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10+ Computer Science Certifications for High School Students

Earning a certification during high school can significantly enhance your profile and give a competitive edge when applying to college. If you’re keen on exploring computer science or even pursuing it as a career, certifications in the field demonstrate initiative, dedication, and a proactive attitude toward learning. Certifications showcase your commitment to personal and professional development, which is highly regarded by college admissions officers, employers, and scholarship committees. A combination of certifications, programs and courses in your profile says that you’re a well-rounded individual. Not only that, in the field of computer science, it says you have a strong foundation of knowledge already, and that you have the potential, adaptability, and readiness to embrace higher education and a future career in the field. 


Ultimately, a roster of certifications earned during high school serves as a testament to your drive, dedication, and readiness to excel in various domains.


We’ve put together a list of certifications you can earn while in high school, in the field of computer science.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $537

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (4 courses) takes 5 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. No prior knowledge is required beyond basic arithmetic. Knowledge of high school-level algebra is desirable.


Note: This certification includes 4 courses, each 4-5 weeks long (5-6 hours a week). You can choose to do one, two, three or all four. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


Georgia Institute of Technology offers several programs taught online via edX, including the Introduction to Python Programming certification course. In this course, taught by a senior faculty member from the institute, students will learn how computers interpret lines of code, the process of writing programs, evaluating outputs, and debugging code. By the end of the course, you will be adept at creating small Python programs that handle complex tasks, such as calculating interest rates, recommending outfits based on the weather, or grading based on percentages.


The course is structured in chapters, presented via pre-recorded short instructional videos (2-3 minutes each). After each segment, students will have multiple-choice questions and coding problems to solidify their understanding. A few concepts covered in the course include – computing basics, the crucial differences between compiling and running code, debugging techniques, procedural programming, variables, logical operators, and mathematical operators.


Another certificate course offered by GT that you can consider is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $359

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (2 courses) takes 3 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. This is an introductory course, no prior knowledge is required. 


Note: This certification includes 2 courses, one 4 weeks long and the other 7 weeks (3-4 hours a week). You can choose to do one or both. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


This course, taught by Google AI experts, is your gateway to understanding Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in a simplified manner. It explores the basics of AI, ML, and how these technologies integrate into our lives, both personally and professionally. The program focuses on TensorFlow.js, Google's ML library for JavaScript, offering a practical learning experience. The course breaks down the complexities, starting with fundamental AI concepts, bridging the gap between data, ML, and AI's real-world applications. The course covers diverse topics: from defining AI and understanding its scope, to exploring machine learning programming using neural networks. It emphasizes practicality, teaching how to create web applications with supercharged capabilities, from computer vision to language processing.


Through hands-on sessions, you'll develop skills to build applications using TensorFlow.js models, tackling real-world issues. From filtering spam comments to crafting smart security systems, you'll learn to apply cutting-edge models to solve problems and innovate. With TensorFlow.js, this course equips you to delve into pre-made models, retrain existing ones, and embark on your journey as a Web Machine Learning Engineer.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $467

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (2 courses) takes 5 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. No prior knowledge is required.


Note: This certification includes 2 courses, each 7-12 weeks long (6-30 hours a week). You can choose to do one or both. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


Harvard University offers several programs taught online via edX. This course, taught by some of Harvard’s senior faculty members, provides students with a comprehensive learning experience in computer science, programming, and artificial intelligence (AI). It's designed to equip you with a solid foundation in programming fundamentals and advanced concepts integral to modern AI. Combining Harvard's prestigious Introduction to Computer Science course with an in-depth exploration of AI principles, this program guides you through a renowned undergraduate curriculum. You'll start by mastering common programming languages, and then dive deeper into AI.


Throughout the course, you'll engage in hands-on projects, gaining practical insights into graph search algorithms, machine learning, reinforcement learning, and other pivotal AI topics. By the end of the course, you will be proficient in machine learning libraries and have a comprehensive understanding of AI principles. This course offers an opportunity to become adept in one of the most rapidly expanding fields in computer science, provided by the creators of one of the most sought-after computer science programs globally. This certification series aims to prepare you to tackle real-world challenges and secure a solid footing in the evolving realm of AI.


Harvard offers a few more computer science certificate courses worth considering:


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $268

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (3 courses) takes 4 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. No prior knowledge is required. 


Note: This certification includes 3 courses, each 2-8 weeks long (2-8 hours a week). You can choose to do one, two or all three. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


This course is tailored for students with minimal or no prior experience in AI, computer science, or data science. It's crafted to provide a comprehensive understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) basics, applications, and the transformative influence it wields across diverse industries. Whether you're a professional, executive, entrepreneur, or student, comprehending AI's impact on organizations and society is increasingly essential for career growth. The program offers accessible insights into AI concepts, applications, and terms like machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and natural language processing.


