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The big question: Is it worth it?

 
Greenhorn
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I'm sure everyone has heard this one before. However, instead of asking everyones opinion, I'd like to hear from people whose JCP certification has helped them in their careers. Promotions? Pay increases? Confidence?
How has it helped you?
 
Gary Wang
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Let me add by saying I'm a fan of the JCP.
Here's my scenario: I'm a graduating senior in college (CS) and I have been preparing for the Java Programmer exam. I am planning on taking the exam in the next few weeks. I've had a few people tell me that I'm wasting my time. However, I have not let them discourage me; for I feel I have learned A LOT during my preparation for the exam. Plus in the current job market I feel the certification can only help. I've been so happy with the learning that I've already picked up the SWCD book
 
Author & Gold Digger
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Gary,
Welcome to Javaranch, a friendly place for Java greenhorns
We have had that kind of discussion before and here are some pointers:
SCJD,SCJP: Did your salary increase?
Is Certification really worth it ?
Opinions on SCJP2 test
Also the following articles might be interesting:
You said "Certification"?
An SCJP 1.4 certification primer
Moreover, we ain't got many rules 'round these parts, but we do got one. Please change your displayed name to comply with the JavaRanch Naming Policy.
Thanks Pardner! Hope to see you 'round the Ranch!
 
Gary Wang
Greenhorn
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Thanks Valentin. I should have looked around a little more before opening my big mouth Thanks for the links. Looks like ppl have had heated discussion on this topic. Thanks again.
 
Ranch Hand
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I did prepare for this exam (1.2) earlier two times. Frustrated after 15 days of preparation because I never used I/O and AWT. But now the objectives look attractive to me.
What am I going to loose by taking this exam? I came out of school about 6 years ago. I didn't write any exam in the past 6 years. If I look back now I feel I wasted 6 years of my life without a major achievement. But now If I get this certificate after one year when I look back again I have some thing there.
 
Ranch Hand
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If (like me) you are trying to break into the Java technology market after years in other IT fields, the certification(s) don't appear to amount to much at all. But then it may just be that 35+ year-old thing that's knocked me off the 'wanted' list
But if nothing else, I have thoroughly enjoyed studying for, and writing the certification exams (SCJP2 and SCWCD). They gave me a disciplined approach to learning something new and the certification itself was just a cherry at the end.
But it certainly did not help to find a job, particularly in a market that asks for such specific skill-sets. Funny thing is, at 35+, I felt I am able to learn, absorb and apply myself a lot better in my career than I could in my younger 20's. Now if I could only convince those recruitment agencies out there
Good luck.
 
pie sneak
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What I've gotten out of it most is confidence. There's a reverse to that though - you'll be EXPECTED to know your stuff. An employer will rarely (if ever) say "Oh, you're certified?! Great - that means I know you're competent!"
I'm a recent graduate myself. This is possibly the worst of times for breaking into the Java IT market. I'm still working on it myself.
Another plus to the tests is that you are forcing yourself to study and learn the language. Do you honestly think you'd work as hard to learn the language if you didn't have an exam hanging over your head??? (That was really my motivation for even taking SCWCD - to force myself to study!)
 
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