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Greenhorn
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I am looking for some advice. I graduated with a BS in Computer Science and recently returned from a deployment in Iraq. After returning, I applied to over 100 jobs, got one interview, and got hired. Now I am forced to take the SCJP 5 exam to keep the job. The maximum time-frame I have is the end of December to get the certification. If I don't get it, I get fired. Well, after finding that out on my first day, along with studying, I have started applying again to more jobs. I have only had one class in Java, so learning all this on my own in that time period is very very difficult. That is the reason I started searching for another job because I feel like that isn't right. Anyhow, I moved away from home and signed a year lease. I do need a job to survive, and I never seem to get a call back from any companies at all. Probably because I am fresh out of college with no experience. What should I look at? I definitly want to expand my career. I am getting frustrated because I don't know how to get start the right way in the IT industy. Any advice would be great. Especially if anyone has gone through what I am right now. Thank you very much.
 
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I think two months would be ideal to take the SCJP. Negotiate with your current employer and try to convince them that you will take it by the end of Jan next year. Visit the SCJP forum to find out what questions to expect and which book to buy ( I would recommend the book by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates. The SCJP study guide. ) If you want a quick cert go for SCJP 1.4. SCJP 1.5 can take time and requires more work.

Do your best to keep this job. Move out only when things turn tough. You can pass the SCJP, it just needs some effort from your side. Good luck
 
Greenhorn
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I dont think the SCJP should be too hard, but firing someone for not getting it within a month is prepostereous. A person can be much more productive working on projects during that time. If it's important enough to get fired over, then it sure as heck is important enough that the company should provide some training and classes on passing the exam.

As to getting another job, I'd offer the same advice I was given at the start of my career; make contacts. It's the single best thing you can do right now at this stage. The quality of your contacts should be at the top of your priorities.

Best of luck.
[ November 28, 2006: Message edited by: Abdulelah Dandachi ]
 
Ranch Hand
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Keep your cool, work really hard and you might pass the exam. Try to give as many mock exams as possible. Mock exams will show your strength and weaknesses. Work on your weaknesses and keep in mind that your first criteria while preparing should be to clear the passing percentage(52% for SCJP 1.4).
 
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Jason,
First of all, glad that you made it back from your deployment in Iraq. Compared to that, SCJP is nothing man. Keep your cool and concentrate on the prep material. To get your basics, try the book "Thinking in Java" by Bruce Eckel - that would give you a very good understanding about the basics of Java. Meanwhile good luck with your job search buddy!

Cheers
Ganpi
 
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You can pass SCJP in two months, at same time intensify your job search, any knowledge you gain in preparing for the cert will go a long way in landing you a new job. I know of a colleague who was fired when he did not pass his XML certification; it was not like the company provided him with any kind of support while he was preparing for the exam.
 
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Hi Jason,

I am also glad that you came back from Iraq. You can definetly pass your SCJP exam within the time limit they have given you, but you have to work out very very hard.

You may have to study atleast 2 to 3 hours a day + 1/2 an hour of browsing SCJP Forums here.

And about making contacts, it reminds me of a recent thread I started where people gave me lots of useful tips which you would like to read, Click here to read the thread.

All the very best!

Regards,
Srikanth
 
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If you have survived the harsh conditions of war in Iraq, SCJP would be a joke!!
Get a good book (I liked Kathy's book the best), get a good practice CD (I found the Self-Test software series from Prometric pretty useful) and go for it. 2 months should be plenty to study and crack it.

All the very best!
Amit
 
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