Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why become Java Certified? Does Oracle Certified Professional Earn more?

I have seen many Java programmers in doubt whether to go for Java certifications or not? Whether getting Java certified will help them to earn better salary? or after becoming Java certified from Oracle will help them to get a Job. In this article, we will see what are benefits of getting Java certified. I know higher income, better Job prospect and better chance of promotion is at the top of the benefits of becoming Java certified but these certification provides more value than that. Another common question many Java developer asked to me is, whether I should go for OCPJP 7 (Oracle Certified Professional for Java SE 7), or OCAJP 7 (Oracle Certified Associate for Java SE 7) or do you need to pass OCA before going for OCP Java SE 7?. One more doubt is in their naming, especially after Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. These certifications are known as different names e.g. SCJP (Sun certified Java Programmer) is still more popular name for Java certification than OCP. Well, getting Java certified and recognized is always good for your career, knowledge and confidence, but its even more important for beginners and junior Java developers, who has just started their career. They are the one who needs something extra, apart from their regular computer science degree to impress perspective employer and get an edge over other candidates. There are many advantages and reasons of why Java certifications like SCJP, also known as OCPJP is good for Java programmers, and everybody has their own reasons of getting certified. I think following 10 reasons make sense why should you become a Java certified professional :


Why become Java Certified

There are many reasons why should do OCPJP and become Oracle certified Java professional, and I am convinced with long term value it adds in your career, knowledge and personality, and I hope some of this reasons will also help you to see value of becoming Java certified. I know everybody has their own reason to go for Oracle certification, but better salary, more job opportunities and recognition top the list. I am also looking forward to hear your reasons of getting Java certified, I am sure this will help Java programmers who are looking to get certified, and looking for potential benefits it can add to their careers.


1) Opportunity to learn Java better
Java certifications gives you an opportunity to learn Java programming language very closely in short span of time. You not only learn about basics but also subtle details of essential Java APIs. Syllabus of  Java SE 7 exams are designed so well that you will be exposed to key Java concept, object oriented design patterns, file input output handling, exception handling, Java database connectivity, Java Generics and collection, Garbage collectors and different GC algorithms, multi-threading and concurrency and many more key topics are part of certification objective. Once a beginner goes through this rigorous syllabus he is bound to get a very good understand of Java programming language.


2) Help  to pass Java written tests
Java Certifications helps beginner to clear written tests. At fresher level, competition is much higher than at experienced level and many programmers applies for same job and companies often use written test to filter those large number of candidates. Once you are Java certified, there is very good chance that you will clear all these Java programming written tests with very little or no effort. Some companies even provides direct interview opportunities to Oracle certified Java developers. By the way, ready to prepare with coding questions, because Sun certification hardly test your programming or coding skill, which is also very important during Java interviews.


Why do Java Certification like OCA OCPJP 7
3) Hiring Preference
Many government organizations and consultancy companies who works in government project values Java certification highly. Not every Job says that Java certification is must but there are certainly few jobs out there, who prefer a certified Java developer than the non-certified one. By passing Java certification like OCA or OCPJP7 with good marks, a beginner improves his chances of getting called from these companies.


4) Confidence Boost
Java certifications gives your confidence a huge boost. Even without significant real life Java programming experience, you will feel that you know Java much better, this reflect in your interview and there it matter most. I have seen certified Java programmer performs lot better on core Java questions than normal programmers. They are also very good to answer those fact based tricky questions, about which you don't have any clue. This increase confidence not only helps to clear interviews but also to demand and negotiate better offers. Companies also recognize talent and they has reasons to offer you more.


5) Add value to Resume
Java Certification looks very good on resume. Especially if you don't have outstanding academic records or something on extra curricular which stands out, go for Java certification. This will fill your gaps in resume. It also sometime acts as filtering criterion. An hiring manager with 100 of resumes from freshers and junior Java developer has only limited time to conduct interviews. He will certainly call first 10 of them who has either outstanding academic records or Java certifications on their resume.


