Best Courses for Unity’s User Programmer Certification

Gaming is a growing industry, projected to reach $372.00bn by the end of 2023. Naturally, the game design and development job market is thriving, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that job outlook growth will be 22 percent between 2020 and 2030. Developers also receive high salaries, with an average of $73,974 per year in the USA.

Long story short – now is a fantastic time to learn game development – even if you intend to stay a solo indie creator. This said, for those looking to bolster their resume more professionally, you’ll need some extra “oomph” to stand out from the crowd, as plenty of other people have the same skills. Enter Unity’s User Programmer Certification, which is a quick and easy way to show you know the popular Unity engine and the programming skills needed for game creation.

As passing the exam is no walk in the park, though, in this article, we’re going to showcase our favorite Unity courses (like Zenva’s certification pathways). These courses will be geared towards helping you pass that exam, and ensure you get the skills you need to be at for your career!

Let’s get started!

What is the Unity User Programmer Certification?

Unity’s User Programmer Certification is designed for aspiring game or app developers to teach them Unity’s primary capabilities and functions as a development platform. With this certification, learners are evaluated on how much they know about the fundamentals of Unity, including making projects and Prefabs and navigating the editor. Students will also be tested on C# knowledge.

The overall aim is to prove students can read, write, and understand basic code used all the time in Unity. Many receivers of the Unity User Programmer Certification go on to start postsecondary programs in game development, animation, or STEM – or alternatively, create their own successful games.

To take the exam, students must build their knowledge base of Unity and C#. Test subjects could include:

  • Building projects in Unity, using C#
  • Navigating the Unity interface and interpreting API basics
  • Creating prototypes, debugging, and solving programming difficulties
  • Programming a function state machine

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The Benefits of a Unity User Programmer Certification

The Unity game engine is used to power half of all games globally. Learning how to use and code with Unity is, therefore, not only beneficial for creating high-powered games, but breaking into the competitive game development and design industry.

The Unity User Programmer Certification is designed to help aspiring developers stand out in a busy crowd, as to receive this certification, you’ll need professional knowledge of not only Unity but programming with C#.

Here are the main benefits of receiving Unity’s User Programmer Certification.

Stand out in the job market

The game development job sector is incredibly difficult to break into. You’ll be up against hundreds (if not thousands) of applicants, all gunning for the same position. To have any chance of winning a developer position, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd and position yourself as a proven professional.

The Unity User Programmer Certification is a rare credential in the developer world and is recognized as proof that you have skills and dedication to game development – since there is significant cost and time involved in taking the exam.

In fact, many Unity-based job postings will list Unity Certifications as a (preferred) requirement, putting you in a much better hiring position.

Showcase your skill level

To qualify for the Unity User Programmer Certification, you must build a solid knowledge base of both the game engine and C#. It will allow you to not only improve your skill levels as you study to take the exam, but once you’ve obtained the certification, you can prove just how knowledgeable you are to potential employers.

Go from hobbyist to professional

Many Unity developers are self-taught gaming lovers, having fun creating their own animations and worlds. For some, the main goal is to be entertained and learn the ins and outs of Unity simultaneously.

However, teaching yourself a complicated tool can be difficult, especially without a guided learning path. While there are plenty of courses available online, it can be hard to know what to do after you’ve finished.

Unity’s User Programmer Certification allows hobbyists to follow a structured path, with certifications ranging from beginner to professional. Taking the exams in order will allow them to progress naturally, picking up the skills needed to move on to the next certification.

What courses are best to prepare for Unity’s User Programmer Certification?

Unity’s User Programmer Certification is designed to showcase an individual’s skills in Unity and C#, and it’s essential to build knowledge before taking the exam. There are many professional courses online that will teach you everything you need to know about making games with Unity.

Here are the best courses for preparing to take the User Programmer Certification.

Best Courses for Unity's User Programmer Certification

Unity Game Development Mini-Degree

The Unity Game Development Mini-Degree, created by Zenva, is a comprehensive curriculum focused around Unity. With no experience necessary to jump in, users get the opportunity to learn a wide variety of tools. This includes basic engine functionality like object manipulation, to rarer tools such as ProBuilder and Cinemachine.

