 45

Content: Single & multiple-choice

Exam Duration: 65 minutes

Exam Location: Online (or authorized test center)

Passing Score: 70%

Who is it best for? Junior and mid-level developers looking to advance their career or team leads that want to demonstrate an advanced knowledge of Python

4. [Python Institute] PCPP2: Certified Professional in Python Programming 2

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Why we chose this certification

The second stage of the Python Institute’s professional certification track, PCPP2 completes your general Python programming certification journey by demonstrating your advanced knowledge of the Python language.

To pass the exam, you’ll need a firm grasp of Python design patterns (OOP, Singleton, Factory, etc.), networking & communication, multithreading & process management, advanced standard & non-standard library modules, creating and working with SQL & NoSQL databases, unit & functional testing frameworks, and the principles of clean code.

This Python certification will show prospective employers an advanced level of Python expertise, an understanding of the entire software design lifecycle, analytical & design skills, and the ability to work on small to large multi-module projects across various industries.

Note that this exam will be available to take from H2 2024 onwards.

Prerequisites: PCPP1 (and PCAP)

Validity Period: Lifetime

Price: $195 exam only, single shot (PCPP-32-201)

Total Exam Questions: 45

Content: Single & multiple-choice

Exam Duration: 65 minutes

Exam Location: Online (or authorized test center)

Passing Score: 70%

Who is it best for? Experienced developers, engineers, system architects, and team leads

5. [Python Institute] PCAT: Certified Associate in Testing with Python

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Why we chose this certification

One of the newest Python Institute certifications, the PCAT is a specialization for software testing with Python at the associate level. This cert shows employers you understand the importance of software testing & automation, different testing approaches, and how testing reinforces software development via refactoring.

To pass the exam, you’ll need to understand software testing principles and best practices, unit testing fundamentals, software decomposition, D.R.Y (Don’t Repeat Yourself) software engineering, and F.I.R.S.T (Fast, Independent, Repeatable, Self-Validating, and Timely) testing.

You’ll also need to be well-versed in the popular software development approaches of Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD).

The PCAT also makes you eligible for professional-level certifications offered by the Python Institute in unit testing (PCPT1), test automation (PCPT2), and security (PCPT3) in late 2024.

Note that this exam will be available to take from Q1 2024 onwards.

Prerequisites: None

Validity Period: 5 years

Price:

  • Exam only: $295 single shot (PCAT-31-0x)
  • Exam + Practice test:  $319 single shot (PCAT-31-0x)

Total Exam Questions: 40

Content: Single & multiple-choice

Exam Duration: 65 minutes

Exam Location: Online (or authorized test center)

Passing Score: 70%

Who is it best for? Junior Python developers or test engineers with on-the-job experience

6. [Python Institute] PCED: Certified Entry-Level Data Analyst with Python

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Why we chose this certification

The newest offering from the Python Institute PCED (Certified Entry-Level Data Analyst with Python) is a foundational credential that’s ideal for showcasing your basic skills in data analysis using Python.

I’m really impressed by the addition of this certification, as it’s an excellent way for newcomers to the world of data to demonstrate essential knowledge and understanding in the field of data analytics, with an emphasis on basic Python expertise. It’s also really affordable, making it the data equivalent of the PCEP.

To earn the PCED certification, you’ll need to understand basic data analytics, including data acquisition, cleaning, validation, analysis, and visualization.

You’ll also need to know the fundamentals of data pre-processing, statistical analysis, and programming techniques to perform extract-transform-load (ETL) processes while also utilizing fundamental Python libraries like Pandas, NumPy, and visualization tools.

The PCED is also a great stepping stone to their associate certification, the PCAD, so if you’re new to the field of data science or you want to pursue an analytics career, this is a great precursor to the more PCAD certification.

Note that this exam will be available to take from Q1 2024 onwards.

Prerequisites: None

Validity Period: Lifetime

Price: $59 exam only, single shot (PCED-31-01)

Total Exam Questions: 40

Content: Single & multiple-choice

Duration: 40 minutes

Passing Score: 70%

Exam Location: Online

Who is it best for? Junior Python developers, early career data analysts and data scientists, or software developers looking to switch to a data-focused position

7. [Python Institute] PCAD: Certified Associate in Data Analytics with Python

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Why we chose this certification

Another new offering from the Python Institute, PCAD is an associate-level certification in data analytics to validate your proficiency in data acquisition, cleaning & wrangling, modeling & analysis, and visualization with Python.

