We’ve taken our technical knowledge and career expertise to put together what you need to know through your Java career journey. We asked Tential Associate, Dan Caton, to weigh in on the questions you want to know.

Do you need a degree for a Java position? Are there certificates that are replaceable for a degree? What do most entry-level positions require?

Dan: A computer science degree is a must; It’s better than information systems for entry into the Java world because it’s focused more on mathematical theories and algorithms.

If you’ve decided to complete a Master’s degree, be sure to apply any post-grad work toward your degree (Java, Python, or Data).

After you’ve got the degree and are in the job market, you must be accurate in what you have done versus what you have not done. GITHUB is an amazing resource especially for those lacking professional experience – It is a repository for code, used for school, personal, and side projects, that employers can quickly reference to see your portfolio of work and skillset. However, it’s important that you are consistently active to show your drive and desire.

Additionally, participation in any type of coding event, coding wars or code-a-thons, and other events in the world of technology look great on your application.

After you’ve got that first position, what is the next step? Is gaining job experience most important? Should you continue education to support your career journey? Is one more important than the other?

Dan: Whether you are at junior, senior, or mid-level, it is extremely important to take on new challenges and show the willingness to tackle any task that comes your way.

No matter if your specialty is in Front-end, Back-end, or Full-stack – you should be able to lean in wherever a team needs you most. This makes you more valuable in your current position but allows you to learn new responsibilities and skills.

Learning on your own is extremely helpful and you should always be asking – how are you continuing to self-educate? Even after you’ve landed that dream job, you will want to stay up-to-date and keep your knowledge and experience fresh. Remember to keep your learning a priority by attending conferences, networking events, and even continuing coursework or trainings.

You are at the pinnacle of your career – what does this look like and what’s next for you?

Dan: Once in a more senior role, your career can move in multiple different directions. Where you go from here is primarily decided by where your interests lie and taking additional responsibilities to get there. The most common specialties lead to roles in:

  • Architecture
  • Data Science
  • Management

Like any other field, you can’t expect to experience success if you’re not willing to put in the work to get there. Continuing to learn and grow in your position and in your personal life is essential.

After you’ve hit the pinnacle, what happens next? Is contracting a good option?

Dan: Typically most senior-level developers tend to go into an Architect role or move into the Big Data space before ramping down at the end of their career. It is also common to see positions in management come into play. At this point, there are lots of possibilities – where your interests lie and where you’ve built your experience through the years are going to determine what this part of the journey looks like for you.

Continuous employment and remaining current are always the goal throughout your career. Contracting really allows for amazing flexibility and gives you the opportunity to stay current and move to the latest and greatest technologies while gaining valuable experience.

The Associates at Tential are a great resource and can provide valuable advice based on your specific goals and career journey. They are able to connect you with contract opportunities that grow your career and make you an asset to any team.

If you’re in the job market for a Java role or are just interested in learning more, our Associates are here to help. Our goal is to be a long-term guide throughout your career journey and the earlier that you partner with us the better!

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