6) Better Salary
Though its not guaranteed, I have found that Java certified professional often gets better salary and package then Java developers with same skill set but not certified. One reason of this could be that employer value a Java Certified professional more than those who are not. Which is true, some companies especially mention that they will hire only Oracle Certified Professional. One reason of that is they save time and cost on examining candidate's basic Java skill by various online Java testing sites like brainbench, which is used by hiring managers to test Java fundamentals. Another reason of better package of certified Java professional can be attributed to confidence and negotiation power they achieved by doing well in Java certification. Once you are certified with 90+ score, you automatically feel a confidence in yourselves, which reflect when you interview and negotiate.


7) Opportunity to upgrade your Java knowledge
Java is changing and its changing fast. If you are reading blogs or following release notes of various JDK version, you should know that several new features are added and existing features are improved. Which means, the best practice you follow now may not be relevant when you move to higher Java version. For example, if you know Java 7 features, you will realize that their are better ways to do your day to day task. Come Java 8, you would see a radically different way of dealing with collections by using lambda expressions and streams. It's true that you won't get a real opportunity to use newest Java version in enterprise project, I know several projects are still using Java 1.6, and many are running on Java 1.5. By doing Java certification, you get a real opportunity to learn new Java features and how it affect your day to day job. Preparing for OCPJP Java SE 7 is much better than just reading a few articles here and there, because its more intense and active learning. What you learn by doing Java certification will remain with your for long time.


8) Reimbursement from Employer
Many good companies, start-ups encourage their employee to develop their technical and soft skills. It's win win for both company and candidate if he improves himself, that's why many companies pay for your certification cost, which sometime include cost of OCPJP, and cost of buying some courses or books. If your employer has such benefits, they you must take advantage of that. In fact this extra motivation, encourage many Java programmer to become Oracle Certified professional. By the way, it's worth to remember that, usually you have to work for minimum six month for same company, if they pay for your Java certification. If you leave the company, most likely they will deduct the paid money from your salary. So take note of that. It's best to go for Java certification as early as possible to reap maximum benefit.


9) Rejuvenate your learning Skill
Just like an artist never satisfied with his art, a programmer should never satisfied with his skill. It's a field of constant learning but like any thing else, your learning will get slower with time due to lack of goals, opportunity and doing same time of job again and again. Java Certification provides an opportunity to rejuvenate your learning skill. Every day you learn something new about Java programming language, e.g.  Java 7 features or something new about features which you thought you know quite well. Doing exercises, mock exams and answering some tough questions from Java simulators like WhizlabsEnthuware and others will really test your Java knowledge. So if you feel, your learning has become slow or you want to test your Java skill, going for OCPJP Java SE7 certifications are good option.


10) Recognition in Team
One more reason, why you should get Java certified is to improve your position in team. I have experience that, passing SCJP in past and OCPJP now days with good score improves your impression in team. People recognize your Java skill more than before, and develop high regard for your Java knowledge. This is really useful, it not only help you to make good friend, and increase your networking circle. If you participate in Java groups, then becoming Java certified also improves your position among your circle.


These are just tip of iceberg, there are many advantages and benefits of doing Java certifications, which comes time to time depending upon luck. For example, I have one of my colleague's family member who got Java development job, just because company was looking for a Oracle certified developer and he was the only one from all the applicants. So things happens and having something valuable like OCP on your resume is always good. So if you have time and desire to learn Java better, go and do your Java certification. Do it early in your career to get most out of your OCA or OCPJP 7.

All the best.

Further Reading
2 Books to prepare Java Certifications

2 comments :

arnold graaff said...

Agree entirely. If one of our clients get 2 CV's of juniors, one with the certification and one without, then they will definitely pick the one with certification, however they also need proof of practical abilities, that is why our java Bootcamp has 2 goals, one to pass international certification and two, to build a practical indistiral - grade project.

Anonymous said...

What is the value of Java certifications if you can get one for yourself by just reading Java certification dumps? There are lots of sites providing OCAJP and OCPJP dumps? Just read it for few days and get your shining badge of Oracle Certified Professional, probably easiest way to pass any test.

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