There are many standards and certificates available to students that can be of huge benefit to their employability. The most easily accessible of these are self-paced online programs with pre-curated courses. Such courses are provided to the consumer at a low price point (or even free) and often come with a hidden cost for the associated certificate. The objective is for free and low-priced mass content delivery, and certifications are usually not recognized as pertinent on a resume. Examples include most popular open online course certifications such as Coursera, EDX etc.
Instructor-led online programs are by far the best form of online training available. The environment is similar to that of a classroom and is led by an instructor in real-time. The advantage to this style of learning is that courses are tailored to the students skill level.Though these are usually not free and can be quite costly, they provide personal attention that is invaluable to the learning process. Often these courses require a final examination and provide some degree of certification or qualification, though the value of this will largely be determined by the reputation of the vendor.
Finally, dedicated certification programs are usually generated by big players in a particular industry and define the talent threshold they prefer on hiring. Many companies such as Microsoft have since made a business model from this. These programs hold credibility in the industry but as the company usually does not partake in training these generally require a lot of effort and self discipline. Examples include certifications like CCNA, RHEL etc.
Software is a skills-based industry, and job interview candidates will typically be required to complete a technical exam to demonstrate their coding ability. Degrees, certifications and other credentials are often of lesser priority and are dismissed in favor of practical ability to code. Students should keep this in mind – the best approach is to keep their coding skills sharp through regular practice, by engaging in challenges and developing personal projects.