There are no postsecondary degrees that focus specifically on Java, an object-oriented programming language. Bachelor's degree programs that include courses in Java are offered in areas such as computer science or information science and technology. Master's degree programs are generally focused on software engineering and design and typically include practical training in the field.
Undergraduate programs require a high school diploma or equivalent for enrollment. Graduate-level programs require a bachelor's degree to enroll.
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (IT)
In these programs, students learn to research, design, coordinate and manage computer-related functions for businesses. Specific areas of study include Internet operations, network security and software development. Information technology studies often require the use of programming languages, and Java is one of the most popular. Courses related to Java programming include:
- Programming basics
- Object oriented programming and design
- Java programming
- Distributed systems
- Developing web databases
- Abstraction and data structures
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Master of Science in Software Engineering
As computer science specialists, software engineers develop software systems, oversee teams of programmers, and are often involved in budgeting and scheduling. Master's degree programs in this field provide both theoretical and practical training. Although Java is one of the leading programming languages, few master's programs require Java-related courses. They generally assume that students will have had those classes as part of their undergraduate education. Possible courses in these programs include:
- Data structures
- Object-oriented programming
- Web applications
- Advanced Java programming
- Distributed Java applications
There are many career opportunities for students who have bachelor's or master's degrees in computer science-related fields. Some possible career titles include:
- Computer systems software engineer
- Information systems managers
- Database administrator
- Manager of software testing
- Software designer
- Software technician
For the period between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected an 8% decline in employment for computer programmers. The annual median wage for these workers was $79,530 in May 2015, according to a BLS report.
Continuing Education Info
There are no mandatory certifications or licenses for information technologists, but IT professionals must keep up in the fast-changing world of computer technology. There are two primary providers of voluntary certifications for IT professionals, Microsoft and CompTIA. Each offers a number of specialized IT certifications, including entry level technician, server administrator and business intelligence developer. Both companies offer courses to aid in the certification process. Alternatively, students can study independently by reading professional journals.
Certification for professionals in software engineering is voluntary but highly recommended. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) offers two software professional certifications: the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) for entry-level professionals, and the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) for those more advanced in the profession (www.computer.org). The IEEE offers general training and continuing education courses for CSDP re-certification.
In summary, Java programming is too specific a topic to warrant a full degree program. However, students can gain Java skills as part of a bachelor's degree program in information technology, and they can advance and apply those skills in a master's degree program in software engineering.