How Long Does it Take to Learn Java?

Java is a versatile programming language that can lead to a variety of careers such as Web Developer, Mobile App Developer, Data Scientist, Game Designer, and Laboratory Scientist. Learning Java can take from a few months to over a year, depending on previous experience and learning methods.

Key Insights

  • The learning duration for Java varies, with beginners expected to learn the programming language in roughly nine months, while those with existing coding experience can grasp it in one to three months.
  • Key factors influencing how quickly you learn Java include previous coding experience, your purpose for learning, personal learning style, chosen learning method, and the amount of practice invested.
  • Java is useful for a myriad of professions, including Web Developing, Mobile App Developing, User Experience Designing, Data Science, Game Designing, and Laboratory Science.
  • Java's unique interpretative process speeds up development cycles, making it an efficient tool for coders.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive Java training via in-person or live online courses, designed to equip beginners and experienced coders alike.
  • Java is free to download and while it has a complex syntax, it is considered moderately easy to learn, especially for those with prior coding experience.

Like many aspiring Web Developers, Data Scientists, or Mobile App Designers, you might want to learn Java but worry that it will take too much time. As programming languages go, Java is moderately easy to learn. The most significant challenge in learning Java is its lengthy syntax, which is more complicated than a language like Python. Expert estimates of how long it takes a beginner to learn Java range from six to 18 months, averaging around nine months overall. One to three months is the estimated range for a person who already knows a programming language.Of course, this depends on several factors. 

Keep reading to learn about how you can learn Java and some resources to help speed the process along.

What is Java?

Java is both an object-oriented programming language and a software platform in itself. Its creators designed it as a “write once, run anywhere” tool. It is portable, scalable, and adaptable. An app created in Java can function across multiple platforms and over distributed networks. This flexibility makes the Java language widely useful and Java coders highly desirable to employers. Professions that use Java include Web Developer, Mobile App Developer, User Experience Designer, Data Scientist, Game Designer, and Laboratory Scientist.

Java’s modular nature allows developers to take existing pieces of code that are useful to them and then combine those modules in a new context for a new purpose. Also, programs in Java do not need to be compiled because the virtual Java Runtime Environment tool interprets the code and translates it for the computer you are using. Java’s portable and adaptable nature allows it to serve a wide range of use cases. For this reason, it has become the chosen tool of key players in the technology space: for example, the Android operating system is based on Java code. In addition to being critical for mobile app development, Java is also a crucial skill for Web Developers. It is also used for data science, game design, user experience design, and scientific applications. Many employers are eager to hire Java coders because the language is highly flexible, with many possible use cases and adaptations to new contexts.

Read more about what Java is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Java?

Software Engineering Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

Knowing Java means you can code across multiple operating systems and hardware architectures without modifying your programs for a new environment. Because it is an object-oriented programming language, Java allows you to create modular units of code that you can reuse in any Java program, even across platforms and environments. You can quickly adapt code created for one use case to apply in another, as Java is highly flexible and adaptable for novel contexts. So as exciting new technologies arise, your knowledge of Java will remain relevant and desirable to employers.

Using Java also speeds up the development cycle. This is due to its unique interpretation process, which allows developers to sidestep much of the routine testing and debugging necessary when coding in other programming languages. You can use the Java Runtime Environment to keep your applications robust with its automatic memory management. The JRE also supports robust graphic interfaces through multithreading. Another advantage is that its built-in virus and tamper protection keeps your code secure.

With Java, you can build mobile applications for the Android platform and, in some cases, for iOs. If you’re into big data, you can use Java to analyze large datasets with open-source tools like Hadoop and Spark. Java’s “write once, run anywhere” functionality makes it perfect for writing cloud-based applications and powering data collection within them. Though machine learning is typically associated with Python, libraries such as Deep Learning for Java and MLib make it easy to take advantage of Java’s speed and security by providing a stable environment for deep learning or machine learning processes. Another great application for Java is programming smart household devices. Java is also useful for game design, both mobile and desktop. 

Average Time it Takes to Learn Java

If you are a complete beginner, experts estimate that you could learn Java in as little as six months. However, depending on your learning process, it could also take as long as 12-18 months. The average estimate for a beginner to learn Java is about nine months.

For someone who already knows how to code, learning Java could take as little as a month. Experts say that it might take up to three months, depending on how much you practice.

Other Factors

The time it takes you to learn Java will depend on several aspects of your learning process. Your prior experience with coding, reason for learning, personal learning style, and the learning method you choose will all affect how long it takes you to learn Java.

