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Is it worth the time and effort?

Paul Coates
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 08, 2003
Posts: 5
Hi All,
I am new to the javaranch and I have been wondering around. Is getting the SCJP worth the time and effort? Has it directly helped anybody here get a job? I am working on my bachelors degree but will not finish for a couple of years so I am thinking about working on my SCJP in the meantime. Thanks for any opinions/facts!!
Andres Gonzalez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
Effort? what effort?
If you are recruiting for 1 position that is available and you have 2 excellent candidates, but one of them is SCJP and the other not, which one would you choose?
I'm not trying to say that SCJP will give you a job straight, but the possibilities are more. It can also show your employer that you're able to learn and study by yourself, and I think this is valuable.
My $0.02
BTW, welcome to javaranch
[ August 08, 2003: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]

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Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

IMHO: A programmer's Cert alone will not get you a job. You need to have experience and real knowledge to back it up. You'll get out of the exam what you put into it.
If you look at the Exam as a way to better understand the quirks and nuance of Java, then that's exactly what you'll get and you'll become a better programmer because of it.
If you look at the Exam as a way to beef up your resume and you don't really care about retaining the information, then that's all you'll get.
Personally I took the first one -- I found that answering people's questions in here really helped me to make sure I understood what was going on in the exam. WHY it worked that way and even HOW to use it ('cause I wrote a lot of l'il programs to test stuff on). And now, after the exam, I think I'm a stronger programmer. I code quicker because I'm able to spot compiler errors before I run the compiler and I'm able to use API correctly without having to look up each one in the documentation.
But anyway -- that's my take.
Ross Goldberg
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 09, 2003
Posts: 63
Much like what Andres said (and Jessica w/r to the experience), a cert will usually NOT get you in the door....but when it comes to deciding between candidates and you're one of the finalists, it will almost always give you an edge, at least w/r to that credential (if it is their primary focus...for example, a java programmer job).
I used to have an MCSD (which I am just about to start pursuing again as well), and that was the difference that got me my job that I've held for 5 years now. Right skill, right place, right time, right CONTACTS (NEVER underestimate the importance of contacts you have in other organizations---your best chance for getting hired!!).
My 2 cents.
Ross
Paul Coates
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 08, 2003
Posts: 5
Thanks for the replies!! There is a ton of information in the forums and it seems as people really try to help out when they can.
 
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