Carnegie Mellon University"s SEI Software Certification Program

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The Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., founded in 1984, offers information technology career professionals a unique set of software certifications not found at other colleges and universities. SEI provides professional certification programs for software professionals via in-person seminars and distance education worldwide, with students seeking continuing education software certification from the Middle East, Europe, North America and beyond.

SEI Programs for Software Certification

SEI offers up-to-date professional certification in five software fields:
  • Computer Security
  • Measurement & Analysis
  • Process Improvement
  • Software Architecture
  • Service-Oriented Architecture

Jefferson Welch, manager of the SEI program, explains that students fall into two camps. "The majority are typically working professionals who are seeking to expand their skill set and career opportunities. Our training and certification programs are geared to these professionals with tailored training delivery and qualification activities."

For undergraduate and graduate students studying computer science who want to avail themselves of SEI's certification programs, SEI and Carnegie Mellon offer for-credit options not only for current CMU students, but also for students at partner universities.

"These universities partner with CMU and the SEI to present curricula and credentialing programs for their students to earn both a degree and applicable certification to better prepare them for entering the workforce following college," Welch adds.

What Adult Learners Can Expect From SEI Professional Certification

Unlike some software certification programs that focus on certifying a student as an expert in a specific programming language, development system or grouping of hardware, the five channels at SEI, Welch notes, "indicate a student has mastered a particular technology or methodology with performance-based qualification activities that go beyond classroom training and emphasize demonstrating skill in the practice to earn the credential."

Recent students include professionals from the United States as well as Qatar, Poland, France and India. The typical software certification program blends distance learning with on-ground seminars held at the Carnegie Mellon University campus and in cities worldwide.

For instance, a student seeking Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method certification, offered as part of the Software Architecture channel, would take five on-ground courses at the Pittsburgh campus (also offered by arrangement with large enterprise corporations in other cities), then complete an exam for full certification.

Other options in the SEI program, such as CERT-Certified Computer Security Incident Handler professional certification, require no coursework, but a passing score of 80% or higher on the CERT-Certified Computer Security Incident Handler examination. The fee for the exam is $499, and the exam is offered at scheduled times through more than 400 testing centers worldwide. SEI then awards the student an official professional credential.

Most programs involve a blend of on-ground seminars that last two days, online courses, and a final examination. Once the student completes all the steps and passes the exam, the software certification is awarded.
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