This Python certification is a solid way to demonstrate well-rounded skills and comprehensive knowledge in data analytics, including key concepts & methodologies, and best practices.

As you’d expect, there’s a natural synergy between these data analysis skills and Python concepts for data science in general.

To pass the exam, you’ll need to be familiar with data visualization, statistical analyses, predictive modeling & model selection, machine learning, and popular Python libraries like NumPy, pandas, Matplotlib, SK-Learn, and Seaborn in a data science and analytics setting.

PCAD certification will also be a prerequisite for a professional-level certification in data analytics (PCPD) offered by the Python Institute in late 2024 or early 2024.

Note that this exam will be available to take from Q1 2024 onwards.

Prerequisites: None

Validity Period: 5 years

Price:

  • Exam only: $295 single shot (PCAD-31-0x)
  • Exam + Practice test:  $319 single shot (PCAD-31-0x)

Total Exam Questions: 40

Content: Single & multiple-choice

Duration: 65 minutes

Passing Score: 70%

Who is it best for? Junior Python developers, data analysts, data scientists, or software developers looking to switch to a data-focused position

Python Certification Summary

If you’re not quite sure which Python certification to target, take a look at our summary table below to quickly compare the various Python certification options.

Certification Price Level
[Python Institute] PCEP: Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer Exam Only: $59

Exam + Practice Test: $71

Entry
[Python Institute] PCAP: Certified Associate in Python Programming Exam Only: $295

Exam + Retake + Practice test: $359

Associate
[Python Institute] PCPP1: Certified Professional in Python Programming 1 Exam Only: $195 Professional
[Python Institute] PCPP2: Certified Professional in Python Programming 2 Exam Only: $195 Professional
[Python Institute] PCAT: Certified Associate in Testing with Python Exam Only: $295

Exam + Practice Test: $319

Associate
[Python Institute] PCED: Certified Entry-Level Data Analyst with Python Exam Only: $59 Entry
[Python Institute] PCAD: Certified Associate in Data Analytics with Python Exam Only: $295

Exam + Practice Test: $319

Associate

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, the 7 best Python certifications in 2024, including a range of Python certifications for juniors and experienced professionals.

Whether you’re just starting out in Python or an experienced pro that’s leading a division, each of these Python certifications can show your current or future employer that an industry-recognized body has validated your skills.

Whichever of these Python certifications you choose, we wish you the best of luck with your Python career!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Certification Is Best for Python?

The best Python coding certification depends on your skill level, experience, career goals, and also whether you want a specialized certification versus one for general programming.

This article has included a range of general programming certifications for various levels of skill and experience, along with certifications for specialisms in testing and data analytics.

2. How Difficult Is Python Certification?

If you consider the entry-level PCEP, this should not be challenging if you understand Python basics. In contrast, the PCPP1 and PCPP2 Python expert certification exams expect you to be a professional in Python programming with advanced Python language skills.

Python developer certification exams should be sufficiently challenging to ensure you have the required knowledge to be an ambassador for that cert. To help you pass, research the exam content, take practice tests, study online resources and Python books, and consider Python courses.

3. How much Is a Python certification?

Python certification cost depends on the level and whether you want to pay for additional practice tests. The Python certifications we have covered range from $59 to $295, depending on the certification level you wish to obtain.

4. Can You Get Python Certified for Free?

You will need to pay for a certification exam if you want to achieve a Python certification.

These should not be confused with free courses that offer a certificate in Python programming after completion, as these are much easier to obtain than industry-recognized certifications.

5. Is a Python CERT Worth It?

This depends on your career aspirations and goals. Generally, an industry-recognized certification can enhance your resume by professionally validating your Python skills, which may give you an advantage over other candidates when applying for jobs.

6. Can I Get a Job After Doing Python Certification?

Being a certified Python programmer signals to any potential employer that you’re serious about your career but do not expect a job because you have obtained a Python certification.

You will still need to meet the rest of the job’s educational or experience-based requirements. You’ll also need to impress at each interview stage, whether that be a pre-screening, technical coding challenge, or a final-stage interview with your potential team leader and team members.

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