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Java Certification

Cindy Gusmano

Joined: May 02, 2001
Posts: 4
I have been attending college for the past year studying programming languages and have decided to take time off for awhile and get ready to take the Sun certification test. I love Java, but I don't have any real world programming experience.
Could someone give me some advice about how likely it is that I will be able to find a job without experience, please.
I want to get a job before going back to college. I really appreciate your help.
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
The fact that you are taking a break after your first year at college bothers me. Why are you taking a break?
Under no circumstances should you postpone college just to take the SCJP2 exam. If all you have is partial college and the SCJP2 and no experience - you will not get the greater than $8/hour IT job. More than likely, no job at all. I am 100% certain on that fact.
Your #1 priority is to get that bloody CD Degree.
Your #2 priority is to grab an internship - doing ANYTHING in the IT industry. Even if you are an intern with IBM - pouring coffee 90% of the time - you will get some experience. And 3 months with IBM is three months with IBM.
Regarding internship pay - it varies widely. Who cares, as long as it will pay the rent and some food.
Exposing the myth. The IT industry is not a job - it's a career. And for most (there are exceptions) of us, we have had to climb up the ladder. There is no "magical solution". It's a lot of hard - bust your butt off work. Sorry, but that is reality in this game.
So what should you do?
If you are taking a break from college - that is fine. But use the time in an internship or some IT company role. It won't be as a Java developer. More than likely you will be proofing code - or testing - or doing production support. Expecially, since you mentioned you are just getting started in school.
There are low paying IT jobs out there doing production support and meaningless tasks (tape backups / batch cycle operator). This is where you are going to have to start. They only pay about $8-$10 to start. And alot of them are the graveyard shift.
Even working as a lab monitor in college will help.
Talk to the career services people. Visit with them every day.
The CS major is difficult enough - you don't want to work 40+ hour week in the IT industry at $8-$10 per hour. And then go to class and then hit the books for 3 or 4 hours.
If you think classes are hard and time consuming now - just wait until you hit the junior and senior years. See those guys in the library at 2AM. Well that's you during your last 2 years. Reason for the 70-80% dropout rate.
Not only do you have exams - but you have projects. And if it isn't the CS-classes - it's the myriad of physics/math/economics/english classes that will keep you tied up.
Going back to your original question:
"Could someone give me some advice about how likely it is that I will be able to find a job without experience."
It won't happen. No degree / No certification = No real full time job. No degree / Yes certification = Perhaps something - but it will be a total bear to find. Who knows what this market is doing. On one hand we hear good news from CNN about college hiring this year. On the other hand, unemployment is the highest since 89 or 91.
So what should you do?
Grap an internship this summer. See if you can CO-OP this fall with the same company. Not all schools will do this. But some let you work 6 months at a company - and earn credits for doing this. Usually the company pays you like $500/week and the 6 credit tuition bill.
Now you have grabbed experience / $$$ / and college credits all in one shot.
Sorry about all the negative news. But I have found the IT industry to be a total pain in the butt to get started in. But, I have stuck it out and have had a lot of fun the past 5 years. Even got an MS-Computer Science degree paid for. Took 3 separate companies (EDS / Lehigh Univ / Osh Kosh Little Brats Clothing) to do it - but hey - that's the game.
Been laid off 3 times (EDS / Lucent / AMS) in the past 5 years.
Looking at another 1800 mile relocation back to PA in the next few weeks. See how 3rd round of interviews go.
Wow!!! That's a lot of typing.
Gotta run,
John Coxey

John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Tom Hennigan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 25, 2001
Posts: 71
Sound advice John. I have yet to hear of anyone hired based soley on a an industry certification on the programming-side - not by my company, not by any of the companies that we contract to. A very small sample in the sea of situations, but a representative one. At very minimum, shoot for a 2-year degree and some volunteer work on a coding project of some size.
Passing as many Java certifications along the way will certainly point out a specialty, however. And, I think that successful Java study will complement your learning in other computer science classes.
Good luck!

Tom Hennigan
Sun Certified Java 2 Platform Programmer

Tom Hennigan<P>Sun Certified Java 2 Platform Programmer
Rebecca Mathew
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 23, 2000
Posts: 30
Now that I read this thread, I think that I am in a worse situation than Cindy . I have just passed the SCJP exam, and was sailing on cloud 9, but reading this thread has brought me back to the ground with a THUD (Especially John Coxey....hard news but true
Now here's the difference. I am in India, and the slowdown in the US has affected us as well. No one does job-hopping like before.....but that don't bother me...I know I am here to stay. Fancy words...I know...but I am sure I mean them.
I have also planned to change fields....(its just that, its all happened at the wrong time). Believe it or not, I have a diploma in Hotel Management and a few computer-courses certificates up my sleeve....and I donot see a very bright horizon. Six months of sales experience in the travel industry. The computer certificates I have, include one in C programming, one in Unix OS and one in Oracle. Now here comes the HARDEST part, I have NO real-world programming experience .
I want to stay in this field, donot plan to shift any more. Could someone suggest what do I do? I knew that getting a job won't be easy so have decided to take up a small job as a retail- exec with a finance comapany and do some projects on my own....thinking that this would increase my worth in the eyes of future employers.
Does someone have any other suggestions.....I welcome them all.
Joel Cochran
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 23, 2001
Posts: 301
I'm not sure how applicable this will be, but let me tell you how I got into the IT field and maybe it will spark some ideas.
With no IT training or computer experience beyond normal office stuff, I got a job at a large software company just answering the phone and routing support calls to the appropriate departments. During this period, I found out where the greatest need was for Application Support.
I became friendly with the manager of that Application team, and when one of the team members was going to be out for surgery, I volunteered to "fill in" on the phones temporarily. A couple of months later I had learned the applications, knew the clients, and learned quite a bit about the DataBase to boot! When the other team member returned, they asked me to stay on the team permanently, which I of course accepted.
Over the next few months, I became very interested in programming and learning the technical side. I had been doing queries, analyzing files, comparing program code releases to find mismatches, all sorts of stuff just no actual coding. As a result, when I expressed interest in becoming a programmer the company trained me in-house! After the training, they even paid for my MS degree in CIS.
Basically my career in IT was a happy accident. The point I'm trying to make though is that if you are interested, you should take any job you can get in an IT company and work your way up the ladder. If you show interest and competence, most companies will respond well.
Best of Luck
I'm a soldier in the NetScape Wars...

Wait a minute, I'm trying to think of something clever to say...<p>Joel
Rebecca Mathew
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 23, 2000
Posts: 30
Thanks Joel , for sharing that happy story....and that advice. You be sure, I have taken it.
Anju Jha

Joined: Jun 26, 2001
Posts: 3
Hello everybody
i have read all ur discussion. Iam a computer engineer and I have passed this year only. As u Know IT condtion is very bad that they are not taking any fresher. The languages I know are c, core java, c++, html,javascript. But I feel knowing all these are worthless without experience.Can u suggest on this and should i proceed for portal as somebody suggested me. Pz reply me
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Java Certification
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