Originally posted by Marc Peabody:
The true value of certification is the knowledge you gain. The exam objectives lay a strong foundation of knowledge that you will rely on and appreciate over the course of your career.
I agree, completely.
As far as technolgy goes, here is a "path" you can follow if you are interested.
1. Learn the Java its API and OO Basics, I mean really learn it, the nuances of it are very important in order to move forward. The BEST way since you don't have a job is to prepare for the SCJP and you may even want to do SCJD exam too, its a real project and will give you some good experience along the way.
2. Learn the servlet api backwards and forwards, this will help lay the foundation for higher level web framework abstractions like struts,webwork,tapestry,etc... best way to learn this is to prepare for SCWCD.
3. Learn SQL and JDBC. Make sure you understand the basic RDBMS concepts, inner joins,outer joins, a little bit about stored procedures, etc...
4. Refresh your HTML skills if needed, learn JSTL/JSP2.0 expresion language and Struts.
5. Get an understanding of EJB, its not very difficult once you sift through all the rubbish and get down to the core of it. Once again, preparing for SCBCD is an excellent way to really get a handle on this technology.
6. get a job
I personally reccomend highly ALL of the "Heads First" books. They are fantastic.
- forget about AOP,SOA,xDoclet,Hibernate,UML for now.