I passed the ocajp 7 exam yesterday and am curious about the next step up.
From an industry point of view, would a potential employer seriously consider an applicant with the OCPJP qualification but with no professional experience,
ahead of someone with (eg) 2 years experience, but no certification. My understanding is that it could take about 6 months to pass this test, and thats
a huge investment. I guess that, i need to know that this investment will be worthwhile.
I think it really depends on what part of the world you live in. Here in the UK it has been my experience that companies aren't that interested in whether you have an OC-whatever qualification and prefer to take you on experience and merit. I do not have any of these qualifications and I've yet to be asked about it.
You should probably do some asking around locally to you to see what is generally preferred. OCxxx qualifications or experience.
Most likely it'll be experience first, qualifications second. But you won't know that unless you ask.
Certifications are not deterministic in whether an employer offers you a job. The interview is, and your experience is. You have to pay your dues. If you have no experience, you need to look for ENTRY-level jobs. Thats why they call those ENTRY-level, for people who want to enter the profession.