Distance learning master's degrees in Java programming may not be available from any accredited universities, but there are graduate degree programs with extensive coursework in Java or graduate certificates in Enterprise Java programming. Relevant online degree programs could include master's degrees in software engineering or computer science, which are widely available from several institutions, including public universities.
Taking about one to two years to complete, master's programs in fields of study that contain Java programming coursework are typically designed for individuals possessing a professional and/or academic background computer science or a related field. Many programs are for professionals who seek advancement in their careers or need to update their skills.
Common admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering or other relevant field in addition to proficiency in a programming language. Some schools may weigh work experience as a factor as well.
Master of Science in Software Engineering
Distance learning programs in software engineering often have specializations in areas such as Java programming. These programs usually culminate in some type of capstone course, which could require students to tackle a major software project.
Courses are usually labeled as 'enterprise' Java development because the instruction emphasizes Java's Enterprise Edition platform. Specific Java programming courses include:
- Java I and II
- Introduction to classes and objects
Master of Science in Computer Science
Computer science is the study of computational theory through computer hardware and software. This field has many areas of specialization, including Java development. Understanding and utilizing the Java platform allows students at the master's degree level to explore the fundamental theories of computational science through the tools of an industry-recognized platform.
Many master's programs in computer science available through distance learning offer a non-thesis track, which allows students to complete a project and/or take additional courses. However, some schools may permit online students to complete a thesis if desired. Classes often include:
- Java servlets and JSPs
- Java GUI programming
- Java III and IV
- Enterprise Java software development
Graduate programs with Java programming can commonly be completed totally online. Distance learners access lecture notes or videos and assignments in a virtual classroom. They also interact with peers and instructors using class chat rooms, discussion forums or possibly video conferencing.
Typically, Java programmers find positions programming applications for private and government institutions. While many other programming languages, such as C++, are still in common usage, Java is seen as one of the up-and-coming languages for careers in the field. Java is often compared to a newer Microsoft-based development platform, .NET, and Java graduates may be able learn .NET and other new programming languages easily. Possible job titles for Java programmers can include:
- Client-side application developers
- Server-side application developers
- Web applet programmers
- Database programmers
Even though you can't earn a master's degree specifically in Java programming, there are multiple online master's programs that familiarize students with the syntax of the language and the object-oriented programming principles that underpin its use for software development.