7 Reasons Why You Should Obtain a Java Certification Today

If you're looking to turbocharge your IT career, then a Java certification is just what you need to increase your value and income in the job marketplace.

You see, year after year Java ranks as one of the most popular programming languages among developers.

Best of all:

It's a platform that offers programmers a wide range of opportunities to showcase their skills and express their creativity.

Also, by obtaining a Java certification, you're joining an elite group of programmers whose skills are needed in virtually every industry.

Plus, you get a real working lightsaber!

What Is a Java Certification

A Java certification tells potential employers that you're an industry professional with the knowledge and skills to create applications and develop software.

These certifications are often preferred in addition to a Bachelor's degree in computer science or some related degree.

Occasionally, you can find low entry-level positions that may require only an Associates degree and a certification, or just a certification.

Also, these entry-positions are likely going to be with smaller companies, such as startups.

oracle logo

Image: Public Domain, by Oracle Corporation, via Wikimedia

A Java certification is only available through Oracle.

Some essential skills you need to earn a Java certification are:

  • Reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Through programming and application development knowledge
  • A lot of patience
  • A deep understanding of the concepts within Java

The reasons to get a Java certification

You've taken the time to learn Java.

So why on earth would you need some fancy Java certification to prove your proficiency?

Well, it's not like employers are inherently distrustful and have a duty to protect their company and profits from sub-par Java programmers.

I mean, of course, they trust you.

It's just, they have to set certain standards to keep out the riff-raff, and Java certifications fill that need for many industries.

Besides:

They know that for a Java programming superstar such as yourself, earning a Java certification should be a piece of cake.

Right?

Okay, seriously here are seven good reasons why you should invest time, money, and effort into earning a Java certification.

#1 Hiring Preference

Many government agencies and consultancy organizations who work in government place great value in a prospect's Java certification.

While not every job requires a Java certification, there are a few out there.

However, most employers would prefer a certified Java developer over a non-certified one.

Passing a Java certification such as OCA or OCPJP7 with a good score, dramatically increases your chance of moving to the top of the call back list for top companies.

#2 Chest thumping catalyst

With a Java certification, you can walk around like a peacock with jeweled feathers.

That's because even without a lot of meaningful real-world Java programming experiences, you will be better grounded in the language.

In other words:

The knowledge you'll need to know for the Java certification test can also be used to blow your interviewer's socks off during a job interview.

Many certified Java programmers perform a lot better in interviews where they have to answer core questions than average programmers.

Additionally, they also perform better when asked those tricky fact-based questions that often stump many applicants.

Gaining this confidence will not only serve you well during interviews but it will also give you greater negotiating leverage and better offers.

Companies go gaga over hot talent, and with the right Java certification, you can set yourself apart from the pack.

Java was called Oak at the beginning"~Indiatoday.in

FUN FACT

#3 Power up your resume

Putting a Java certification on your resume can do nothing but make it shine even brighter.

It also helps if you don't have anything like good school grades or extracurricular achievements that stand out.

Not to mention:

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A Java certification is a significant gap filler for your resume.

Also, for many hiring managers, who may deal with hundreds if not thousands of applicants, it can be a qualifier to be among the first people he or she calls for an interview.

#4 It might help you get more mula

While no one can guarantee a better salary, having a Java certification will open more doors to higher paying jobs than for those without one.

Plus, you can't discount the negotiating power of someone who knows Java inside and out and can translate that knowledge into a mind-blowing interview.

But, keep in mind:

While it's good to have a Java certification, it's even better to score as high as possible on the certification test.

It's not much different than scoring high on a high school SAT; most good paying jobs want only the cream of the crop.

When companies can see that you've taken the time and effort to invest heavily into yourself, they may be more willing to pay top dollar for the fruits your investment.

#5 Java is free like the wind

Making a Java application is absolutely free.

Earning a Java certification may help you improve your skills so you can build applications which would make your portfolio shine even brighter.

#6 Possible reimbursement from your employer

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There are a lot of organizations and start-ups who will pay to help their employees improve their technical and soft skills.

This scenario is a win-win for both the company and the employee.

As the employee, you'll gain the knowledge and expertise the company needs in a particular role, as well as skills and experience you can take anywhere.

