If you're technical-minded, have a great aptitude for math and are looking for a career in software development, becoming a Sun Certified Java Programmer is a pretty smart first step. This certification program can not only help you get your foot in the door for entry-level positions, but also act as a stepping-stone to higher qualifications in other Java-related areas, such as business and web components, web services and mobile applications. If this sounds like the kind of professional development program you're looking for, read on!
The Sun Certified Java Programmer credential is a qualification that gives you the knowledge to work in one of the many Java-related careers that are in high demand all over the world. Aimed at those with a good understanding of computers, programming languages and math, it is recommended that beginners take classes in Java and related principles before enrolling on the SCJP course (the official website of the Sun subdivision of Oracle, has more information on the learning paths available for students of different abilities).
Although there are no formal requirements to study to become a SCJP, it is recommended that you have a good understanding of computers, programming languages, Java in particular, and math before you start the course. There are many preparation routes to get beginners to this level, described by Sun as “Learning Paths” on their website. Whatever level you're at, you should have good organizational skills and the ability to understand abstract concepts.
Through the course, you will become an expert in Java programming, learning the Java language and its many applications. You should become proficient in the Java language and its uses, techniques and development, and be able to use and write Java code for work purposes.
The course consists of classroom study, lab work and practical experience. At the end, you will take a 2-hour exam at your choice of licensed Sun exam site, and must pass to gain the qualification. You can choose to study at either a technical school, community college, or as an extension course to your degree program at some universities.
There are many careers available to those with the SCJP, especially in the ever-expanding world of computer technology and Java programming. Java is used in a variety of applications, from personal computers to websites and even cell phones, so there is a huge market for those with skills in Java programming. Possible career paths include:
Software engineering is one of the fastest-growing industries in the global economy. Although most software engineers have a background in computer science, and can usually program in several languages, the popularity of Java and its easy compatibility make it possible to write programs for many different applications in Java. Once you have your SCJP, you should understand the principles of programming and program design, so this can also serve as a great stepping-stone toward learning other popular programming languages that are used for similar applications, such as C, Ruby, Python or PhP.
Software engineers design, fix and edit software for a wide variety of applications, from online banking to the apps on your cell phone. The Java language is most typically used for the internet, cell phones and networks, so if you're looking to take the SCJP course with a sight to becoming a software engineer, these are the applications you are most likely to end up working with. As a software engineer, the duties of your job would include:
Some software engineers also attend conferences, panels or forums on behalf of their company, in order to promote the software they produce, or a new product or version release. These meetings are often attended by rival companies, potential clients and technically-minded individuals, so software engineers with an aptitude for marketing are best placed to answer technical questions, from how compatible their software is with certain pre-existing systems, to what methods were used to ensure the security of a product.