Discussions

News: Goodbye $300 SCJP designation. Hello $600 OCP designation.

  1. Consider this the biggest change in the realm of Java certification since the SCJP designation was first introduced over ten years ago.

    So what’s changing? Well, at the most fundamental level, the JDK version being tested has been updated. The latest incarnation of the Java Professional designation from Oracle will be testing candidates on version 1.7 of the JDK, not Java 5 or Java 6, as the previous examinations did.

    Secondly, the name of the designation is changing. There is no longer a Sun Certified Java Professional (SCJP) designation. Instead, the new vernacular is OCP, standing for Oracle Certified Professional. Of course, Oracle started with this re-branding of the designation once the Sun takeover was completed. However, the old SCJP name has managed to stick around, largely owing to the fact that the actual exam never really changed, either in content or format. This time though, the change is significant, so you can kiss the old SCJP name goodbye.

    Thirdly, you can no longer simply walk into a Prometric testing center (Pearson VUE is the new exam proctor), correctly answer the majority of the sixty or so question, multiple-choice exam, and walk out with your Java Professional designation. Obtaining the Professional designation is now a two step process, which starts first with passing the Oracle Certified Associate exam, or as it’s referred to on Oracle’s certification site, the Java SE 7 Programmer I test. Once you pass the new Associate exam, you are then qualified to write the Java SE 7 Programmer II exam, and if you pass that, you’ll have gained your Java Professional designation.

    And finally, the last major change is the cost. In years past, writing a Java certification exam meant your wallet would be lighter by $150 or $200. In recent times though, the price to sit an Oracle certification exam has been raised to $300. The cost of taking the OCP exam will likely remain at the $300 rate. However, since the $300 OCA exam is a prerequisite, you will now have to pass two exams to obtain your OCP designation, which means people who aren’t fortunate enough to simply write an upgrade exam are looking at a whopping $600 price tag in order to become a certified Java 7 professional.

    One way around the cost is to write the beta exams while Oracle tweaks the final product. You can currently write the Java SE 7 Programmer I test while it is in beta for only $50, although the opportunity expires on December 17th, so you better book now. The Java SE 7 Programmer II test has not gone to beta yet, but that will likely be announced within the next couple of months, giving early worms a chance to pass both exams for the low, low price of only $100.

    Of course, if you miss out on the beta, you better start saving. A $300 Java Professional certification will soon become a thing of the past.

    ***

    By the way, the old SCJP/OCP 6 exam won't be retired for a while, so another angle on getting your Java Professional certification in one fell swoop is to pass the prior exam. There are some great resources on the market that will help you pass the exam quickly, including the following:

     

    OCP Java SE 6 Programmer Practice Exams (Exam 310-065) (Certification Press)
    OCP Java SE 7 Programmer Study Guide (Certification Press)
    SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Exam 310-065
    A Programmer's Guide to Java SCJP Certification: A Comprehensive Primer (3rd Edition)
    SCJA Sun Certified Java Associate Study Guide for Test CX-310-019, 2nd Edition

     

     

    Threaded Messages (14)

  2. what a waste ...[ Go to top ]

    ... of money. 

  3. I've always felt there was value in obtaining a Java certification. Sometimes it's extra credibility in a job interview, but more often than not, it's the focus and training a person does when aspiring to pass the exam. But given the fact that many people taking these exams are looking at their first job in the industry, or their first promotion from junior programmer, the cost does seem a bit prohibitive.

  4. I've always felt there was value in obtaining a Java certification. Sometimes it's extra credibility in a job interview, but more often than not, it's the focus and training a person does when aspiring to pass the exam. But given the fact that many people taking these exams are looking at their first job in the industry, or their first promotion from junior programmer, the cost does seem a bit prohibitive.

  5. I've always felt there was value in obtaining a Java certification. Sometimes it's extra credibility in a job interview, but more often than not, it's the focus and training a person does when aspiring to pass the exam. But given the fact that many people taking these exams are looking at their first job in the industry, or their first promotion from junior programmer, the cost does seem a bit prohibitive.

  6. Training classes[ Go to top ]

    If I am not mistaken, prerequisite of sitting for OCP exam (or perhaps even OCA) will be that you have attended a training class in an Oracle partner company which will cost $1000+.

    So the total cost will be arround $1500.

  7. I've heard so, but...[ Go to top ]

    I've heard this too, but I can't find any proof on OCP pages - for instance here they only state "Up-to-date training and field experience are recommended." Is there any official stand on this easy to find?

    The same was told to me when some partners wanted to do Certified Developer and they were told by local Oracle directly, that their course is required. But it is stated officially here. Does this apply to Programmer too?

    Anyway - the whole thing is silly and kinda "Oracle-ish". However you look at it it seems they just want to grab more money. But now with 4x cost of the previous course, maybe it will be taken by 1/4 of ppl and they will be 4x more valuable, who knows. I hope that some different authority on Java testing field will emerge eventually.

  8. Don't worry. While some exams and some vendors require you to take a course, Oracle isn't doing this with the Java SE 7 exams, OCAJP and OCPJP.

    http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=516&p_org_id=28&lang=US

    Is training required in order to become certified?

    Training is highly recommended, however candidates pursuing the OCA and OCP Java SE 7 Programmer certifications are not required to complete training. Oracle University training is one of the best ways to help prepare for the certification exam and will contribute to your success as a Java Programmer.

  9. Cameron, Thanks for clarification.

  10. Lucky me that I now have something to write in my resume otherwise I will have to take those exams. Those exams are good but the price is ridiculous.

  11. Useless[ Go to top ]

    I agree with Neil. The Java certifications are worthless. All they tell you is that someone can play a Java trivia game. They don't tell you if the person can actually write and maintain code. Maybe with the increased prices, fewer people will waste their time and money on them.

  12. Useless[ Go to top ]

    SCEA was not bad. Even part 1 was testing understanding of concepts rather than factual knowledge. I would think that SCJD is good as well since it includes practical assignment.

    Although I have to admit, my first though when I got certification kit was that $500 is a bit too much for a fancy piece of paper and a button. 

  13. Buttons...[ Go to top ]

    Sorry to say it, but I don't think they give you a button anymore.

  14. Useless[ Go to top ]

    I have been an IT manager in a Bank. Whenever we had 10 new positions we would receive 2000 requests. We did not have enough resource to investigate those one by one.

    We would first select those with many years of experience. from those new to the job we would invite those with certifications (because that almost guarantees a minimum level of knwoledge).

  15. Associate exam not required[ Go to top ]

    I called Oracle to verify whether the Oracle Cerified Associate exam is required before taking the Oracle Certified Professional exam.  They told me that it is not required.