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How to List Education on Your Software Engineer Resume

Posted on 
January 31, 2022
Abhinav Rawat
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About The Author!
Abhinav Rawat
Abhinav Rawat
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The skilled and experienced mastermind behind several successful product designs for upscaling the ed-tech platforms with an outcome-driven approach for skilled individuals.

When applying for a software engineering role, listing your academic qualifications correctly on your resume is important.

Most software engineering job descriptions, especially for senior-level and specialized roles, specify educational qualifications as job requirements. Recruiters use academic qualifications mentioned in job descriptions as keywords to conduct online profile searches.

Including your educational details correctly increases your chances of being ranked as a close match for the prospective role. It indicates you possess adequate conceptual knowledge of computer science fundamentals and the academic foundation to learn new technologies.

In addition to educational qualifications, your software engineer resume should also include details of any certifications or awards you’ve received in your field to further prove your knowledge and accomplishments in your domain.

In this article, we’ll share some key tips that will help you list these details correctly in your software engineer resume. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to List Educational Qualifications on Your Software Engineer Resume
  • How to List Certifications on Your Software Engineer Resume
  • How to List Awards and Achievements on Your  Software Engineer Resume

How to List Educational Qualifications on Your Software Engineer Resume

The “Education” section of your resume should be as short as possible. Include only as much information as is needed to indicate to recruiters that you meet the job requirements. 

State your highest degree first and work backward; follow the order:

  • PH.D./Doctorate 
  • Master’s Degree
  • Graduate Degree 

Here are a few more tips:

  • How much to include: Go only as far back as your graduate degree; if you’re a new graduate or an entry-level software engineer, you can include details about your high school graduation. If you have multiple degrees, state them in reverse chronological order. Don’t list irrelevant degrees.
  • Where to place it: Your education details can be placed below other information that showcases your skills and practical experience. However, if you’re a new graduate or entry-level software engineer, you can place this section in a more prominent position.
  • Format: 
  • Date of completion or passing for each degree earned.
  • Conferring university or institution.
  • Name of the degree.
  • Major or area of specialization.
  • Don’t mention your GPA or scores unless they’re exceptional or create an impact.
  • Names and terms in their full form, along with their abbreviated versions. An ATS may not parse abbreviations, and a recruiter may use either form as a keyword.
  • Degrees you are pursuing: Include degrees that you’re currently pursuing and awaiting completion. You can include this information with the expected date of completion. Alternatively, you can list this under a separate heading, “Professional Development.”
  • Coursework and other academic achievements: If you possess many years of experience, don’t elaborate on coursework, academic research, academic achievements, etc., unless it highlights a particular skill or creates a relevant impact.

    If you have limited experience or an entry-level engineer, you can elaborate on coursework, academic projects, and achievements to highlight your tech capabilities and knowledge.
  • If you do not have the required qualifications: If your education is not a direct match, research the role and company and list your qualification if it is in a related field of study. While companies specify educational requirements, they also consider related fields.

Did you know that you can become a software engineer at FAANG even without a Computer Science degree? Read this article to learn how.

How to List Certifications on Your Software Engineer Resume

Certifications can be listed under “Education.” If you have multiple certifications, use a dedicated section to show your interest in professional development.

Certifications can be shown in lieu of educational qualifications that you may not have for the prospective role. Certifications are a great way to indicate your areas of expertise and show your abilities in new skills and technologies. 

Certifications give you a competitive edge and increase your value when negotiating compensations.

  • List certifications in a consistent format: 
  • Name of the certification
  • Name of the certifying body or institution
  • Date of certification
  • Period of validity
  • List certifications in order: You can list them in decreasing order of importance or reverse chronological order.
  • Don’t list outdated certifications.
  • List only relevant certifications.
  • List industry-recognized certifications: Don’t list certificates issued by an unrecognized organization. Online certifications are not always valued, even if they are recognized. Research the credibility of certifications you add to your resume.
  • List certifications for both hard and soft skills.
  • Place certifications in the education section, as a separate section above education, as a separate section under experience and above skills, or as a part of your summary.

Pro Resume Tip: In lieu of education and certifications, you can list any form of training, courses, online study, or activity, such as bootcamps and hackathons, through which you acquired equivalent working skills and knowledge. 

How to List Awards and Achievements on Your  Software Engineer Resume

Listing awards and achievements on your resume is recommended to help you gain a competitive edge. It will also elevate a recruiter’s perception of you as a suitable applicant to a desirable applicant. 

Awards and achievements add credibility to your profile. It indicates that you’re not just able to perform in a given role but excel at it and bring value to a company. 

  • List awards and achievements under a separate section: It is ideal to create a separate section if you have multiple awards and achievements. This will draw the recruiter’s attention to it. Listing them along with your work experience can minimize their impact as recruiters may not register them while scanning your resume.

Also, creating a separate section for multiple awards and achievements indicates that excellence is one of your key traits. This makes you appear more accomplished.

If you have a limited number of awards or recognitions, list them along with the relevant job experience or under the relevant corresponding section.

  • List relevant accomplishments only: Awards for skills and achievements that do not pertain to the prospective role will not add much value to your resume. Instead, use the space to cover more pertinent information, such as your work experience and skills.
  • List different types of awards: List awards and recognition from past employers and the tech community. You may have earned awards from a company you worked with or from an association you’re a part of or for a contribution made to a voluntary organization, or for excelling at a tech event or competition. If you have limited experience, you can list academic awards and recognition earned. 
  • List awards in a consistent format: Use a bulleted list in reverse chronological order or decreasing order of importance. State the award’s name, date conferred, and what it was awarded for.

There you have it — top tips to include your educational qualifications in your resume. “Work experience” and “projects” are two other key sections that can help you get shortlisted for the job of your dreams. To learn more about how to list these, read:

Ready for Your Dream Software Engineer Job?

If you’re looking to uplevel and land your dream job at a FAANG+ company, your preparation must cover all ground. Not only should you have a stellar resume, but you also need to have an application strategy, interview prep plan, and salary negotiation strategy. 

Sounds like a lot? Join Interview Kickstart to get access to the most structured, researched, and proven tech interview prep program. We’ve trained over 9,000 software engineers to crack the most challenging coding interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more.

Our programs are designed and taught by recruiters and tech leads from FAANG+ companies, who will guide you through every phase of the interview process — application, interview, and offer negotiation.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our free webinar.

Last updated on: 
September 22, 2023

Abhinav Rawat

Product Manager @ Interview Kickstart | Ex-upGrad | BITS Pilani. Working with hiring managers from top companies like Meta, Apple, Google, Amazon etc to build structured interview process BootCamps across domains

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