A Look at Some Mobile App Developer Certs

Ed T Mobility Graphic

With over 3.5 million mobile apps available to the general public (Google Play, Apple App Store, etc.), it's not a stretch to say that mobile app development is a flourishing industry. That number doesn't include all of the apps developed in-house by thousands of organizations around the globe (although several do make their apps available to the public as well). With high demand also comes a need for super-sharp skills to create secure, highly reliable apps.


So, which mobile app development certs are drawing in the crowds?


Dallas-based Advanced Training Consultants (ATC) offers the Android Certified Application Developer, a foundation-level credential that aims at a person's ability to design, build, debug and maintain Android apps. Only one exam is required, which costs $150 USD.


Although Apple iOS apps are exceedingly popular with device users, Apple still doesn't have a mobile app developer cert. Interested parties need to take Apple's DIY approach through the Apple Developer Program or seek training through a third party. Big Nerd Ranch offers lots of iOS classes and bootcamps, as well as those for Android, and Academy Class has a five-day iOS App Development Jumpstart course. You can find many more example doing a quick Internet search.


Like Apple, Microsoft doesn't offer a Windows Phone app certification, but its Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) cert programs both have tracks in software development, which tinker in skill-building for Web apps optimized for desktop and mobile devices. And they're pretty popular certs. If you have no experience with programming, you might consider one of the MTA Developer track certs — Software Development Fundamentals or HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals. With some programming skills under your belt, you could go for the MCSD: Windows Store Apps credential. Each MTA certification costs $115 USD, and each MCSD exam costs $150 USD (three exams required).


The Oracle Java ME Mobile Application Developer focuses on the use of Java technologies to create mobile apps. The single multiple-choice exam costs $245 USD.


You can also find trade associations and similar organizations with mobile cert programs. For example, the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) has classes and certifications for Mobile Fundamentals for Developers, iOS Application Development and Android Application Development.


Several universities and colleges offer certificate programs in mobile app development, like the University of California-Irvine, University of Denver and Northwestern University, to name a few.


It's hard to believe, but the mobile app dev certification arena has been in play long enough that some certs have already come and gone. The Mobile Development Institute (MDI) was a nonprofit organization with three entry-level certifications for the Apple iOS, Google Android and BlackBerry operating systems. But the website has been down for a while and I can't find any current information on the MDI program. And, CompTIA announced the retirement of the exams for its Mobile App Security+ certification in June 2015. It seemed like a good niche cert that should have drawn more attention — considering the significance of security to organizations today — than it did.


When you're poking around the Web in search of even more mobile app dev certifications, keep in mind that there are "mobile app development" and "mobility" certs. A mobile app development cert aims at programming skills and creating apps, which was the focus of this blog post; a mobility cert typically involves support for local, remote and mobile users from a networking and infrastructure perspective. These categories of certifications are related yet distinct from one another.


Good luck!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at www.edtittel.com, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.