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6 Best Python Certifications From Beginner to Pro in 2023

Posted in Python
Python Certification

With an intuitive and easy-to-learn syntax, abundance of third-party libraries, and an enormous community that’s always ready to help, it’s not surprising that the Python language is one of the most widely used.

Nearly 50% of all respondents in the latest Stack Overflow developer survey selected Python as the most popular language, with close to 44% of professional developers making it their go-to language across various software engineering disciplines and industries.

Whether you’re an aspiring Python developer, a data scientist, or an experienced staff engineer focusing on continuous professional development (CPD), Python certifications are an excellent way to validate and demonstrate your Python skills professionally.

This article will cover the 6 best Python certifications available in 2023. With offerings from entry-level to seasoned pro, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including the skills you need to pass the exam, exam formats, practice test availability, price points, and more.

Ready? Let's go!

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 an industry-recognized method for verifying your competence and expertise.

To get a Python certification, you must meet the prerequisites before attending and passing an 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 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. But this article focuses on Python certifications awarded by a recognized body.

In 2023, the only show in town seems to be the 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 science certification is best for you, consider the following criteria before making a choice.

  • 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 6 Best Python Certifications in 2023

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: $259

Exam + Practice Test: $319

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] PCAD: Certified Associate in Data Analytics with Python

Exam Only: $295

Exam + Practice Test: $319

Associate

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

PCEP: Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer

Why we chose this

As a stepping stone to the PCAP (associate level), this entry-level Python certification verifies your ability to accomplish essential tasks with the Python language.

To pass the PCEP exam, you’ll need a solid understanding of Python programming skills, syntax & semantics, the difference between compilation & interpretation, control flow (conditionals & loops), data collections, variables & data types, operators, I/O operations, functions, and exception handling.

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

Register Here

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

PCAP

Why we chose this

If you’ve gained your PCEP, 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.

To pass the PCAP exam, you’ll need to understand the Python language Standard Library, PIP, object-oriented programming (OOP), modules and packages, exception handling, and advanced usage of strings, lambda functions, generators, list comprehensions, and file handling.

Prerequisites: None

Price:

  • Exam only: $259 single shot (PCAP-31-03)
  • Exam + Practice test: $319 single shot (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

Register Here

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

PCPP1: Certified Professional in Python Programming 1

Why we chose this

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.

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

Register Here

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

PCPP2™ – Certified Professional in Python Programming 2

Why we chose this

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 2023 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

Register Here

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

PCAT

Why we chose this

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 2023.

Note that this exam will be available to take from Q1 2023 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

Register Here

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

PCAD

Why we chose this

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.

To pass the exam, you’ll need to be familiar with 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 2023 or early 2024.

Note that this exam will be available to take from Q1 2023 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

Register Here

Conclusion

With a top 4 position in the latest Stack Overflow developer survey, Python continues to be one of the most popular programming languages due to its easy and intuitive syntax, plethora of powerful libraries, and strong community of like-minded developers.

Whether you’re a data scientist, experienced staff engineer, junior developer, or even an aspiring Python programmer who wants to land their first role, Python certifications are the ideal way to validate your Python skills professionally.

This article covered the 6 best Python certifications available in 2023. And with options for early-career developers to seasoned pros, there’s bound to be something right for you.

Looking for ways to boost your Python skills in 2023? Check out our list:

30 Best Python Projects

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.

Check out our article on the top 65 Python interview questions and answers to help prepare.

Akhil Bhadwal

Akhil Bhadwal

A Computer Science graduate interested in mixing up imagination and knowledge into enticing words. Been in the big bad world of content writing since 2014. In his free time, Akhil likes to play cards, do guitar jam, and write weird fiction. View all posts by the Author

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Yogitha Deshaboina
Yogitha Deshaboina

Will say how to go into that website and pay money for the exam and write it ? I am interested in writing it but I dont know where to pay money and those details

Kerrnyc
Kerrnyc 10 Points

Thanks for this Akhil. From your article I decided to work toward the PCEP exam, and began the study lessons for the certification provided for free OpenEDG Python Institute. The lessons are a DISASTER. I intend to follow up with their exam knowledge requirements but study the concepts elsewhere. The working is terrible, instructions disorganized and codes results in numerous errors. Also I am a Mac user, so study Python in the Mac OS environment. Had no problem with this at a coding bootcamp. I spent the better part of 2 days trying to get through one hour of their packages and modules study, until I read 'r' comment below. I looked up the gentlemen mentioned, and discovered that one of them teaches this exact same study at Udemy who charges money. Several users posted the exact same complaints/bad experiences there. I still intend to take the PCEP exam but will not take that institute seriously again. I definitely don't recommend them.

Tapan Sharma
Tapan Sharma

I think it is the most crisp and precise information that you gave. Thanks.

Joshua
Joshua

Thank you for sharing this. Honestly there's a lot of information out there, but this was the most useful fo far.

r
r

Thank you for putting this informative article together. It helped me familiarize myself with the Python certification options. However, I found that a very large percentage of user reviews for ALL the test prep resources you've listed for the PCAP certification exam (two from Tim Howard and one from Georgio Daccache) are quite negative and will give any serious programmer a pause. I was hoping to find some high quality sources for PCAP text prep, but the details in the user reviews are really causing me to keep searching for better sources. Can you please suggest better alternatives? Thank you in advance.