Java: the programming language employers want

Technology is constantly changing. However, Java has remained one of the software industry’s most popular programming languages for over 20 years. In fact, according to Oracle, 7 billion devices worldwide1 run Java, and it’s the number one programming language for enterprise development.

 

Java’s popularity means Java developers are in demand. Here’s why Java has stood the test of time, and why Java programming is a great career choice.

What is Java?

 

Java is an object-oriented programming language that evolved from the C and C++ languages. Java allows you to develop the software to build any application for whatever businesses processes you need.

 

Java has several platforms, but the two most frequently used are: Java Standard Edition and Java Enterprise Edition.

 

Java Standard Edition provides the core functionality. Mainly used for stand-alone or computer applications, it only needs a computer to run.

 

Java Enterprise Edition takes the Standard Edition further by providing tools to build large-scale, multi-tiered, scalable, reliable, and secure network applications. It works on an application server.

 

Why learn Java?

 

Longevity

Java has been around for over 20 years, and is still one of the most widely-used programming languages.

 

Flexibility

Many other programming languages require writing different codes for different operating systems. But Java’s cross-platform capabilities means it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. This means you only need to write the code once, which saves organizations time.

 

Portability

Java is also portable, convenient and flexible. The Java Virtual Machine builds a layer between the machine and the software or program so it can run anywhere and move between machines. 

 

It’s free

As an open source software, Java is free. Just download the suite.

 

Scalability

Java’s scalability means it can support growing companies. Code written with previous Java versions are also generally compatible with later versions, which saves recoding whenever new versions are released.

 

A launching pad

Learning Java coding is intuitive, and programmers can create Java applications fairly easily. Once you learn Java, you can learn other programming languages—making Java a smart choice for beginning programmers.

 

Organizations use it

Java is the number one enterprise development programming language and is used widely by organizations.

 

Some popular Java applications include:

• Desktop machines

• OpenOffice

• Android apps

• E-commerce applications like online shopping

• Trading applications for the financial services industry

 

Prepare for your Java programming career

A reputable Java training program like Sheridan’s Java Foundations program, gives you the skills to launch your Java programming career. After completing the Java Foundations program, you’ll be eligible to write the Oracle Certified Associate Java SE Programmer exams. Oracle Java certifications are well-recognized by industry and potential employers.

 

Oracle offers Java SE (Standard Edition) and Java EE (Enterprise Edition) certifications at various levels: Associate, Professional and Master.

 

Sheridan’s Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies (FCAPS) offers a wide range of courses, including the Java Foundations program.

 

Visit https://caps.sheridancollege.ca for more information and to register for summer and fall courses.

Handiwork Classes at the TDSB

By Wendy Terry

Not that long ago, I ran into Nancy Campbell who teaches Home Maintenance & Renovation Beginner in the Toronto District School Board’s Learn 4 Life program. I was intrigued. I had just taken back the family home in Bobcaygeon which my Mom had left me and which had been rented for over 13 years. Plan A was to fix it up and move back in. I should have taken Nancy’s course first but not sure I would have enough nerve to try my own repairs.

 

Last Thursday, I sat in on Nancy’s course at Western Technical. It was fascinating. The students were evenly divided, men and women. The courses started out just for women but the men wanted in so they opened it up. Nancy learned her home maintenance and renovation skills from her Dad. At one time, women my age assumed all men were handymen. 

 

But with the change in generations, many of those skills never got passed down. Nancy told me about a male banker, just retired, who on the first night of her class was surprised to find that a woman was teaching the class. Clearly, the stereotype of women not being handymen persists.

 

Some of the students had recently bought older houses. Jennifer, for instance, told me that even if she did not do the repairs herself, she would be better able to talk to contractors after taking the course. I agreed.  

 

Andrew, holding a drill in the photo, has a one year old who does not want to play with a toy tool set that Nancy got for him preferring the real tools that his Dad uses. 

 

Another student, Wendy, told me that she is taking the Spring Break week off and that she and her husband, a teacher, have a project lined up for every day. I’m sure I heard her say that she hoped they were still talking by the end of the break.