While mastering the fundamentals of Unity, students will also get the chance to build real-world projects for a professional portfolio. This includes games in popular genres like RPGs, idle clicks, and FPS games (to name a few). Plus, everything is made with expandable systems that you can practice with further to improve your skills.

Of course, for the sake of the certification exam, this curriculum has just about all the basics you’ll need in both Unity and C# to upskill yourself in preparation!

With the Unity Game Development Mini-Degree, you’ll learn topics including:

  • C# coding basics
  • UI systems
  • Audio effects
  • Cinematic cutscenes
  • Special effects
  • Procedural terrain
  • Animation
  • Genre mechanics

Skill level: Beginner and comprehensive. No prior experience is necessary.

Duration: 36h 23m

How to access: Access the curriculum here.

Best Courses for Unity's User Programmer Certification

Intro to Game Development with Unity

If you’re looking just for a single course to start, then Zenva’s Intro to Game Development with Unity course is a great choice. This course is intended for ultra-beginners – i.e. people who have literally never touched Unity before in any capacity.

The course focuses on three major areas: the basic tools of the engine and interacting with objects, C# fundamentals for Unity, and combining everything to make a balloon popper game. Together, these cores will set you up for success in beginning your Unity education journey, as the skills will serve you as you move into more complicated projects.

Likewise, it is worth noting this course is suitable for younger users – as young as Grade 8. Thus, you don’t have to wait at all to start learning.

Lastly, if you’re a bit hesitant, you can try a free course sample by taking Unity 101 – Game Development Foundations, which covers the basics of setting up and using key tools of Unity.

Intro to Game Development by Zenva Academy covers key topics, including:

  • How to install and set up Unity projects
  • How to manipulate object size, position, and rotation
  • Ways to change aesthetics with materials
  • Code variables and operators with C#
  • Combining various skills in order to create interactive games
  • How to build and deploy your games

Skill level: Beginner

Duration: 2h 7m

How to access: Access the course here.

How to Program in C#

With the name being User Programmer Certification, you might imagine there’s going to be quite a lot of C# knowledge expected. So, learning to program with C# is kind of a bit point.

In the How to Program in C# series by Brackeys, you’ll focus more specifically on C# itself and learn all the principles you’ll need to apply in Unity. These videos are also designed to keep games in mind – so you don’t have to worry about it not being too divorced from Unity either.

The series includes the following topics:

  • Input and output
  • Variables
  • Conditions
  • Loops
  • Array
  • Functions
  • Classes

Skill level: Beginner

Duration: 2h 4m

How to access: Access the series here.

Screenshot of a 2D Action RPG made in Unity

Unity Associate Programmer Certification Pathway

Even if it’s your first time using Unity, it doesn’t hurt to aim for the sky. So, a good way to pass the User Programmer Certification Exam is to start studying for the Associate Programmer Certification – which you can do with Zenva’s Unity Associate Programmer Certification Pathway.

In this curriculum, you’ll cover Unity from the ground up – learning the very foundations of the engine all the way to building amazing projects like a 2D action RPG. Most importantly, however, you’ll dive deep into C#. This includes using the Unity libraries to access and manipulate game elements, and more intermediate techniques for writing efficient code. You’ll also explore how to debug both code and set up errors in Unity to empower you to work through your own errors in coding.

Plus, the curriculum concludes with a practice exam at no extra cost. This means it’s super easy to actually test your own knowledge and figure out what you need to work on better. This can be a big boost for those on a budget who want to increase their chances of passing the pricey exams the first time.

You’ll discover core topics including:

  • Principles of working with Unity
  • Managing differ user inputs
  • C# coding fundamentals
  • Factoring code for efficiency
  • Debugging processes for solving errors
  • Practical application of skills to projects

Skill level: Beginner. You don’t need prior experience in Unity or C#.

Duration: 19h 5m

How to access: Access the series here.

Best Courses for Unity's User Programmer Certification

Unity Mini-Projects – C# Fundamentals

Unity Mini-Projects – C# Fundamentals by Zenva is a beginner-oriented course aimed at helping users expand their Unity and C# knowledge by applying them to real-world projects. These mini-projects are designed both to build out learners’ portfolios while also teaching them a number of C# techniques.