For the company, by paying for the certification, and in some cases the course material as well, they gain a skilled programmer for less than market value.

Yes, earning a bit less is a drawback.

However, if you're just starting out, it's an excellent opportunity to learn and grow your skills.

Many companies may also require you to work a minimum of six months or more once you've earned your certification.

#7 Respect from colleagues

It's tough being a new employee on a team.

In some IT environments, many new employees may find themselves surrounded by team members with years of more experience and knowledge.

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Best of all:

With a Java certification, along with being able to project a good understanding of Java, you may earn a few solemn nods of respect from seasoned coders.

Java Certifications: Exams, Costs, and More

When it comes to obtaining a Java certification, there are many different types and levels you can achieve.

As you progress, it may become necessary to obtain several certifications which will reflect the advancement of your Java skills and knowledge.

Here are the five levels of Java certification including their various types and costs.

Oracle Certified Associate Level (OCA)

Earning this Java certification means that you are armed with the most fundamental level of conceptual skills and knowledge.

Moreover:

It also shows your potential to progress to the next level during your early stage of employment.

Here are the different certifications in this category.

Java was created by accident~Indiatoday.in

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FUN FACT

Java Foundations Certified Junior Associate (novice-level certification)

By passing the Java Foundations Certified Junior Associate exam, you demonstrate the most fundamental knowledge of Java.

This certification is the very first stepping stone on your journey.

Here's what you'll need to know:

  • Understand Java programming language and concepts
  • Have mathematical, analytical, and logical problem-solving skills
  • Know how to write and execute a Java program
  • Experience working with Java Development Kit (JDK)
  • Experience working in Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
Java exam details:
  • Exam number: 1Z0-811
  • Exam title: Java Foundations (novice-level exam)
  • Format: multiple choice
  • Number of questions: 75
  • Duration: 150 minutes
  • Passing score: 65%
  • Validated against: Java Development Kit 1.8
  • Exam price: $90 to $110
Recommended training:
  • Java Foundations (Oracle Academy Course)
  • The Java SE 8 Fundamentals
  • Java SE Programming I
  • The Java Coding & Concepts with a Game: Java Puzzle Ball

Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8

The SE 8 Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) certification aides you in building a foundational understanding of Java while building your knowledge of general programming.

Here are the best technical backgrounds to have for this exam.

  • Program management
  • Technical management
  • Technical writing
  • System administration
  • Web development
  • Project management
Recommended training courses:
  • Java SE 8 Fundamentals
Exam preparation:
  • Certification Exam Prep Seminar: Java SE 8 Programmer I
  • Exam Prep Seminar Package: Java SE 8 Programmer I
  • Practice Exams: Oracle Authorized practice exam from Kaplan IT Training: 1Z0-808: Java SE 8 Programmer I
  • Sample Questions

These are the skills you'll cultivate while preparing for the exam:

  • Create command-line Java applications
  • Handle exceptions
  • Manipulate arrays and collections
  • Create conditional statements and loops
  • Use Java types
  • Understand and apply object-oriented concepts such as inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism
  • Take advantage of new Java SE 8 features, such as Date/Time API and Lambda expressions
Java exam details:
  • Exam number: 1Z0-808
  • Exam title: Java SE 8 Programmer I
  • Format: multiple choice
  • Number of questions: 70
  • Duration: 150 minutes
  • Passing score: 65%
  • Validated against: Java 8 SE
  • Exam price: $240 to $250

Oracle Certified Professional Level (OCP)

This certification proves that you have the skills and qualities as a professional programmer to work with Oracle technology.

Here are the different Java certifications available on this level.

Java is the second most popular programming language in the world~Indiatoday.in

FUN FACT

Oracle Certified Professional Java EE 7 Application Developer

This certification validates the programming competence needed to develop and deploy applications using Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 7.

It's geared toward intermediate to advanced level Java back-end and front-end application developers, software engineers, and architects


Plus, those with this certification can use Java EE 7 technology to create web-based user interfaces utilizing JavaScript along with JSFs, JSPs, and handle business logic.

The most current training and hands-on programming experiences along with previous Java SE certification is the preferable experience needed before taking this exam.

