Thanks to Anne Martinez’ most recent Certification Watch newsletter, I just learned that Oracle is changing its policy regarding how individuals can earn Sun/Java-based certifications. From the get-go in the late 1990s when Sun first launched its Java certifications, I’ve been following this program (it already had a thriving trade in SunOS administrator credentials even back then). It has always been the case that knowledgeable individuals could challenge any Sun exam without taking the related official curriculum course.
No more! As of August 1, 2011, all Sun certification candidates will be required to attend official classroom training to earn their credentials, as has been the case with Oracle certifications since 2002. According to Martinez, Oracle’s “rationale [is] that it improves the value of the certification by assuring a higher skill level among certification holders.” Candidates who finish their Sun-related certs by July 31, 2011, do not have to meet this requirement.
My advice to those considering Sun certification who didn’t already plan on attending an in-class or virtual training session from an Oracle-approved training partner is “get on the stick!” With in-class seats going for $300 a day and up, and virtual seats costing at least half that much, you can save a heapo cash by accelerating your exam schedule to beat the end-of-July deadline. Too bad Oracle felt compelled to make their policy apply to the Sun certifications, but now that you know, try to turn this information to your advantage if you can! See the details on the “Important Changes…” news page at Oracle University.