Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Oracle Certified Associate Java Programmer

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The Java programming language is still going strong, and certification is a good first step to becoming a successful Java programmer.In many instances, the programming language Java is more or less literally what internet apps and tools are made of. Paradoxically, Java weathered a period not so long ago when it became an internet pariah of sorts, on account of some fairly serious security vulnerabilities. Next year, 2020, will mark the 25th anniversary of Java, and the fifteenth anniversary of its acquisition by Oracle.

If you’re interested in the next 25 years of Java, then a great place to start is with a certification. There’s still plenty of demand for programmers who know beans about Java, as evidenced by the inclusion of the Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) Java Programmer credential at No. 48 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for OCA Java Programmer holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $104,000
Median Annual Salary: $107,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 11.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 22.3 percent
Satisfied: 44.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 22.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $68,340
Median Annual Salary: $37,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 8.3 percent
Satisfied: 41.7 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 33.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 16.7 percent

The largest single body of OCA Java Programmer holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents: 42.8 percent of respondents. We also heard from credential holders in 7 other countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, India, South Africa, and South Korea.

Most of the OCA Java Programmer holders who responded to the survey are men, but a surprising number (14.2 percent of those surveyed) are women. Belying the fact that Java is far from newfangled, nearly everyone we surveyed is on the youngish side, with 61.9 percent of respondents between the aged of 35 and 44, 19 percent between the ages of 25 and 34, and 4.8 percent between the ages of 19 and 24. The outliers are the 14.3 percent of those surveyed who are between the ages of 45 and 54.

Virtually all of the OCA Java Programmer holders who participated in the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of formal education completed by most is either a bachelor’s degree (52.4 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (33.3 percent), or professional degree (9.5 percent). That leaves only the 4.8 percent of those surveyed who left the educational realm behind after completing high school.

OCA Java Programmer is one of those relatively rare certs to register 100 percent full-time employment among survey respondents — everyone has a job. Most of those surveyed have a fairly standard work schedule, putting in either the usual 40 hours (42.9 percent of respondents), or between 41 and 50 hours (47.6 percent). The rest are at work either more than 50 hours per week (4.9 percent of respondents) or between 31 and 39 hours (4.6 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of OCA Java Programmer holders are at the senior specialist level (56.5 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either rank-and-file employees (17.5 percent of respondents), senior managers (13 percent), managers (8.7 percent),or specialists (4.3 percent).

Not quite one-third (30.4 percent) of the OCA Java Programmer holders we heard from are veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1-11 months) and 2 years (21.7 percent of those surveyed), between 3 and 5 years (26.1 percent), between 6 and 8 years (22.2 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (4.3 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of OCA Java Programmer holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 47.9 percent
Several times a week: 30.4 percent
Several times a month: 13 percent
Occasionally: 8.7 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 34.8 percent
Agree: 52.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: [No responses]
Disagree: 4.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 8.7 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 21.7 percent
Agree: 52.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.4 percent
Disagree: 4.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 26.1 percent
Agree: 43.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 13 percent
Disagree: 8.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: 8.7 percent

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CertMag Staff

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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