The Java E programming exam evaluates the ability to:

  • Utilize business logic using EJBs
  • Manage persistence using JPA entities and Bean Validation
  • Comprehend Java EE Architecture
  • Secure Java EE 7 Applications
  • Develop Java Web Applications using JSPs and Servlets
  • Utilize Java Message Service API
  • Develop SOAP Services using JAXB and JAX-WS APIs
  • Make Java Applications using WebSockets
  • Utilize CDI Beans, concurrency API, and Batch API
  • Utilize REST Services using JAX-RS API
  • Create Web Applications using JSFs
Java Exam details:
  • Exam number: 1Z0-900
  • Exam title: Java EE 7 Application Developer
  • Format: multiple choice
  • Number of questions: 70
  • Duration: 150 minutes
  • Passing score: 66%
  • Validated against: Java EE 7
  • Exam price: $240 to $250
Recommended training:

Developing Applications for the Java EE 7 Platform Ed 1

Exam preparation:

Certification Exam Prep Seminar: Java EE 7 Application Developer

The Java mascot, 'The Duke' was created by Joe Palrang. Palrang is the same guy who has worked on the Hollywood blockbuster, Shrek.

FUN FACT

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Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer

After obtaining this certification, you should be able to:

  • Increase performance and improve code clarity using parallel and lambda streams
  • Significantly reduce development time
  • Gain greater flexibility in your programming
  • Master the new features within Java SE 8
Prior certification requirements

Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer

Recommended training courses:

Java SE 8 Programming

Exam preparation:
  • Certification Exam Prep: Java SE 8 Programmer II
  • Exam Prep Seminar Package: Java SE 8 Programmer II
  • Practice Exams: Oracle Authorized practice exam from Kaplan IT Training: 1Z0-809: Java SE 8 Programmer II
  • Oracle Practice Test Bundles for Java SE 8 BN-O809
  • Sample Questions
Java Exam details:
  • Exam number: 1Z0-809
  • Exam title: Java SE 8 Programmer II
  • Format: multiple choice
  • Number of questions: 85
  • Duration: 150 minutes
  • Passing score: 65%
  • Validated against: Java SE 8
  • Exam price: $240 to $250

Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 11 Developer

Those who earn this certification demonstrate great knowledge and skill in Java (Standard Edition) software development.

Also, they have a broad and thorough knowledge of the Java programming language, coding practices, and proficiency using the new features incorporated into Java SE 11.

This certification also reflects the developer's deep understanding of functional programming through lambda expressions and streams.

Additionally, developers will have also shown their more in-depth knowledge of object-orientation and modularity.

Here are the steps necessary to attain this certification.

Step 1

All candidates must first pass the Java SE 11 Programmer I 1Z0-815 exam.

Java Exam details:
  • Exam number: 1Z0-815
  • Exam title: Java SE 11 Programmer I
  • Format: multiple choice
  • Number of questions: 80
  • Duration: 180 minutes
  • Passing score: 63%
  • Validated against: Java 11
  • Exam price: $240 to $250
Exam preparation

Recommended training includes Java SE: Programming I Ed 2.

Step 2

After completion of the Java SE 11 Programmer I 1Z0-815 exam, all candidates must past the final  Java SE 11 Programmer I 1Z0-816 exam.

Java Exam details:
  • Exam number: 1Z0-816
  • Exam title: Java SE 11 Programmer II
  • Format: multiple choice
  • Number of questions: 80
  • Duration: 180 minutes
  • Passing score: 63%
  • Validated against: Java 11
  • Exam Price: $240 to $250
Exam preparation

Recommended training includes Java SE: Programming II.

Oracle Certified Master Level (OCM)

For Java OCMs, this certification demonstrates the highest level of knowledge, skill, and abilities in general Java programming.

In addition, Java OCMs can solve the most complex problems and difficult programming questions.

Here is the certification available at this level.

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Oracle Certified Master Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect

This certification represents the most prestigious Java credential for a Java developer.

Plus, it proves that you possess the knowledge and skills to execute Java application development at an enterprise level.

A master certified Java Enterprise Architect demonstrates a wide range of skills that go far beyond basic Java programming.

