Java Programming Degree & Certificate Program Info

Oct 20, 2019

Essential Information

Certificate programs in Java programming help prepare students for Java's certification exams, and students usually need a prior programming background to enroll. Associate's degree programs are designed to provide students with a broad foundation in computer programming. In addition to studying Java, students learn to apply general programming principles and use other languages, such as Visual Basic and C++. Students in bachelor's programs in computer programming study Java and other languages at an advanced level. They also gain a background in operating systems, database administration and Web development.

Java Programming Certificate

Enrolling in a Java programming certificate program is the most direct way to gain the advanced skills necessary to use the Java programming language. Such programs are designed for students who already have an understanding of computer science and computer programming languages. While enrolled in a Java programming certificate program, students explore the development of Java applications for websites and client servers. Upon completion, graduates are qualified to pass Java certification exams.

Certificate programs in Java programming cover the advanced skills and knowledge related to object-oriented programming. Typical topics covered include:

  • Introductory and intermediate Java programming
  • Unified modeling language
  • Object-oriented analysis
  • Java design patterns
  • AJAX programming

Associate of Science in Computer Programming

A 2-year program in computer programming introduces students not only to Java, but also to the entire field of computer programming. Such programs are entry-level and often incorporate basic principles and concepts relating to general concepts in computer science, computer operating systems and data management. They focus on the theories of computer programming languages, as well as the various types of languages used. Courses cover Java, C++, Linux and Visual Basic. Applicants should possess a high school diploma or equivalent. It is important to note that associate degree programs in computer programming are rare and typically designed to act as transfer programs for bachelor's-seeking students. Course topics include:

  • Introduction to computer science
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Advanced Java and C++ programming
  • Scripting languages
  • Web development
  • Visual Basic programming

Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming

Bachelor's degree programs provide students with a technical background in programming languages while at the same time providing them with a well-rounded general education. In addition to studying the theories and principles of programming, students explore the humanities, mathematics and sciences. They are also exposed to business courses that can help them develop professionally upon graduation. In technical, hands-on courses, students learn how to develop initial algorithms, test code, document code and maintain code.

Applicants to bachelor's degree programs must have a high school diploma and strong standardized test scores. Students interested in declaring a major in computer programming at a university must first complete introductory courses in computer science and computer operating systems.

Over the course of the program, students gain hands-on experience in a variety of programming languages such as Visual Basic, SQL and Java. Courses cover topics such as:

  • Computer operating systems
  • Computer programming languages
  • Java programming and java servlets
  • SQL fundamentals
  • Database development
  • Server pages programming

Popular Career Options

Certificate graduates possess the skills and knowledge to create and troubleshoot Java applications. Examples of career titles include:

  • Java programmer
  • Web developer
  • Applications programmer

Associate's degree graduates who have an understanding of Java principles, as well as basic computer programming principles can hold several jobs in information technology, software development and Web development. These include:

  • Computer programmer
  • Software tester
  • Systems analyst

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job decline of 7% for computer programmers for the decade 2018-2028 ( This decline is likely due to the outsourcing of jobs overseas. The BLS reported a median annual wage of $84,280 for computer programmers in 2018.

Certification Options

The Oracle Certification Program offers certification options to Java programmers who finish any of these programs. Certification levels include Oracle Certified Associate-Java SE 5/SE 6, Oracle Certified Professional-Java SE 5 Programmer and Oracle Certified Master-Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect. Individuals must pass examinations before they can earn these designations.

Undergraduate students who only want to learn about Java can get the technical training they need from certificate programs, while those who want to get a general education and a comprehensive introduction to the IT field can enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree program.

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