Professional certifications in computer technology are non-degree awards made to those who have achieved qualifications specified by a certifying authority. Depending on the particular certification, qualifications may include completing a course of study, proof of professional accomplishments, achieving a specified grade on an examination or some combination thereof. The intention is to establish that an individual holding a certification is technically qualified to hold certain types of position within the field.
Certifications, generally, need to be renewed periodically, or may be valid for a specific period (e.g. the lifetime of the product upon which the individual is certified). As a part of a complete renewal of an individual’s certification, it is common for the individual to show evidence of continual learning — often termed continuing education — or earning continuing education units (CEU).
Certification is often used in the professions of software engineering and information technology.
Some certification programs are oriented toward specific technologies, and are managed by the vendors of these technologies. These certification programs are tailored to the institutions that would employ people who use these technologies.
- Apple Inc. sponsors the Apple certification program
- Avaya sponsors the Avaya Professional Credential Program
- Cisco Systems sponsors the Cisco Career Certifications program
- Brocade Communications Systems sponsors the Brocade Certification and Accreditation program
- Citrix Systems sponsors the Citrix Certified Administrator program
- Cyberoam sponsors the Cyberoam Security certifications program
- Hewlett-Packard sponsors the HP ExpertONE certification program
- Dell sponsors the Dell Certified Systems Expert program with Associate and Master levels
- IBM sponsors certifications
- ISIS Papyrus sponsors the Papyrus Certified Professionals Program
- Juniper Networks sponsors the Juniper Networks Technical Certification Program
- LANDesk sponsors the Certified LANDesk Administrator and Certified LANDesk Engineer program
- Microsoft Corporation sponsors the Microsoft Certified Professional program
- MySQL (as part of Oracle now) sponsors a certification program
- National Instruments offers certifications in LabVIEW, TestStand, and LabWindows/CVI software
- Nortel sponsors the Nortel Certifications program
- Novell sponsors a certification program
- Object Management Group sponsors the Certified Professional program for the Unified Modeling Language
- Oracle Corporation sponsors the Oracle Certification Program
- Red Hat sponsors the Red Hat Certification Program
- SAP sponsors individual training and certifications
- SAS sponsors a certification program
- SolarWinds sponsors the SolarWinds Certified Professional Program for network management
- SpringSource sponsors the SpringSource Certified Professional program
- Sun Microsystems sponsors the Sun Certified Professional program (now part of the Oracle Certification Program)
- Sybase sponsors the Certified Sybase Professional program
- Ubuntu, provides Ubuntu Certified Professional program
- VMware sponsors certification programs (VCP & VCDX)
- Zend Technologies sponsors the Zend Certified Engineer (PHP) program
Third-party and vendor-neutral certifications
Third-party commercial organizations, trade associations, and vendor-neutral interest groups that sponsor certifications include:
- SCIPP International ANSI Accredited Secure Web-Application Development Awareness course and End-User Security Awareness courses.
- MigrationX sponsors unique IT migration related certifications like Certified Migration Expert (CME) & Certified Migration Professional (CMP).
- The BSD Certification Group Inc. A non-profit organization committed to creating and maintaining a global certification standard for system administration on BSD based operating systems.
- INFINIDOX sponsors 4 professional information security certifications.
- Basic Computer Literacy Certification
- Certiport sponsors the Microsoft Office Specialist and IC3 certification (Internet and Computing Core).
- CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) CompTIA offers 12 professional IT Certifications, validating foundation-level IT knowledge and skills.
- ECDL Foundation sponsors the European Computer Driving Licence (also called International Computer Driving Licence) (ICDL)
- International Information and Communication Technology Council Certification Program
- (ISC)² sponsors the CISSP, SSCP and other security certifications
- Learning Tree International sponsors Learning Tree Professional Certification
- Linux Professional Institute
- Majinate sponsors the Accredited Symbian Developer scheme for Symbian OS
- NACSE (National Association of Communication Systems Engineers) sponsors 36 Vendor Neutral, knowledge specific, Certifications covering the 5 major IT Disciplines which are: Data Networking, Telecomm, Web Design & Development, Programming & Business Skills for IT Professionals.
- Network Professional Association offers the Certified Network Professional program
- The Open Group sponsors TOGAF certification and the IT Architect Certification (ITAC) and IT Specialist Certification (ITSC)  skills and experience based IT certifications.
- Planet3 Wireless sponsors the Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) certification
- SAGE (organization) sponsors the cSAGE program
- SANS Institute operates the Global Information Assurance Certification program
- Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) sponsors the SNIA Certification Program
- The SolidQ University Certifications
- Testout offers the PC Pro Certification and the Network Pro Certification with its CompTIA A+ and Network+ course material.
- Validated Guru provides the Certified Software Developer (VGCSD) certification .The exam is free ($0), Certificate and Validation Services optional.