Career as a Java Developer: Scope, Salary and How to Get Started

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It has been more than two decades that Java has been a programming language and remains unavoidable for mission-critical programming tasks as well as the everyday programming needs.

To stay around for so long and to involve millions of developers around the world has proven its status as one of the most mature programming languages. Java is free, open source, multi faceted and versatile to accommodate a variety of programming needs for varied outputs.

If you’re a developer, you’re probably aware of all this. You have no doubt about the potential of Java to offer you a good programming career.

But it is understandable that we recently saw the advent of many new programming languages which has made the job market intensely competitive.

In such a scenario you can be confused about Java’s prospect as a programming language. Can Java still get the best programming work for you? Is Java a valid option to ensure a steady career as a programmer?

Let’s find out!

First, let’s understand why Java is so in demand worldwide:

Java has become a de facto standard for programming – Existing for twenty years, and active in more than three billion computers and mobiles around the world has ensured that Java is considered as the most popular programming language.

With such maturity and real world applications of all kinds, Java is virtually the de facto standard of programming. With such a large global presence, career prospects on learning Java seem plausible.

Unrecognized Resources – To build a career as a programmer and learn a new programming language, certain considerations are paramount. Of course, you should consider the learning curriculum and the available resources that can help you learn the language faster and master the skills to grow as a developer.

In this regard, Java provides the widest range of resources for different levels of learning and skills development. On the web itself, you can literally find endless resources for each specific problem and challenge in Java programming.

Ideal stepping stone – The biggest plus point for Java is that it’s a precursor to many other programming languages such as C++, C#, Objective-C  and more.

This means that by learning Java, you are actually better equipped to learn other programming languages. Java forces you to begin thinking as a programmer. If you can master the skills of Java, you can actually master other programming languages.

Combined with powerful development tools – Java as a programming language provides a range of powerful IDEs for different applications in the real world. This includes helping you write your code and to debug and test programs. For all these different objectives you will find powerful tools.

Unmatched community support – There are more than ten million Java developers around the world. No other programming language can boast the support of such a large community of developers.

Community support for Java is available on many world-renowned platforms across the web, such as Stackoverflow. With the execution of Java developers, who are always at the ready to help you solve problems, you can solve problems instantly. 

With so much to offer and with such dominance in the world of programming, it is obvious that as a Java programmer you are poised to ride the wave of economic prosperity.

In the United States itself, the average salary for a Java programmer as on January 2017 is greater than $95,000. So, Java is still the programming language with best career prospects.

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What career prospects can you expect?

As per Oracle Corporation, more than thirty thousand organizations worldwide are currently Fusion Middleware customers, including over thirty five of the world’s fifty largest companies.

A tech giant such as IBM also incorporates Java. Strong job opportunities are expected to materialize for computer software developers working in system software in the 2014-2024 decade.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate is expected to increase seventeen percent during that period ( The rate is even higher for computer software developers who develop applications, for which a nineteen percent growth is expected.

In addition, the BLS reports the median salary for computer software engineers who develop applications in 2018 is more than $98,000. According to, Java developers earned a median salary of more than $72,000 from January 2017. So there remains a huge demand for Java programmers around the world.

Getting an Oracle Java Certification will improve your profile for better options. Here will be various stages in your career:

Junior Programmer – You will start as junior programmer and stay in this position the first three to four years of your career. Your duties will consist mainly of encryption, debugging, participation in code reviews and technical documentation.

At this stage, you should also concentrate your energy on acquiring more knowledge of the Java ecosystem and to be certified in one or more areas.

Senior Programmer – Once you get more experience, knowledge and possible certification, you will be transferred to a senior programmer role. Here you will have increasing responsibilities, guide junior programmers as well as become involved in the overall design and implementation of the software.

While you still expect to be involved in encryption, you might also have a role in the client offices where you need to train the users (internal or external) of your software. At this stage you should focus on the transition to a more management track, with further training and certification leading to the same.

Architect – At this stage, with more than ten years of experience in the trenches, you can have an architectural role, including the duties of interfacing with the clients and customers of your software, the collection and analysis of requirements and responsibility for the overall architecture of the system. You can also assume an increasing management role, including building links with the top management.

How to get started with Java?

Java developers are experts with computer coding language Java. Using Java specifically, these professionals create applications for the web. These programs may range from high end to animation or the simple sounds of the dropdown list when you click a mouse.

Java is used exclusively as a financial coding language to collect data or to ensure that users are properly authenticated. Most Java developers mentor and provide guidance to lesser experienced IT staff to help resolve errors. They may also teach and conduct research. 

Java developers create applications for sites that use the Java programming language.

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 may choose to study studies in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering or computer programming. Java is a widely used programming language, and most programs offer specific course work. As a computer science student you will also be required to take some of the following courses :

  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Database Management
  • Operating Systems
  • Internet Programming
  • Scripting Languages

Java developers use the Java programming language to write applications for websites. As soon as a website is run, developers need to review and update the applications if necessary.

Other responsibilities may include data analysis, coding algorithms and validation of user information. To protect users’ privacy, developers can also create security applications for a site.

You have many career promotion opportunities available by Oracle, the corporation that owns the Java trademark. Training courses are presented in application development and programming principles.

In addition, they offer associated, professional and master’s degrees of certification.

You can pursue certification as an Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE5/SE6 as a student or entry level programmer. Applicants must appear for an examination which covers object oriented concepts, design and implementation of algorithms, basic Java development, Java platforms, integration technologies and client and server technologies.

Once you have gained experience using Java, you can pursue the Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer indicator by completing an advanced test. Topics covered include statements, initialization and scoping; flow control, API contents, concurrency, collections and generics, foundations and OO concepts.

The third level, Oracle Certified Master, Java SE6 Developer Certification, requires completion of a programming project and an essay-based exam. Applicants must be certified as an Oracle Certified Professional. The project must be completed within twelve months.

You must write the code for a small business system that meets the technical requirements as set out in the assignment. For the examination you are given two hours to describe the development and choices you made during the preparation of your project.

So there you have it. If you want to start a Java programming career, the information is at your fingertips! Strength!

Some important free resources to get started with Java

Introduction to programming in Java: An interdisciplinary approach

Introduction to interactive programming in Java

Think Java: How to think like a computer scientist