The role of a Java Enterprise Architect involves:

  • Defining and analyzing requirements
  • Developing blueprints for robust enterprise application
  • Overseeing accurate execution

In other words:

This certification means you're a pretty big deal.

The process for attaining your master certification is a lot more expensive and complicated than any of the previous certifications.

Here are all the steps you'll need to complete before attaining this level.


Step 1

The first step to a master certification involves the completion of one of the following courses.

  • Java Design Patterns
  • Developing Applications for the Java EE 6 Platform
  • Java SE 7 Fundamentals
  • Developing Applications with Java EE 6 on WebLogic Server 12c
  • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design Using UML
  • Java EE 6: Develop Web Services with JAX-WS & JAX-RS
  • Java EE 6: Develop Business Components with JMS & EJBs
  • The Java SE 8 Fundamentals
  • Java SE 7: Develop Rich Client Applications
  • Developing Applications for the Java EE 7 Platform
  • Java EE 6: Develop Database Applications with JPA
  • Java SE 7 Programming
  • Architect Enterprise applications with Java EE
  • Java EE 7: New Features
  • Java SE 8: Programming
Step 2:

You can also submit your completion of one of these discontinued Java courses.

  • Java Programming Language
  • Developing Secure Java Web Services
  • Java EE 6

Please Note:

While these courses are still being offered as a self-study course, self-study courses do not fulfill the training requirement for certification.

  • Java SE 6
  • Developing Web Applications using JSF Technologies
  • 95 percent of enterprises use Java for programming."~Techworm.net

    FUN FACT

    Step 3

    You must pass the following exam.

     Java Exam details:
    • Exam Number: 1Z0-807
    • Exam Title: Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Certified Master
    • Format: Multiple Choice
    • Number of Questions: 60
    • Duration: 150 minutes
    • Passing Score: 71%
    • Validated Against: Java EE 6
    • Exam Price: $240 to $250
    Recommended training:
    • Architect Enterprise Applications with Java EE
    • Java Design Patterns
    • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design using UML
    • Developing Applications for the Java EE 6 Platform
    Additional information and preparation:

    Other Documentation:

    • Java ™ Cryptography Architecture(JCA) Reference Guide for JavaTM Platform Standard Edition 6
    • The Java EE 6 Tutorial
    • Real World Java EE Patterns-Rethinking Best Practices by Adam Bien
    • Oracle Technology Network Article

    Oracle Courseware:

    • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design Using UML
    • Architect Enterprise Applications with Java EE
    • Developing Applications for the Java EE 6 Platform
    • Java Design Patterns
    Step 4

    Pass exam assignment.

    Java Exam details:
    • Exam Number: 1Z0-865
    • Exam Title: Java (EE) Enterprise Architect Certified Master Assignment
    • Format: performance-based
    • Number of Questions:  Not applicable
    • Duration: six months from assignment purchase
    • Passing Score: Subject to validation of assignment percentage
    • Validated Against: Java EE 5 and 6
    • Exam Price: $240 to $250
    Recommended training:
    • Architect Enterprise Applications with Java EE
    • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design Using UML
    Java Website

    Image: CC BY 2.0, by Brian Pitts, via Flickr

    Additional information and preparation:

    For the best exam preparation, you'll need a combination of hands-on-experience (attained through labs and-or field experience) and Oracle training.

    These preparation courses are no longer being offered via the Oracle website but may be available via an independent local or online educator.

    • Developing Applications for the Java EE 5 Platform
    • Developing Architectures for Enterprise Java Applications
    Step 5

    If you failed the 1Z0-865, you must resubmit the assignment before going further.

    Java Exam details:
    • Exam Number: 1Z0-867
    • Exam Title: Java (EE) Enterprise Architect Certified Master Assignment for Resubmission
    • Format: Performance-based
    • Number of Questions:  Not applicable
    • Duration: Six months from assignment purchase
    • Passing Score: Subject to validation of assignment percentage
    • Validated Against: Java EE 5 and 6
    • Exam Price: $240 to $250

    The recommended training is the same as the previous step.

    Step 6

    This exam is in essay format and will be the final test you'll have to pass before can earn your Java OCM.