The projects featured for the course are a balloon popper with a scoring system, an efficient object spawner, and bowling and skiing mini-games. Through these, users get the chance to play with physics and more as well, rounding out their Unity education.

This is also a great stop if you don’t feel ready to jump into full games yet, since this lets you experiment with basic interactivity first.

Broader skills will also be covered, including:

  • Implementing multiple scripts in one project
  • Building user interfaces
  • Dealing with user inputs
  • Detecting collisions between game objects
  • Accessing object data through C# scripting
  • Applying physics to objects.

Skill level: Novice, but some basic Unity and C# skills are required.

Duration: 1h 40m

How to access: Access the course here.

How to Make a 2D Game

Sometimes, the best way to learn Unity is just to build games and experiment with various features. As Unity is able to do both 2D and 3D games, though, it can be beneficial to learn both.

In the case of this entry, the How to Make a 2D Game series by Brackeys will cover 2D specifically. From the fundamentals of just making a game in the first place to working with Unity tools like lighting, this series has a little bit of everything. All are in line with what you’ll need for the certification exam, however, so it’s a good jack-of-all-trades series to start preparing.

With this course, you’ll learn the following key topics:

  • 2D Movement
  • Animation
  • 2D Camera
  • 2D Shooting
  • Organic Levels
  • Lights
  • Top Down Shooting
  • Melee Combat
  • Making a Boss

Skill level: Beginner

Duration: 2h 9m

How to access: Access the series here.

Best Courses for Unity's User Programmer Certification

Create Your First 3D Game in Unity

As a companion to the entry above, you don’t want to neglect 3D game development either. That’s why the Create Your First 3D Game in Unity by Zenva is an excellent next step in your journey

This course covers creating a 3D platformer project that is designed to teach you some of the most common game mechanics you’ll want to know. This includes how to craft levels through the scene editor, how to add collectibles, how to add enemies that can trigger game-overs, and how to set up a simple UI. Of course, you’ll also learn 3D player movement – which is essential knowledge to have no matter what direction you go!

With this course, you’ll learn techniques such as:

  • Creating player and enemy objects
  • Constructing a level with 3D models
  • Scripting the camera to follow the player
  • Setting up the game-winning conditions
  • Adding collectible coins
  • Building UI elements and menus

Skill level: Novice. You’ll need basic knowledge of Unity and C#.

Duration: 2h 16m

How to access: Access the course here.

Learn Unity Beginner/Intermediate 2023

Designed to teach users how to write high-quality code by making a complex project, the Learn Unity Beginner/Intermediate 2023 course by Code Monkey is an all around master course for covering every Unity basic. With this course, you’ll make a fun arcade game while learning the complexities of both Unity and C#. This includes everything from more intermediate C# coding to working with things like sounds.

This said, it is still relatively beginner-friendly – so perfectly suited to passing the User Programmer Certification.

With this course, you’ll learn topics such as:

  • Unity Layout
  • Visual Studio
  • Code Style, Naming Rules
  • Importing Assets
  • Post Processing
  • Character Controller, Visual, Rotation
  • Animations & Cinemachine
  • Collision Detection
  • Interact Action, C# Events
  • Selected Counter Visual, Singleton Pattern
  • Player Pick up, Drop Objects
  • Cutting, World Canvas
  • Music & Sound Effects
  • Main Menu, Loading

Skill level: Novice. You’ll need some basic knowledge of Unity and C#.

Duration: 10h 49m

How to access: Access the course here.

Unity User Programmer Certification Wrap Up

With these Unity courses, you should be more than prepared to take on the User Programmer Certification. While the exam sounds intimidating, do keep in mind the exam was also made to be suitable for high school students to be able to take and pass as well. Thus, as the entry-level certification, you don’t yet have to be a Unity expert!

This said, we do encourage you to explore more courses. Zenva, for instance, offers far more Unity courses than we could mention here. And the more you know about Unity, the better your opportunities will be. Plus, there are even higher-level certifications to look for after this, so more preparation won’t hurt for that either.

No matter where your path takes you, we wish you the best of luck with your game development adventures!

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