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Can I pass SCJP without on-the-job experience?

 
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I just passed the SCJA last week with a decent score (90%), but found it quite difficult. I have 8 years of programming experience, but in a niche procedural language (SAS). My primary motivation for taking the exam was to have something on my r�sum� that indicates my interest in Java, and my ability at the basics. I am planning a career shift into Java, hopefully toward Web Services as I think this will fit my skills.

As many of you know, Sun currently has a promotion for most countries where you can buy the voucher by June 20th, and get a free retake of the exam if you fail. I am thinking about purchasing the SCJP voucher now to take advantage of this deal.

Since I would have 12 months in which to take the exam, do you think it is possible to pass without any on-the-job experience? I hope to be in a Java job in the next 12 months, but don't know if that will happen. If not, my only Java experience would be what I work on in my own time. I am spending most of my free time doing Java, but it is still limited. In addition, I would likely study from the Bates and Sierra study guide, and use free resources as available online.

1. Sound possible?
2. Is it worth it? I know, hard question. I was just searching Monster.com, a popular job site here in the US, and very few list Sun Certification at all. Those that do seem to want the SCJD and above. I feel like the SCJP would be an advantage, but not if no one cares to begin with!

Thanks for your input!
Rory
 
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If you want to go into a Java job and without any Java experience I would say yes this would be good and 1 year is more than enough time to learn Java and pass SCJP.

The fact is, is that without Java experience you have to sort of stand out against all the others when applying for jobs, and although the SCJP won't get you the job, it will help you get ahead others in the same position as you but without the Java experience or the exam.

Any qualification to better yourself can never be a bad thing I say. Go for it and good luck. Sounds to me though after 8 years experience (where you're probably considered a senior) you are going to be starting from the start in terms of job role. You have to ask yourself, is this is a career move or is it just something you want to do?
 
Rory Thomas
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Originally posted by Mustafa Musaji:
Sounds to me though after 8 years experience (where you're probably considered a senior) you are going to be starting from the start in terms of job role. You have to ask yourself, is this is a career move or is it just something you want to do?



Thanks for the reply and the encouragement. Yes, I am very senior (Consultant Developer, now Senior Manager), but I need a change! It is both a career move and something I enjoy. I am lucky in that I can afford to make less money in the short-term to pursue something I enjoy. In addition, I think Java will give me more options in where to live in the future, since it is so widely used.

In the past, I was afraid to leave a good job. however, as I get older, I realize that you must pursue your dreams now...or never! "Never" no longer seems like a good option to me.

More replies appreciated!
[ June 09, 2008: Message edited by: Rory Thomas ]
 
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I passed it without job experience most people can do it within 3-6 months studying.
 
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On the job experience is not necessary, some jobs might not even be particularly helpful in preparing you.
 
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