I passed my SCJP long ago, and want to do either SCWCD or SCEA now (ok, I am planning to start working on it now). I missed SCWCD beta due to project deadlines.
Which seems to be a better choice at this stage? I have about 5 years of experience, and have worked on core Java, Servlets, JSP, Struts and a bit of J2ME as well. Yeah, I know EJB but don't like it much!
What are the costs involved for these certifications? How's the path/procedure and reputation? Would appreciate your inputs. These days I have become a bit lazy about searching non-work related suff on the net. I think that increases my productivity and keeps me focussed.
If you looking for these certifications to give you a great career then you are mistaken. Certification does certainly help you improve your knowledge but does not make you an expert. I have both SCWCD and SCEA but did not help.
SCEA will cost you around 28,500 INR, assuming that you are in India and Sun hasn't revised the fee.
Sun has beta exams quite often, I would suggest you keep a watch on them. The new SCEA, Java Tiger beta will happen at the end of the year.
I would say SCWCD for sure, then SCBCD, then SCEA.
In fact, apart for your personal benefit, certs are valuable for employers only if they confirm your carrer situation and function. If you are a Java programmer, SCEA is totally useless because anyone can pass a cert even tough with much work despite no experience, but if you are employed since a good deal of time as lead Developer and have SCEA, then it is higly probable you own the practical skills your cert suggests. Appart from enhancing your knowledge, on the job field your certs MUST match your carrer level to be any worth.
What is more, moving from SCJP to SCEA looks totally insane to me, like passing from apprentice to expert without any level between. SCEA implies an AWFUL LOT of sophisticated techologies to practice, either standard or so promising or widespread you must know them anyway : EJB, JNDI, JSP, Servlets, JDO, JSP, Struts, ANT, RDBMS, concurrency/transactions, XML, Web Services, application servers management, OS network services management, HTML, Java, DotNet theory for comparison, ..., I forget many but many of these items deserve a full job of their own. Passing intermediate certs will leverage much the hardship of the enormous step between SCJP & SCEA.
What is more SCEA is quite expensive for there are 3 paying parts which need someone to supervise you, while SCWCD & SCBCD are much cheaper (about 150 U.S $), so it is much more sensible to take SCWCD & SCBCD anyway.