    (Designer_start) Please place an image here (Designer_end)

    Java Exam details:
    • Exam number: 1Z0-866
    • Exam title: Java (EE) Enterprise Architect Certified Master Essay
    • Format: Essay
    • Number of questions:  Not applicable
    • Duration: 120 minutes
    • Passing score: Subject to validation of assignment percentage
    • Validated against: Java EE 5 and 6
    • Exam price: $240 to $250

    The recommended training is the same as the same from step four.

    Step 7

    This step is probably the easiest you'll need to complete.

    All you have to do now is complete and submit a course submission form.

    Completing this task does two things:

    • Triggers a request for Oracle to verify your attendance in an approved hands-on course
    • After attendance verification, the form generates a permanent record in Oracle's certification database showing that you've met the requirement

    ava practically runs on 1billion plus smartphones today because Google’s Android operating system uses Java APIs."~Techworm.net

    FUN FACT

    Oracle Certified Expert Level (OCE)

    This certification recognizes expertize in particular, niche-oriented technologies, domains, or architectures.

    These credentials are independent of the OCA, OCP, and OCM hierarchy but do build off the skills learned to attain these certifications.

    Additionally, as of March 31, 2019, Oracle retired all Java expert certifications.

    Instead, Oracle folded the five specialized certifications into the Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Oracle Certified Master certification.

    Here are the five certifications previously offered at the expert level that are now included:

    • Java EE 6 Enterprise JavaBeans Developer Certified Expert 1Z0-895
    • Java EE 6 JavaServer Faces Developer Certified Expert 1Z0-896
    • The Java EE 6 Web Services Developer Certified Expert 1Z0-897
    • Java EE 6 Java Persistence API Developer Certified Expert 1Z0-898
    • Java EE 6 Web Component Developer Certified Expert 1Z0-899

    (Designer_start) Please place an image here (Designer_end)

    Oracle Certified Specialist (OCS)

    As the name suggests, OCS certifications are highly-specialized certifications targeted to very focused skillsets or products.

    Also, as with OCE level certifications, these are also independent of the OCA, OCP, and OCM hierarchy.

    That said:

    For Java programmers, the Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Oracle Certified Master certification equates to the OCS.

    High Paying Jobs You Could Land with a Java Certification

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    (DESIGNER_START)

    NOTE TO DESIGNER: Create a graphic such as the one shown in this hyperlink and use the verbiage below.
    NOTE TO DESIGNER: Start with Master at the top, put each bullet point in a separate box (see the example infographic in the hyperlink above).

    Oracle Certified

    Master Level jobs

    • Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect
    • Java EE 6 Web Component Developer
    • A Java EE 6 Web Services Developer
    • Java EE 6 Javaserver Faces Develper
    • A Java EE 6 Enterprise JavaBeans Developer
    • Java EE 6 Java Persistence API Developer

    Oracle Certified Professional Level

    Jobs

    • Java EE 7 Programmer
    • A Java SE 8 Programmer
    • Java SE 11 Developer

    Oracle Certified

    Associate Level 

    Jobs

    • Junior Java SE 8 Programmer

    There are tons of jobs out there looking for someone with Java skills.

    Here are just a few examples from recent job postings in California.

    Note:

    These jobs start from around $95,000 to over $140,000 per year.

    • Sr. Security Software Engineer
    • Hadoop Administrator
    • Salesforce Software Developer
    • Sr. Site Reliability Engineer
    • Senior Programmer I - Customer Relationship Management
    • ServiceNow Systems Engineer
    • Software Engineer - IT Graduate Internship
    • Sr. Software Developer
    • Backend Software Engineer
    • Junior Level Java Developer
    • Entry Level Java Developer
    • Electronic Data Interchange - IT Graduate Internship
    • Software Code Automation - IT Graduate Internship

    Here's a general range of salaries by occupation from 2015.

    Note, that these salaries vary based on experience, location, and the employer.

    • Software engineer: $59,000 to $122,000
    • Senior software engineer: $73,000 to $132,000
    • Java developer: $48,000 to $102,000
    • Senior Java developer: $70,000 to $122,000

    Tips for Earning Your Java Certification

    Earning your Java certification won't be easy.

