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Everything You Need to Know About Obtaining Them

The Java programming language has been around since 1995, introducing the “write once, run anywhere” pipe dream we’re still chasing with languages such as Swift and Kotlin. Like those newer languages, Java is iterative and borrows from C-based languages, ensuring it can evolve to meet increasingly modern applications.

As we near version 20 of the language, Java continues to enjoy widespread adoption, particularly in the mobile and enterprise realms. And despite some concerns that it might be losing ground to other, ultra-popular languages such as Python, knowledge of Java can still prove quite lucrative.

But can you land a Java-related job with skills alone, or can certifications give you an advantage in a crowded marketplace? We asked some experts about whether Java certifications matter, and why you should (or shouldn’t) obtain one.

What are the best Java certifications for job seekers?

Because Java was introduced by Oracle, Oracle is still the go-to for certifications. Oracle University has six unique certification paths for developers.

“The certification that really seems to matter most is the Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer credential, otherwise known as the OCJP,” says David Patterson-Cole, CEO at Moonchaser. “Recruiters are probably going to be on the lookout for well-known certifications, and with a well-known organization like Oracle backing this one, your resume has a better chance of standing out.”

There are two Java SE 8 paths: associate and professional. Keep in mind the associate level certification is a prerequisite for the professional certification.

Do you need a Java certification to get a job?

Leonid Ivankin, Android developer at MTS Group, tells Dice Java certifications are “irrelevant,” adding: “I know about Oracle certifications, but no one has asked me, my colleagues, or friends about them. Accordingly, no one receives them. It’s a marketing move.”

Instead, Ivankin urges you to build your skillset and build your knowledge of “algorithms, data structures, and design patterns.” Ivankin also believes the update process for Java, which is now every six months, can quickly make certifications obsolete: “If you receive the certificate today, it may be invalid tomorrow.”

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