 

The night I sat in on the class, students were learning how to repair holes in drywall. Shallow ones were taped over and then “mudded’ over. Mudding was a new word for me. Plastering over nail holes in drywall was not. Holes that had broken through the drywall had to have a wooden frame screwed onto the back side of the drywall in order for a new piece of dry wall to be inserted into the opening and screwed into the wooden frame. The screw holes and joins were then ‘mudded over’ and sanded smooth.

First you had to smash a hole in the drywall. That was the fun part. That is what Sara is doing in the photo.

 

The previous week the class had built the frame and screwed on the drywall. Sometime earlier they had learned to insert an electrical outlet. 

 

Nancy’s course runs in the Spring term starting on April 1st. Registration is open now. Under Handiwork, you’ll see several other courses: Auto Maintenance, Bicycle Repair, Furniture Refinishing, Home and Cottage Construction, Home and Cottage Wiring, Small Engines like lawn mowers, Upholstery, Welding and Woodworking which has three different levels. Most of these courses are under $200 for nine weeks with a material fee of around $40.00 or less. There is a senior’s discount, taking the course down to just over a $100.

 

Not interested in becoming a handyperson? There are courses in Art, Business and Finance, Communications (Creative Writing, Memoirs, Public Speaking, Psychology, Art of Speech and Argument), Computers, Crafts, Dance, Fitness and Wellness, Food, Games and Hobbies, Interior Design, Languages, Music, Self-Development, Sewing, Sports, and Theatre, Film and TV, Go to www.learn4life.ca to see the calendar of offerings. 

 

For you history buffs, you might be interested to know the TDBS has been offerings these types of courses to adults for over 160 years. 

 

 

We value your opinion. Please let us know what you think about this column. Send comments to learningcurves@hotmail.com.

What You Absolutely Need to Know About Working with Young Children and Families

 By Glory Ressler

 

If you are looking to change careers or have some international training or experience, it is a great time to consider education and employment in the early childhood education and family support sectors. However, the opportunities vary widely and require different levels of education, so it is important to understand the options and then identify your goals and plan for achieving them. 

 

Licensed child care centres and home based child care provide services to many families who do not have friends or relatives who can provide what is known as ‘informal child care’. Yet the demand still exceeds availability and quality can vary widely. A national child care strategy is being discussed and the province of Ontario has committed to increasing licensed child care by 100,000 spaces over the next five years. 

 

New legislation now requires that elementary schools provide before/after school programs for children in kindergarten through grade six, where families indicate a need. The government of Ontario also has strategies and plans underway to transform services that support families and their children, and children with special physical and developmental, justice, or mental health needs or who are in residential care. 

As a result, there are current and emerging opportunities for work in:

  • Licensed Child Care Centres
  • Ontario Early Years Centres and Family Support Programs
  • School Boards in Parent and Family Literacy Centres, Kindergarten Classrooms and Before/After School Programs
  • Early Intervention, Special Needs, Residential and Recreation Programs

 

In addition to the potential employers, the types of jobs available are also varied and include: Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs); Early Childcare Assistants (ECAs); and Child Development, Family Support, Special Needs, and Recreation Workers. The rates of pay, hours per week, and job security tend to increase with education and experience, unionized environments, and job responsibility. Many jobs, especially at the worker and assistant levels, are part-time with split shifts and may be contract based rather than permanent.

 

Appropriately trained, high quality professionals are required to meet the emerging needs in licensed child care and other services. There are financial supports for Diploma, Degree and some Certificate programs available through OSAP, Second Career, and/or Early Childhood Educators Qualification Upgrade Program and Leadership Grants. There are also free government funded basic and sector specific language training programs that can be accessed by immigrants/newcomers.

 

New requirements have increased the need for ensuring there are sufficient Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) working in a variety of programs types.  A Diploma or Degree from a post-secondary program recognized by the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) is required in order to use the title and to work as an RECE in Ontario. This should be researched carefully as not all Diplomas or Degrees lead to registration with the CECE. Recognized Diploma programs are all four semesters in length, but are offered in one year intensives or two year full time programs. 

 

Assistant positions can be obtained with either an Early Childcare Assistant (ECA) Certificate or Diploma which are offered by a variety of Private Career Colleges or through direct experience in the sector (e.g., work placement, volunteering). Many ECA programs provide financial support to eligible students. However, it should be noted that Early Childcare Assistants are not eligible to register with the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE).

