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How Long Does It Take To Learn Java? (And Where To Start)

Java is a versatile programming language that has applications in a wide variety of fields. It is used in web development, mobile app development, big data management, and more. Java is also one of the most popular programming languages in the world, with millions of developers using it to create applications and systems.

But how long does it take to learn Java and get your first job? In this article, we’ll discuss what Java is all about, and how long it takes to learn to use it. We’ll also provide some tips for getting started on your journey to becoming a Java developer.

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What is Java programming language?

Java is a versatile programming language that enables developers to create robust, high-performance applications. It has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its powerful features and ease of use. Java is widely used in enterprise applications, mobile apps, and web development, as well as scientific computing, big data, and machine learning. 

Why learn Java?

Java is a programming language and computing platform that enables developers to create a wide range of applications. Java is used in everything from web browsers and cell phones to enterprise-level servers and supercomputers.

Java’s versatility makes it a popular choice for developers, and its platform-independent nature means that Java runs on a variety of platforms, such as Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It can also be used to develop software for a wide range of devices, from embedded systems and mobile phones to enterprise servers and supercomputers. What’s more, Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, so learning it can give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Java is a versatile language that can be used to create both simple and complex applications. Some popular Java applications include:

  • Web Applications: Sites like Amazon and Facebook are built with Java.
  • Desktop Applications: Programs like Eclipse and Adobe Photoshop are written in Java.
  • Mobile Applications: Games like Angry Birds and popular social media apps are created with Java.
  • Enterprise Applications: Systems like Paypal and banking software are developed using Java.

Learning Java will teach you how to think like a programmer and write code that is readable, reliable, and reusable. Java is an object-oriented language, which means it organizes code into modules called “objects.” This makes it easy to build large applications by reusing existing code in a hierarchical manner.

woman smiling holding glass mug sitting beside table with MacBook and learning Java as her first programming language
Photo by Paige Cody @ Pexels

So, how long does it take to learn Java?

So, now you’re wondering – how long does it take to master Java? Just like any other language, it takes months to get comfortable writing code in Java. On average, you can expect to spend:

  • 3 months of full-time (4-6 hours/day) studying, or
  • 6 months of studying in your free time (1-3 hours/day), or
  • 12 months of studying on weekends only

to achieve the level of proficiency needed to get a job as a Java developer.

It may take you less if you have experience in programming, especially if you have learned an object-oriented programming (OOP) language in the past. On the other hand, if you are a complete novice, you may need to spend a few more months picking up Java, in particular if you are studying without the guidance of an instructor.

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Is Java a good first language to learn?

Java is a good first language to learn because it is relatively easy to read and write, and it can be used to build a variety of applications. Java has a large community of developers and is so widely used that there are many resources available to help you study on your own.

Additionally, learning Java can give you a good foundation for understanding other programming languages. Finally, Java is an object-oriented language, which means you will get to learn about important OOP concepts such as classes, objects, methods, inheritance, and polymorphism if you choose it as your first language.

On the other hand, Java is not necessarily an easy language to learn due to its verbose syntax and large number of commands. Nevertheless, it is still a good choice for a first language because once you learn the basics, you will be able to transfer your skills to other programming languages. For this particular reason, Java is commonly taught as the first programming language in many universities.

In our opinion, use Java as your first language if you are learning coding in college or with a high-quality guided online course. Otherwise, consider learning JavaScript as your first programming language.

How difficult is Java to learn?

Java is moderately difficult to learn. While it is not as difficult as languages like C++, which requires a more in-depth understanding of memory management, Java is not as easy to pick up as simpler languages like Python.

However, the difficulty level of Java also depends on how much experience you have with programming in general. If you are a complete beginner, then Java will be more difficult for you to learn than if you already have some experience with other languages, particularly object-oriented programming languages.

However, even for experienced programmers, Java can still present some challenges, especially when it comes to the more advanced concepts, such as multithreading and concurrency.

Woman About to Write on Paper wondering how long does it take to learn Java
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom @ Pexels

What does it mean to “know” Java?

So how do you actually define “knowing Java”? Well, there are several layers to mastering Java.

Level 1 – Basics:

  • Variables and Constants
  • Loops and Conditionals
  • Arrays
  • Classes and Objects
  • Inheritance and Polymorphism
  • Interfaces

Level 2 – Intermediate:

  • I/O Streams
  • Abstract Classes
  • Static Methods and Fields
  • Garbage Collection and Memory Management
  • Packages
  • Exceptions
  • Unit Testing

Level 3 – Advanced:

  • Threads
  • Lambdas
  • Generics
  • Annotations
  • Enums

In order to successfully pass a technical interview and be employed as an entry-level Java engineer, you should aim to be Level 2 (intermediate) or above by the time of filing your job applications.

