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Best Mobile App Development Certifications

Best Mobile App Development Certifications
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Spending your certification dollars on a mobile app development certification could be a very smart move.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: Shutterstock

When you read stories about 11-year-olds creating fantastic apps that make it to the Windows Store, Google Play or Apple's App Store, it makes you wonder why anyone really needs a mobile app certification. The reality is that few professionals are going to make their fortunes, or even a living, by creating and selling the "next big app." In fact, most will take jobs as developers for major companies or do app development as freelancers.

Employers who hire app developers look for candidates with experience creating apps, especially customer-facing apps. They often want candidates with a wide array of knowledge about various programming concepts and languages, such as application programming interfaces (APIs), user experience (UX) design, Python, C#, PHP, JavaScript, HTML/CSS and Swift.

Employers also tend to prefer or require a bachelor's degree in computer science or some related discipline. But because mobile app developers are in such high demand, some employers are willing to train (or pay a third party to train) candidates with a background in a related IT area, such as networking or engineering, or train experienced developers on another platform in mobile development tools and platforms.

So where does certification fit in? Although mobile app development certifications are not widely requested in job descriptions, a certification can get your resume noticed or prove that you deserve a promotion. And a mobile app developer certification can help you achieve a decent salary. Glassdoor reports that the national average salary for mobile app developers is $92,478, where SimplyHired's national average is $106,979. Those salaries are consistently higher than other common IT-related jobs that require a few years' experience. For example, compare average developer salaries to those of software engineers ($88,000), system administrators ($74,000) and network engineers ($78,000).

We took a detailed look at certifications from Microsoft, Google (Android), Kony and Salesforce. We chose these because of their presence in the industry, their demand by employers and their overall value to certification candidates. We also mention some certifications in the last section of this article that are worthy additions to a developer's portfolio but don't carry as much recognition or cachet as our top five picks do.

Before you begin exploring the featured certifications, look at the results of our informal search of various job boards to see which certifications employers are looking for across the U.S. These results are a snapshot in time from a particular day and may not reflect the actual job demands in your locality, but they should give you some feel for the relative demand for each certification.

Job Board Search Results (in alphabetical order, by certification)*

CertificationSimplyHiredIndeedLinkedIn Jobs
TechCareersTotal
Associate Android Developer (Google)**4545
2
2137
Kony Development Certification (Kony)4040
74
74
181
MCSD: App Builder (Microsoft)***13
17
0
0
57
MTA Developer (Microsoft)59
62
6224161
Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder25
26
2628
93

*See our complete methodology for selecting top five certifications in the "Best Certifications" series. **More than 870 hits using "Android developer certification" as the key term. **More than 1,200 hits using "MCSD developer certification" as the key term.