 

Newcomers interested in becoming an ECA or RECE may need to improve their basic or sector specific language skills before pursuing a Diploma or Degree. There are free language programs available at various community agencies. Knowledge of the sector and work experience obtained through placements in these types of programs can also lead to employment in assistant or worker positions.

 

There is also an option to start your own unlicensed Home Based Child Care business. Anyone considering this should be aware that, in an effort to ensure child safety and quality service, advocates and associations are currently calling for all home based child cares to become part of the licensing system. 

 

Under existing legislation the Home Based Child Care Licensing Agencies, and the providers they contract with, must follow all of the regulations. These cover areas like health and safety, program quality, nutrition, CPR/First Aid training and police reference checks. So, anyone considering the home based child care business is well-advised to ensure that they are trained and prepared to offer safe, high quality programs that comply with legislative and municipal requirements. There are home based child care certificate programs at affordable costs available through Colleges in Toronto that can prepare you for this.

 

When researching available education and training programs consider:

  • the type of work that you would be eligible for upon completion
  • program results such, as graduate satisfaction and employment rates 
  • the time required to complete the program
  • whether there is a work placement component
  • referrals from past graduates
  • the cost and available financial supports

Finally, in order to be successful, it is important to assess your needs and identify your education and employment goals. For example:

  • If you want to improve your English and/or gain some Canadian experience for assistant or worker positions, consider sector specific enhanced language training programs which are free.
  • If you need to earn some income before pursuing further education, or prefer to run your own home based child care, look into taking a Home Based Child Care Certificate program.
  • If you want to work as an Early Childcare Assistant, investigate Diploma and Certificate programs that offer a work placement component. 
  • If you are ready to become an RECE and obtain your Canadian credentials, take a Diploma or Degree program that is recognized by the College of Early Childhood Educators.
  • With all of this in mind and a reasonable plan in place, you could be employed and engaged in rewarding and meaningful work with children and families within one year!

 

 

Adult Education Program to Better Serve Students with 4-Year Degrees

By Nick Maillet

 

Higher level education can, at times, feel like a young person’s game. 

 

For adults who are employed full time, have kids, or other responsibilities it can be difficult to find a degree program that fits their needs and their often-busy schedules. That is where Brock University’s Faculty of Education, with the assistance of the Ontario government, has decided to step in and expand the realm of adult education.

 

Brock University originally introduced its 3-year, online-only bachelor’s degree program (the first of its kind) in 1999, and it was a success. Now, with the help of a $330,000 grant from the government of Ontario, the University is looking to expand on that success by constructing an optional four-year program in Adult Education.

 

The news has already been received warmly, says Camille Rutherford, director of the Adult Ed Program. 

 

“We have already had a very positive response to the announcement of the 4-year program as there are many adult educators that are interested pursuing further studies beyond the three-year degree,” says Rutherford. “With the completion of an honours degree, learners can now consider graduate studies and begin their journey to a Masters or Doctoral degree.”

 

Online programs differ in many significant respects from more traditional counterparts. While flexibility is certainly a valuable trait implicit in this approach to learning, there are many other subtleties which Brock’s Adult Education program takes into account as an industry leader in a learning landscape that changes and evolves rapidly.

 

“Fundamental to designing an online program is backwards design where one begins with the end in mind,” says Rutherford. “Contrary to traditional learning opportunities that put learning ahead of teaching, one must consider the desired learning outcome that learners should be able to fulfill once they have completed the online learning experience and then design accordingly. Unlike lecture-based passive learning, online programs must utilize a variety of engaging learning strategies that will appeal to the diverse needs and interests of tech-savvy online learners.”

 

While this is certainly an exciting development for faculty and prospective students of the upcoming 4-year offering, it is by no means the end of the Program’s evolution. 

Rutherford, in her capacity as the Adult Education Program’s new director, stated her vision for the program and its future, saying “The natural progression for the Adult Education program at Brock University would result in learners being able to build on their success in the undergraduate program and complete and graduate degree while continuing to employed. Being able to provide an assortment of certificates as well as undergraduate and graduate degree learning opportunities would serve to strengthen our position as a leading Adult Education program”.

 

The fourth-year option is expected to launch in September of 2018.

For more information on the Adult Education program visit www.brocku.ca/adulted

Toronto, Canada