Hi fello Java programmers, Last year I got my certs in SCJP2 and SCWCD and was preparing for Weblogic 7 when I realized that there's very little work available in J2EE these days, at least in the NY market. The positions that are available -- the prestige and high-paying jobs -- are on Wall St. and they require advanced knowledge of derivatives, quant, risk analysis, etc. plus degrees in math, economics or related fields. Usually a C++ background is required as well. Knowledge of J2EE seems to be almost an afterthought. Certifications have little or no meaning to the people hiring for these positions. Almost all jobs in NY have these requirements. Luckily I've found a job as a desktop application support person and the law firm is very pro-Microsoft certification so I've decided to go for a couple of MS certs. Namely, the VB or C# desktop applications track. The job pays well, not as much as the Investment Bank developer jobs, there's no title, and expense account but it's sure beats being unemployed.
I second this sentiment -- in NYC J2EE is not a sensible path, as one might think, for web developers to pursue, unless they have a financial background. For a vast majority of companies developing websites, J2EE is too expensive and complex. Financial companies are not simply developing websites, but complex distributed applications with critical security and transaction needs. Hence their need for J2EE. All of my contract work this past year has been with ASP.NET, C#, Cold Fusion and PHP. These environments are much faster (hence less overhead) to develop with, and provide an easy to use subset of the functionality offered by J2EE, which covers the needs of most web projects very well. While I have developed one large application, and many smaller ones, using Weblogic/Struts, this serves better to qualify me as an advanced developer outside of the J2EE marketplace, rather than a poorly valued candidate within it.