I see a lot of discouraged SCJP's here and I've personally benefited from Javaranch's discussion forums so I feel obligated to share my story with you. I spent 3 months studying by myself and eventually got certified in August of year 2000 (yes, about a year ago). I thought it'd be easy for me to get a job since I got certified, but I was a bit disappointed after a while because I don't have the "work experience". Sounds familiar? After doing lots of searching and follow-ups within the same company I've been with, I finally got some interviews and was offered a job as an entry level Java worker (they have some really nice title for it, but I don't believe the title applies to what I will be doing so I won't use it here). I'll be spending most of my time debugging Java/XML code, which I don't have a problem with since that's at least some sort of Java work. That's about it for my story. Yes it's short, but my experience looking for a Java position taught me a few things: - It's never gonna be easy, especially if you aren't currently working with Java. It took me 3 months of 5-hour nights and after being certified another 8 months to get a Java position, and that's within the same company! - It might not be what exactly I wanted to do, but it's one step closer - No matter what you think, going through the certification does have its benefits. I view it as an opportunity to really understand the language. It felt so good to be confident in a technical interview and be able to clearly explain what you know about Java, it makes you eager to get more questions from the interviewer! Bottom line - Don't give up!
I also cleared my SCJP in the month of feb and I am still searching for the job and the worst is IT boom is also over so I see no hope to get a job in near future in Java may be inDatabase but certainly not in Java. Up till now I have given 8 interviews but I was not able to get one Job.