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Certification and Career Options for a Sun Certification
Perhaps best known for creating the Java programming platform, Sun Microsystems offered a series of certification programs and tests for information technology (IT) workers to demonstrate their technical capabilities using Sun software and systems. Some of the certifications offered include the Sun Certified Java Developer, Sun Certified Enterprise Architect, Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer and Sun Certified Web Component Developer. Sun Microsystems was bought by Oracle in 2010, and while those certifications are still valid for individuals who earned them in 2010 or earlier, those earning certification from that date forward earned Oracle-branded certifications.
All of the older Sun certifications have correlating options from Oracle, and Oracle also offers upgrade paths for those holding Sun certifications. For instance, as of May 2016, Oracle offered 17 certification options related to Java. Oracle's Java certifications are offered in three categories, Java SE, Java EE and Java ME, based off of the platform used. Some of the certifications options include Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer, Oracle Certified Master Java Enterprise Architect, Oracle Certified Expert Java Web Component Developer and Oracle Certified Professional Java Mobile Application Developer. Possible career choices for those with Sun or Oracle certification include work as Java technologists, server administrators or hardware engineers.
|Java Technologist||Server Administrator||Computer Hardware Engineer|
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Knowledge of relevant technologies, adaptable, detail-oriented, good problem-solving ability and good communication skills||Familiarity with changing technologies, good communication skills, strong attention to detail and ability to multitask||Good communication skills, strong understanding of relevant technologies, good problem-solving ability and creativity|
|Median Salary (2015)||$67,925 (all java developers)||$77,810 (network and computer systems administrators)||$111,730|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)||17% (all software developers)||8%||3%|
Source: PayScale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
One of today's most in-demand programming skills is the ability to develop Java applications. Java, the programming language and supporting platform created by Sun Microsystems for universal compatibility among operating systems, is used for a widely diverse range of target environments, from desktop PCs and networks to mobile phones. Web-based Java applications are typically smaller assemblies of code transmitted over the Internet with large server-based applications.
The wide applicability of Java means that a great number of employers highly value professionals with Java skills, whether they work with a large development team or as lone programmers for a specific task. There is a lot of variation within the industry, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expecting a decline in employment growth of 8% for computer programmers and a growth of 17% for software developers between 2014 and 2024. Working as a programmer or software developer usually requires a bachelor's degree related to computer science, knowledge of Java certification shows employers you're familiar with the language. According to PayScale.com, java software developers and programmers earned a median salary of $67,925 and those with the Sun Certified Java Programmer credential earned between $49,218 and $108,129.
Server administrators configure and install servers together with local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN). As well as maintaining a given network, server administrators need to make sure that the network reliably meets the needs of users, whether in a business, educational, governmental or other environment. They may survey usage and make appropriate upgrades in line with colleagues' needs. Changes to the server and network are generally made during a time that least interferes with workers' tasks, which means that working during nights, weekends or on call is commonplace. In an environment requiring 24/7 uptime, it is necessary to be familiar with multiple redundancy and hot-swap technologies such as RAIDs.
Network and computer systems administrators generally need a bachelor's degree in computer science, though a related certificate may suffice for some jobs. The BLS expects this field to experience as fast as average growth of 8% between 2014 and 2024. The median pay for a network and computer administrator in May 2015 was $77,810.
Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer hardware engineers manage, develop and maintain the hardware components that underlie modern IT systems. Responsibilities include installation, upgrading services and support. This career usually requires a computer engineering, electrical engineering or computer science bachelor's degree. Since this career requires an understanding of computer software, earning Sun certification may be beneficial.
The job outlook for this position will be relatively languid during the 2014-2024 decade, due to an increased focus on software rather than hardware and increased outsourcing; however, engineers with computer software experience and high-level degrees should have better chances of finding jobs. The expected growth over the decade is at a slow rate of 3%. According to May 2015 BLS figures, most computer hardware engineers earned between $65,570 and $167,100 a year, with the median pay at $111,730.