I think the SCJA certification is an excellent certification to have on your curriculum vitae.
If you're interested in adding a little bit more to your knowledge base, a nice IDE certification is good to have. It lets people know you can work with a development tool as well. Of course, most IDE's are vendor specific, but they're good to have.
SQL skills are great as well. Every job I've ever had required some knowledge of SQL and a database. Even just a college course in SQL looks great on a resume, even if it's not a full certification or diploma. You gotta know your basic select and inserts, and the odd join as well.
Above all, you've got to have the right attitude. You've got to show an eagerness to learn, and a willingness to solve problems. If you can show this type of enthusiasm to an employer, (and if it is genuine, it will show) then you will succeed in the industry, regardless of the number of diplomas or certification you have under your belt.
Thanks for the input Cameron. I'm in a similar situation as Michael...no "on the job" programming experience, but plenty of college and self-study. All of my on the job experience is in Tech Support/Networking, and I'm regretting having gone that route instead of programming, so I'm trying to make the switch. I've got your SCJA book on order right now, and have read HF Java. My plan is to get the SCJA by the end of January. I know Websphere/J2EE is in demand at the client-site I currently work at, so I'm hoping the SCJA will be enough to show that I'm serious in my interest. Your "What is Websphere?" book is next on my shopping list after the SCJA.
Michael Raymond Jr.
Joined: May 16, 2005
I'm in the EXACT situation as you Craig. I've been doing technical support during college and still am after college and can't seem to get out of it, and since I've done some programming in college I am looking to Java to get me out of my situation.
Cameron, one thing is that I'm looking for, and you did at least partially answer, is what looks good on the resume. I'm currently in no position for anyone to even consider my resume so I can't even get an interview and hope to impress with character alone.
So far the verdict is Java cert(s) + SQL (anyone done the OCA - is it valuable?) + IDE experience/cert(is websphere a IDE cert??).
subject: Entry level skills for American job market