I got my OCPJP certification last fall and now I plan to expand my knowledge in relation to the Java platform. My initial thought was to go for Oracle Certified Master for Java Developer (formerly SCJD). As far as I saw on the Oracle's site, this type of certification is prohibitively expansive because of the compulsory training that you have to attend to, which costs around $2000.
As far as I looked on the Oracle Certifications Site there are some certifications that don't require a compulsory expensive training and those are: Oracle Certified Expert Java EE 6 Web Services Developer, Oracle Certified Expert Java EE 6 Web Component Developer and there may be others.
What I am asking are the following:
1. Is Oracle Certified Master better for employment purposes than Oracle Certified Expert?
2. Given that I have the Programmer certification, what certification level do you recommend aiming for? OCE or OCM?
All these certifications test your knowledge about a different part of Java:
Java Programmer: java api
Web Component Developer: servlets & jsp
Business Component Developer: ejb
The OCMJD tests your capabilities as a developer. So you need to develop an application based on a set of requirements. It's a great and learningful experience, because although it's a small applications you have to make a lot of decisions. But since the mandatory course requirement the certification is expensive.
If I have to pay the certification myself, I would not take the OCMJD certification, just because it's that expensive. For such a cost I can take several other certifications (WCD, BCD,...) and prove my knowledge of several java technologies (which is never a bad thing for employment purposes).