[I originally wrote this to someone else asking them for advice and help, yet thought I'd post here too.]
I am curious about the outlook of getting a Java programming job in the future. I am interested in the bigger enterprise related stuff. I do not have a college degree, yet have been coding professionally for about 10 years now (started during the dotcom boom/bubble). I am working (just recently) on getting Java certified for Developer and JEE paths. I am not sure if this would help greatly in getting a Java programming job, yet I feel it may be a nice test for myself to prove that I may know enough to be productive in the environment.
I haven't coded with Java professionally much, and just recently I've been getting into Java again. There are Java jobs out there and I tried for a few entry level ones (which should show how much I'm interested as I'm top of the food chain at my current job), yet they wanted working experience (like 2 years at least).
My current plan is to continue working on the two personal software projects (which I'm moving from Python to Java) I have to at least get practice in the Java arena. Also with the certifications, I think it should show some aptitude in Java programming for JEE space. I have also been looking into universities that offer online degrees, so I could at least have a BS degree (most online software ones are Java oriented anyways).
I am not a total Java newbie, just to many of the technologies. I am just looking to expand upon the current knowledge that I know and learn needed technologies for the current JEE marketplace/world.