Oracle Sun's Java platform is one of the most widely adopted platforms in the information technology industry. Companies use it for developing a whole spectrum of applications from server-side applications serving websites to mobile applications running on cell phones. Oracle Sun offers certifications that certify a certain level of knowledge and expertise in different areas of the Java platform.
Sun Certified Java Associate (SCJA)
According to Oracle Sun's education website, this certification validates basic knowledge of object oriented programming, Java programming and Java platform technologies. The certification process consists of passing the SCJA exam. Take this certification if you are just entering the technology industry and do not have any Java programming experience. It does not have any prerequisites.
Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP)
According to Oracle Sun, SCJP is a foundation certification for demonstrating proficiency in programming using Java. To get certified, a candidate has to pass the SCJP exam. A candidate can choose from multiple versions of Java for the certification (Java 5 or 6, for example).
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Sun Certified Java Developer (SCJD)
SCJD is a certification for demonstrating advanced proficiency in the Java programming language using Java Standard Edition (SE). The certification process consists of having an SCJP certificate, completing an assignment and writing an essay. SCJP is a prerequisite for this certification process.
Sun Certified Web Component Developer (SCWCD)
Web-based applications are a primary form of application development in Java. SCWCD certification validates specialized knowledge of developing JavaServer pages and Java servlet technologies. The certification consists of passing the SCWCD exam based on Java Enterprise Edition (EE). SCJP certification is a prerequisite for this certification.
Sun Certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD)
Many Web components also use software developed using Java middleware based on the Sun standard and Application Programmer Interface known as Enterprise Java Beans (EJB). SCBCD certifies knowledge of application development using EJB. The certification consists of passing an exam. SCJP is a prerequisite.
Sun Certified Developer for Java Web Services (SCDJWS)
Many applications that use Java-based Web components and EJB components also depend on Web services to provide integration points with other software and extend their use. SCDJWS certifies proficiency in developing Web services using the Java platform. The certification consists of passing the SCDJWS exam. SCJP certification is a prerequisite.
Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer (SCMAD)
Mobile applications that run on cell phones are becoming ubiquitous with the widespread adoption of smart phones that support the Java platform. SCMAD certification tests and validates knowledge of creating mobile applications using Java technologies. The certification process consists of passing the SCMAD exam. SCJP certification is a prerequisite.
Sun Certified Enterprise Architect (SCEA)
Most application development teams have an expert in the role of an architect who is responsible for influencing the overall design and architecture of the application. According to Oracle Sun, "(SCEA) certification is for enterprise architects responsible for architecting and designing Java EE compliant applications with an emphasis on making the best use of Java EE features to create flexible, scalable, secure designs." The SCEA certification consists of passing the SCEA exam, completing an assignment and writing an essay.