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Learn Java with online courses and programs

Are you looking to go from a Java novice to a skilled programmer? edX’s online Java programming offerings can help professionals build their programming skills and learn specialized applications of Java.

What is Java?

Newcomers to programming may be wondering: What is Java used for? If you are reading this article from a desktop, laptop, or phone, there’s a good chance you are using Java right now. First introduced by Sun Microsystems in 1995, Java is a programming language that has been powering much of the digital landscape for over 25 years.Footnote 1 In fact,  90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java, making Java one of the most consistently popular programming languages in the world.Footnote 2

Java | Introduction Image

Browse online Java courses and programs

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Learn Java programming for beginners

With a vast global community dedicated to Java programming, the internet is rich in resources for anyone who wants to learn how to become a Java developer. If you’ve got a question, it’s likely been asked and answered multiple times over online. In fact, there’s already collections of questions you can browse that catalog the majority of problems you’ll need to solve as a beginner developer.Footnote 3 

While it may sound intimidating to sift through that immense amount of information, anyone can learn how to become a Java developer at any age without any prerequisite knowledge. When you learn Java online, it’s not something you have to do alone; you can do it alongside others as part of a forum or you can seek out a more structured Java course online, which can provide the benefit of a dedicated instructor and classmates depending on the offering. 

Java online course curriculum

Before you start to learn Java programming, you may want to set a goal in mind in order to determine the right amount of time to dedicate to your studies. An appropriate pace may be a few hours a day of studying and instruction or a few hours a week, depending on whether you want to be a professional programmer or simply want to learn a new skill. 

Given the amount of information about Java programming available, narrowing your focus on what you would like to learn can also help prevent you from running into endless reading and instruction. Reflecting on how you learn best, being discriminating in your reading and instruction choices, and dedicating ample time to actually coding can help aspiring programmers learn to tackle more difficult challenges as they get used to programming Java on a daily basis. 

Explore Java programming jobs

Within the field of software development, Java is one of the most commonly used coding languages by companies, such as Amazon and YouTube.Footnote 4 And Java developer jobs exist for individuals with varying levels of Java programming training or experience.

Examples of potential Java careers include:

  • Java full stack developer

  • Java software engineer

  • Java architect

  • Quality assurance engineer

  • Data engineer

Java tutorials may also help job seekers land a position working in mobile app and game development, big data, machine learning and A.I., and more.

A coding boot camp may help those working toward becoming a full stack developer. Alternatively, a bachelor’s degree along with a Java certification can be appealing to hiring managers who may be looking for proof that an applicant has a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Java. Since Java is a language that is frequently evolving, a certification may be a good way to keep up with changes. A master’s degree can also show that you’re willing to invest your time, effort, and resources into personal development.

How to become a Java programmer online

Enrolling in an introductory Java course online can help students learn everything from the basics of computer functioning to how Java allows programmers to manipulate those functions. Students may also study object-oriented programming (OOP) in Java, which is the foundation of many programming languages. Students taking a Java class online can expect to use the same tools that professional developers use to code.

Along their Java journey, students may delve into various applications of Java, like the creation of data structures, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), and the construction of algorithms. This deeper understanding of OPP allows students to build their own applications and solve coding problems.

While a bachelor's in computer science can serve as a foundation for various careers in Java, it isn’t always necessary. Footnote 5 Many coding courses assume students have little to no prior knowledge in Java programming, and gaps in knowledge can be filled by self-learning or taking other courses online. Still, some Java jobs may want an applicant to have a Bachelor's degree or higher depending on the complexity and seniority of the role.

Those who are interested can study the subjects covered by a computer science degree, such as computer architecture, operating systems, networking, cryptography, and more online. Learning database systems, other programming languages, and coding in Linux can make you a more well-rounded Java programmer. And, along the way, putting together your own portfolio and starting to answer rather than ask questions in Java communities are signs of developing talent and an opportunity to show off your skills and knowledge.

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