    However, we have a few tips that can help you get the most benefit from your investment in hard work, time, and money.

    Tip #1: Code code code every day day day

    We simply cannot emphasize enough on how important it is to code every day.

    You need to eat, sleep, and breathe coding until it becomes a part of how you think.

    You see:

    Coding, making mistakes, and fixing errors will help you with real-world problems that you'll run into on the Oracle exams.

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    Image via giphy.com

    Break out that pencil and paper, and start writing out your code. Doing this will help you learn faster as it ingrains information into your brain differently than typing. 

    Protip 

    Tip #2: Find the right course and join it

    Online courses are some of the best ways to learn Java in a relatively short amount of time.

    Oracle offers many courses and materials on learning Java, but you can also find courses offered on other venues such as Udemy.

    Just keep in mind:

    Online courses are not for everyone.

    In other words:

    You may do better in a traditional class environment where you have the benefit of an experienced professional guiding your studies.

    For the best one on one experience, traditional colleges are the way to go, although they are by far the most expensive learning option.

    Also, you can try a coding boot camp for some quick hands-on experience.

    However, coding boot camps and most online courses won't allow you to earn a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science unless a traditional university or college offers it.

    Tip #3: Find a good study book and read it every day

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    There's no better companion than a good study guide specific to your certification when preparing for your Java certification exam.

    The best guides will cover all the exam topics, and give practice questions at the end of each chapter.

    Plus, they will share a lot of exam-specific tips that you won't see in most regular Java books.

    You can find a lot of great study books out there on the market.

    Here are just three examples:

    • OCA Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer I by Jean Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff
    • The OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Certification Guide (Exam 1Z0–808) (Mala Gupta)
    • Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer Exam 1Z0–809 By Ganesh, Hari, and Tushar

    Tip #4: Use a good exam simulator

    After you've found your study guide, the next thing you'll need is a good exam simulator.

    This is a must if you wish to score high on your exam, but it's not required if you just want to pass.

    As it turns out:

    By using the exam simulators, you can boost the speed and accuracy needed to complete all the questions in the allotted amount of time.

    You can also complete a few mock tests until you reach your desired score with some consistency before taking the real deal.

    Here are a few recommended exam simulators:

    • 1
      Whizlab's Exam Simulator: Perhaps the best out there.
    • 2
      Enthuware's Practice Test: It's very cheap, tried and tested by many Java developers.
    • 3
      David Mayer's Practice Test: If you want to go the extra mile, you can solve 450 plus problems on this test.
    • 4
      Java Certification: OCA (1Z0-808) Exam Simulation: Over 250 Multiple choice quiestions with explanations.
    • 5
      Java Certification: OCA (1Z0-808) Topic-wise Tests: Multiple choice questions covering all the exam objectives.

    There are over 9 million Java developers across the Earth.
    That’s more than the population of New York City!"~Vtrac.com

    FUN FACT

    Tip #5: Become active in Java forums

    Forums are a great way to stay up-to-date and motivated for your exam and other Java-related topics.

    Forums like CodeRanch or Oracle's official Java Certification Forum are great venues to pick the brains of some of the best programming minds.

    For example:

    You can ask questions, clear uncertainties, and network with other candidates preparing for the exams.

    Forums are great free (or at least very cheap) resources for information, knowledge, and motivation.

    Tip #6: Devour practice questions

    Try to understand and learn from as many practice questions as you can.

    Note how I said "understand and learn," not just memorize.

    For Java certifications, you need to develop more than just simple memory recall; you need to understand the concepts.

    Even better:

    You can find tons of free online exams with great practice questions specific to your certification.

    Final tip: Create a portfolio

    While you're studying and coding, you definitely want to take on as many projects as you can and document them in your portfolio.

    You can find lots of free Java coding projects you can join online to add to your portfolio.

    In particular, this is important when employers require experience because often these projects can count toward that criteria.

    Build as many applications and work on as many team projects as you can.

    Earning your Java certification will be a proud moment in your life, an achievement worthy of celebration.

    Remember:

    You can do this.

    Now go out there and get it done!

    Has a Java certification helped your career? Tell us how in the comments!

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