Java Developer: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for java developers. Get the facts about education requirements, training programs, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Application Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Java Developer?

Java developers are experts with the computer coding language Java. Using Java specifically, these professionals create applications for the web. These applications might include the drop down menu animation or sounds whenever you click a mouse. Java is used exclusively as a financial coding language to collect data or to make sure users are who they say they are. Most Java developers mentor and give guidance to lower IT personnel to help debug or give instruction or research an issue.

Java developers create applications for websites using the Java programming language. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as a java developer.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree, master's degree preferred by some employers
Education Field of Study Computer science, software engineering, computer engineering technology, computer programming
Key Responsibilities Write website applications using Java programming, revise and update applications, code algorithms, validate user information
Certification Certification is voluntary
Job Growth (2014-2024) 19% (for all applications software developers)*
13% (for all systems software developers)*
Median Salary (2015) $72,936**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Educational and Training Programs Are Available for Java Developers?

A bachelor's degree is generally the minimum education you need to become a Java developer, and graduate degrees are sometimes preferred by employers. You could choose to pursue studies in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering technology or computer programming. Java is a widely used programming language, and most programs offer specific coursework. As a computer science student, you are also likely to take the following courses:

  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Database management
  • Operating systems
  • Internet programming
  • Scripting languages

What Is the Job Description?

Java developers use the Java programming language to write the applications for websites. Once a website is operating, developers must revise and update applications when necessary. Other responsibilities may include analyzing data, coding algorithms and validating user information. In order to protect user privacy, developers may also create security applications for a website.

How Do I Advance My Career?

You have numerous career advancement opportunities available through Oracle, the corporation that owns the Java brand. Training courses are offered in application development and programming fundamentals. Additionally, they offer associate, professional and master levels of certification.

You may pursue certification as an Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 5/SE 6 as a student or entry-level programmer. Applicants must complete one 115-minute exam that covers object-oriented concepts, algorithm design and implementation, Java development fundamentals, Java platforms, integration technologies, and client and server technologies.

Once you have acquired experience in using Java, you may pursue the Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer designation by completing a 180-minute test. Topics covered include declarations, initialization and scoping; flow control; API contents; concurrency; collections and generics; fundamentals; and OO concepts.

The third level, Oracle Certified Master, Java SE 6 Developer certification, requires you to complete a programming project and an essay-based examination. Applicants must be certified as an Oracle Certified Professional. The project must be completed within a period of 12 months. You must write the code for a small business system that addresses technical requirements outlined in the assignment. For the exam, Oracle.com shows that you have two hours to detail the development and choices you made during the creation of your project.

What Is My Career Outlook?

Strong employment opportunities are expected for computer software developers working in systems software in the 2014-2024 decade. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate was expected to increase 17% during that time period (www.bls.gov). The rate is even higher for computer software developers who develop applications, for whom a 19% growth is expected. Additionally, the BLS reports the median salary for computer software engineers who develop applications in 2015 was $98,260. According to Payscale.com, java developers earned a median salary of $72,936, as of January 2017 (www.payscale.com).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

With a bachelor's degree, the following jobs make great alternatives to Java development. Information security analysts are the cyber police of a company. Their job is to plan and enable security protocols for the network systems and individual computers. You might consider computer system analysts who come into a company from the outside, study what they have, then put together a solution bringing technology and business together on the same page. Another choice could be as a computer network architect who creates communication networks such as local area networks and wide area networks for companies and businesses.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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