Prior Experience

The most important factor in how long it will take you to learn Java is whether you have prior experience with coding. For beginners, Java is a moderately easy language to learn, but its complex syntax can prove a bit tricky to master. If you already know how to code, picking up Java will go more smoothly.

Why You’re Learning

Your reason for learning Java will also affect how quickly you pick up. If you’re looking to make a career change, that may motivate you to learn more rapidly. Someone who is learning Java to enhance the skills they bring to their existing position may progress more gradually, depending on how much of an effect they anticipate their new skills having on their work.

How You Naturally Learn

Everyone has their own natural learning pace. Some people tend to pick up new skills quickly. Others take more time but may eventually acquire a deeper understanding. Awareness of your own learning tendencies can help you estimate how long it will take to learn Java.

The Learning Method You Choose

The way you decide to learn Java will likely affect the speed of your learning. If you benefit from following a schedule set by someone else, you may learn more quickly with live instruction because you are required to devote certain times to studying and meet specific deadlines.

How Much You Practice

If you have a busy schedule or are tired from other parts of your life, you may not be able to do much practice outside class, or you may not be able to keep up with your self-paced course as easily.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Java is free to download, as are many of its frameworks and libraries. It is also easy to learn, especially if you have previous coding experience. And even if you don’t know any other programming languages, Java is reasonably beginner-friendly. While its lengthy syntax sometimes causes confusion, familiarizing yourself with basic concepts ahead of time can ease the learning process. It’s also important to get assistance from others who have more experience with the language. Finding a mentor will make it easier for you to navigate Java’s challenges. Java also has a large, supportive international community. Your fellow Java coders and the tools they’ve built, such as the many free frameworks and libraries available, can help your learning experience go more smoothly. Especially if you’re pursuing a self-paced course, Java discussion forums will be an essential resource for you.

Before learning Java, you should have basic computer skills. It’s also important to identify what you want to do with Java by researching the professions that use it. This will help you understand the best way to pursue your studies. In addition, you may want to investigate other possible languages to study for your purposes. That way, you’ll make an informed decision, which will help you be fully committed and motivated if you choose to study Java.

Read more about how difficult it is to learn Java

Watch a Free Java Online Course

If you’re not ready to take on an entire course yet, you can still discover the world of Java through the many free online resources available. Udemy offers a free introductory course for absolute beginners. They also have free tutorials on specialized topics, like integrating Java with MySQL, that you might want to check out later in your Java studies. The free Introduction to Java course on Coursera will take you through the operators and syntax you’ll need to write simple Java code. Udacity and freeCodeCamp each offer several free Java courses, including beginner programs. Free courses are a good option for students to learn the basics of Java, but if you want to delve deeper, you’ll likely benefit from making a financial investment in your studies.

Read about more free Java videos and online tutorials

Learn Java with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers several options for studying Java. Its small class sizes and expert instructors make for an ideal learning environment. And if you want to enhance your knowledge further, you can always retake the class—for free. With both in-person and live online options available, you can learn Java in whichever way best fits your needs.

Noble’s Java bootcamp is a great way to learn Java quickly and well. You can do the bootcamp either in-person or live online. This program teaches practical Java skills and the computer science principles that form the foundation of Java’s effectiveness. The course covers object-oriented programming, recursion, and data structures. You’ll also discover the secrets of the interpretation process that streamlines the creation of a new program in Java. By the end of the course, you’ll be ready to pass the Java SE 11 Programmer 1 Exam, helping you qualify for entry-level coding positions. In addition to the bootcamp, some of Noble’s other coding classes also include instruction in Java.

High school and college students can take summer Java classes through NextGen Bootcamp, Noble’s partner school. For those who can attend an in-person program in New York City, NextGen offers a Java programming summer camp. This 50-hour course culminates in each student creating a final project in Java, which they can include in their portfolio when applying for computer science programs. The camp also gives students a head start preparing for their AP Computer Science exam. Students who can’t make it to NYC have another option: NextGen’s live online summer Java program. Though different in the delivery method, this course offers the same content, final project, and exam preparation as the in-person course. 

Key Insights

  • The most important factor in how long it will take you to learn Java is your coding experience.
  • A beginner will take an average of nine months to learn Java, while a person with coding experience will take one to three months.
  • Other factors impacting your learning speed include why you are learning, your natural learning process, the method you chose, and how much you practice your skills.
  • You can receive comprehensive Java training through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop.

How to Learn Coding

Master coding with hands-on training. Learning how to code in JavaScript, Python, and other popular languages can pave the way to a job in tech, such as web development, data science & analytics, or software engineering.

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