Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

Java Certification: Your Burning Questions Answered

We get a ton of questions from many of you who already hold a Java certification, or have considered one in the past. So, we thought it would be helpful to share some of the answers to our most frequently asked Java questions.

Q: I’ve been a Java Developer for years.  Why should I get Java Certified?

A:  Certifications hold much more value when combined with solid experience - so you're actually a perfect candidate for certification. Certification doesn't just validate what you know, it demonstrates your commitment to skill development. Check out our "Wanted: Java Certified Experts" post for more on this topic.

Q: I am a Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP). Does that make me an OCPJP now?

A: When you passed your exam, you achieved a “Sun Certified Java Programmer” certification. It's still completely valid and is the equivalent of the Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer certification, but your credential is still Sun branded. If you're interested in getting an Oracle Certified credential, you can upgrade your certification to the latest version. You can also select another Oracle certification in Java to pursue.

Q: I am certified on Java SE 1.4. Is my certification even still valid?

A: If you were certified on Java 1.4, your certifications are still valid for the version of Java that you are certified in. Upgrade exams are available for the OCP, Java Programmer exams and OCE, Java EE 6 exams to demonstrate your ability to work with the latest versions.

Q: Do I need to buy training classes from Oracle University in order to earn my Java certification?

A: Training is not currently a requirement for the OCA, OCP or OCE level Java certifications. Training is only a requirement for the Oracle Certified Master level certifications, which includes the OCM, Java SE 6 Developer and Java Enterprise Architect certifications. Master certifications are the most advanced credentials so we require training to help prepare candidates for the hands on nature of the exam and to ensure candidates have an in-depth expertise of the technology area.

Q: How different are the Java SE 7 certifications compared to the Java SE 6 certifications?

A: There are significant differences. We saw an opportunity to improve the Java SE 7 OCA and OCP exams to test a broader range of features and skills so they're more relevant to real-world job functions.  Both exams include more advanced content, which gives the credentials more value in the marketplace. We’ve also revised the path to require individuals to achieve their OCA certification before pursuing their OCP exam.  For those who already hold a SCJP or OCP credential, upgrade exams are available to the OCP, Java SE 7 Programmer certification without having to take the OCA exam first.

Q: For the Java SE 7 Certifications, why is OCA now a prerequisite for OCP?

A: With the release of Java SE 7, we saw an opportunity to improve both the OCA and OCP Certifications. In the past, the OCA exam covered more introductory and fundamental concepts so it was not highly sought-after or valued by hiring managers. The Java SE 7 OCA exam now covers more advanced content, content that was previously covered on the OCP exam. We also added additional objectives to the OCP exam to give it more value.  The result is that we now have two improved exams that will test you on a greater breadth of skills and position you for greater success.

What other questions do you have? Let us know in the comments below.

-Kate, Oracle University Market Development Manager

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