During the course, you will delve into IBM's Watson AI services, exploring their potential across various business contexts. The course emphasizes practical learning through hands-on experiences with multiple AI environments and applications, enabling learners to grasp the creation and deployment of intelligent virtual assistants. By the end of the course, you will be able to construct AI-powered chatbots for websites without requiring coding skills. This program serves as a launchpad for those seeking to harness AI's potential in their current roles or embark on a career journey into this field.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $537

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (3 courses) takes 5 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. No prior knowledge is required.


Note: This certification includes 4 courses, each 5 weeks long (9-10 hours a week). You can choose to do one, two, three or all four. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


This course offers a comprehensive dive into data structures and algorithms, two fundamental pillars of effective programming. Designed to equip learners with a deep understanding of various data structures and algorithmic techniques, it covers a wide array of topics, starting from the basics and progressing towards complex applications. With an emphasis on building strong foundations, you will explore linear data structures like LinkedLists, Stacks, and Queues, gaining insights into your performance and selection criteria for specific scenarios. As the program unfolds, it progresses to nonlinear data structures and their implementations and operations. 


The course navigates through essential concepts in computer science, emphasizing time complexity, iterative sorting methods, divide-and-conquer algorithms, and graph traversal strategies.


This certificate mirrors Georgia Tech's renowned CS 1332 course, ensuring a rigorous learning experience equivalent to the university's on-campus program.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $672

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (3 courses) takes 6 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites:


Note: This certification includes 3 courses, each 7-10 (3-9 hours a week). You can choose to do one, two, or all three. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


Harvard University offers several programs taught online via edX. This online program offers a comprehensive journey through Python programming tailored for data science. It is designed for students seeking to strengthen their data science skills using Python, even without prior coding experience. Comprised of three courses, this program employs a practical, hands-on approach to learning. You'll explore Python's fundamentals, from syntax to functions, variables, conditionals, and loops. Moving forward, you'll explore probability, statistics, and data science applications using essential libraries like Pandas, NumPy, Matplotlib, and SKLearn.


Led by expert Harvard faculty members, this course equips you with Python's foundational skills and statistical knowledge, paving the way for advanced applications in machine learning and AI. It emphasizes applied learning, enabling you to tackle real-world data science challenges. By mastering Python's applications in data analysis and machine learning, you'll not only enhance your team contributions but also position yourself for a thriving career in the ever-growing field of data science.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $359

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (2 courses) takes 3 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. Knowledge of Algebra I is required.


Note: This certification includes 2 courses, each 5 weeks long (3-5 hours a week). You can choose to do one or both. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


This online course serves as a comprehensive introduction to quantum computing, designed for those seeking foundational knowledge in this field. It aims to build an intuitive grasp of quantum computation's physics, fundamental mathematical operations, and the essentials of programming quantum computers. With prerequisites limited to basic algebra and programming skills, it is accessible to pretty much anyone.


The program is split into two courses. The initial course concentrates on utilizing one- and two-qubit operations to tackle problems. You will explore the application of these operations to solve various problems. The second course dives deeper into quantum programming, offering a more comprehensive understanding of quantum programming languages and their role in implementing quantum algorithms. Through a step-by-step approach, you will gain the skills to maneuver quantum operations and apply them in quantum software development.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: Free.

Dates: Self-paced. You can choose to start a course any time at your convenience. Each course takes 4-6 hours to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Some courses are open to beginners, while others might require some prior knowledge. 


The Google Analytics Academy is designed for those keen to learn about Google's measurement tools, intelligent data collection and data analysis. There are multiple courses offered in the academy, ranging by difficulty level and subjects covered.


Google Analytics for Beginners: In this course, you will learn the basic features of Google Analytics including how to create an account, implement tracking code, set up data filters, analyze basic reports, and set up goals and campaign tracking. You'll learn how to navigate the Google Analytics interface and reports, and set up dashboards and shortcuts. The course will also demonstrate how to analyze basic Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior reports, and set up goals and campaign tracking. This is ideal for students with no prior knowledge of the subject. 


Advanced Google Analytics: This course will take you through how data gets collected and processed into readable reports. You'll learn how to use configurations like Custom Dimensions, Custom Metrics, and Event Tracking to collect data that's specific to your business. The course will also demonstrate more advanced analysis techniques using segmentation, channel reports, audience reports, and custom reports, as well as marketing strategies like remarketing and Dynamic Remarketing.


