I have completed my SCJP last year and wishing to take the SCJD/OCMJD exam. On the Oracle website it mentions the following:
This course counts towards the Hands-on course requirement for the Java SE 6 Developer Certification. Only instructor-led inclass or instructor-led online formats of this course will meet the Certification Hands-on Requirement. Self Study CD-Rom and Knowledge Center courses DO NOT meet the Hands-on Requirement.
I am not exactly sure what this means? Does it mean it is mandatory to attend a inclass instructor or pay for a online format?
When I did my SCJP I prepared using Books and Online websites. Having read the above I am little bit confused.
You attend a course and you'll get a voucher to take the corresponding certification exam. If you keep an eye on these certifications, you maybe can benefit of a promotion. I paid 2000 euros for a Spring MVC training. If you'll work in a Spring environment in near future the Spring Core training (and certification) is your best option.
If you don't want to spend that money, then you can take the regular certifications (Business Component Developer, Web Component Developer,...).