Introduction to Data Studio: Introduction to Data Studio helps you learn and practice beginner steps in connecting your data and building Data Studio reports. It teaches you how to visualize data online to gain insights. You’ll learn how to connect your data, create impactful reports, and collaborate with teammates. You’ll gain the knowledge and tools you need to design compelling reports to share with different stakeholders.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $537

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (3 courses) takes 5 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. This is an introductory course, no prior knowledge is required. 


Note: This certification includes 3 courses, each 6 weeks long (5-6 hours a week). You can choose to do one, two, or all three. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


Georgia Institute of Technology offers several programs taught online via edX, including this one. This course, which will be taught by senior faculty members from the institute, offers a comprehensive learning journey in Java programming and object-oriented concepts. During the course, you will cover Java basics – the fundamentals of syntax, including data types, classes, conditionals, loops, arrays, methods, and input/output. You will create your own classes, learn about inheritance, abstract classes, and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The course will dive into interfaces, polymorphism, and algorithms, helping students evaluate them based on runtime complexity. You will learn how to handle runtime errors, especially in file input/output scenarios. The course also covers data structures (mainly lists), recursion, JavaFX for graphical user interfaces (GUIs), anonymous inner classes, and lambda expressions.


By the end of the course, you will have a solid understanding of Java's foundational concepts and how to apply object-oriented principles effectively. This knowledge can equip you to develop interactive programs, create efficient algorithms, handle errors, and design graphical user interfaces. The course includes pre-recorded classes.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: Free.

Dates: 3-week program, you can start it at your convenience. 

Eligibility & Prerequisites: Open to everyone. This is an intermediate course, so you should have some experience coding in Python to get the most out of it. You should also be familiar with the basics of machine learning, such as supervised and unsupervised learning, loss functions, and splitting data into training, validation, and test sets. 


In this course, you'll dive into the world of generative AI. Led by AWS AI experts experienced in deploying AI in business, this course focuses on foundational knowledge and practical skills in the latest Gen AI technology. Throughout the course, you'll work on understanding the generative AI lifecycle, from data gathering to deployment, optimizing models for various use cases; you will gain detailed insights into the transformer architecture, training processes, and adapting models for specific tasks; you will apply empirical scaling laws to optimize model performance across different data sizes and resource constraints; and you’ll learn to implement cutting-edge training, tuning, and deployment methods to maximize model efficiency. You'll learn from industry stories and case studies about the challenges and opportunities Gen AI presents for businesses.


This course is ideal for developers with a foundational understanding of LLMs, equipping them to make informed decisions and swiftly build prototypes. 


Note: If you have taken the Machine Learning Specialization or Deep Learning Specialization courses by DeepLearning.AI, you’ll be ready to take this course and dive deeper into the fundamentals of generative AI.


Location/Mode: Virtual.

Cost: $268

Dates: Self-paced, you can choose to start a session at your convenience. The entire certification (3 courses) takes 5 months to complete.

Eligibility & Prerequisites: For this course, students must have

  • A solid C/C++ programming background (or Java)

  • Access to a relatively up-to-date computer (Windows, Mac OS, Linux)

  • Studied high school mathematics.


Note: This certification includes 3 courses, each 6 weeks long (5-12 hours a week). You can choose to do one, two or all three. Your certification will be according to the courses you’ve completed. 


This comprehensive online course focuses on Virtual Reality (VR) technology, guiding students through the creation and understanding of VR applications using Unity 3D and OpenGL. The course introduces fundamental concepts, covering various aspects such as VR devices, software development, and effective 3D interaction techniques essential for successful VR applications. Designed for those keen on exploring the world of VR, this course offers insights into the workings of VR technology, its hardware components, and the mathematics behind creating compelling VR experiences. You will acquire practical skills to design VR applications and understand the crucial features that contribute to their success.


Through this program, you will master the fundamentals necessary to develop VR apps across entertainment and gaming domains. Moreover, the course extends its reach to augmented reality (AR) applications, enabling learners to apply their knowledge gained in VR to develop in the rapidly expanding AR field. Upon completion, students will possess the skills to create their own VR app, equipped with a robust foundation in VR and AR development.



These bonus programs are individual programs (not associated with a professional certificate course) in computer science. They do, however, offer a certificate when you complete it.


If you’re looking to build a project/research paper in the field of AI & ML, consider applying to Veritas AI! 


Veritas AI is founded by Harvard graduate students. Through the programs, you get a chance to work 1-1 with mentors from universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and more to create unique, personalized projects. In the past year, we had over 1000 students learn AI & ML with us. You can apply here!


Bonus — the Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in doing university-level research in computer science, then you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, over 4000 students applied for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: Georgia Tech logo


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