To be truly proficient at the level of being able to apply for more senior positions, however, means that you should not only use Java to write code, but also understand how the Java Virtual Machine works and be able to modify the core class files.

Additionally, you should know about the different libraries and frameworks, including the standard library, that can be used with Java to write code more quickly and effectively.   

What do I need to get started with Java?

Follow these simple steps to get started:

1. Get a Java development environment.

There are many different Java development environments, but the most popular ones are Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA.

2. Download the Java SE Development Kit (JDK).

The JDK is a software development kit containing everything you need to write Java code, including the Java compiler, Javadoc, and the Java runtime environment.

3. Learn the basics of Java programming.

There are many resources available online to learn the basics of Java programming, such as tutorials on websites like Codecademy or Coursera.

4. Start coding!

Once you have learned the basics of Java programming, start coding your own programs and projects. 

Woman in Black Shirt Using Macbook to learn Java
Photo by Christina Morillo @ Pexels

Resources for learning Java

Here we will present you with the best resources for learning Java in the most down-to-earth, straightforward way possible.

Best Java courses

If you are looking for the best Java course available online, consider our selection of the following gems:

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1. Java Programming Masterclass on Udemy

This course is the most complete Java course on the internet. Within a single masterclass, you will learn not only both the fundamental and advanced concepts of the language, but also the most popular libraries and frameworks. You will absolutely be able to tackle any Java coding interview after finishing this course!

2. The Complete Java Development Bootcamp on Udemy.

This course on Udemy features over 300 lectures and 27 hours of video content, teaching you everything from the basics of Java programming to advanced topics like Lambdas and Threads, and includes a Capstone Project at the end of the course.

3. Java Programming: Principles of Software Design on Coursera.

This Coursera course is offered by Duke University and teaches principles of software design in Java, including object-oriented design, design patterns, testing, and refactoring.

4. Java Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning.

This LinkedIn Learning course covers the basics of Java programming, such as syntax, variables, loops, and object-oriented programming.

5. Learn Java on Codecademy

This course on Codecademy teaches everything about the fundamentals of Java that you will need to get comfortable with the basics of the language.

Best Java books

If you prefer to learn Java from a book, some of the best ones include:

1. Head First Java, 3rd edition

This book by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates is a great way to learn the basics of Java programming in an engaging and fun way.

2. Java: The Complete Reference, 12th edition

This book by Herbert Schildt is a comprehensive guide to the Java programming language, covering everything from the basics to advanced topics.

3. Effective Java, 3rd edition

This book by Joshua Bloch covers best practices in Java programming, including how to write better code, how to design better APIs, and how to avoid common programming mistakes.

4. Modern Java in Action, 2nd edition

This book by Raoul-Gabriel Urma, Mario Fusco, and Alan Mycroft is a great way to learn about the new features of Java, including lambda expressions, streams, and the new Date/Time API.

5. Core Java, Volume I–Fundamentals, 12th edition

This book by Cay Horstmann is a great reference for the Java programming language, covering everything from the basics to advanced topics.

Best Java blogs

If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest Java news and information, some of the best Java blogs to follow include:

1. The Java Source

The Java Source is a blog run by the developers at Oracle, where they share their insights on all things Java.

2. TheServerSide

TheServerSide is a blog that focuses on Java Enterprise development, including topics like web services, cloud computing, and big data.

3. DZone Java.

DZone Java is a blog that covers all aspects of Java development, from tutorials to news and information.

4. Infoworld.com

Infoworld is a blog that covers all aspects of Java programming, from tutorials to news and information.

5. Java Code Geeks

Java Code Geeks is a blog that covers all aspects of Java development, from tutorials to news and information.

Person Sitting on Gray Sofa While Using Macbook to learn Java
Photo by Pixabay

How do I get job-ready with Java?

Learning Java is only half of the work. Before you start applying to the developer positions, you need to make sure you are job-ready. In order to do that, you need to work on your resume – make sure it is polished, concise, and presentable. The formatting should highlight your most in-demand skills and work experience.

You should also try to build a strong portfolio of Java projects. When you are a new programmer with little work experience, employers will look for signs of your coding abilities through alternative demonstrations of programming skills. You may incorporate personal projects, contributions to open source projects, volunteering for small local businesses, and participation in hackathons into your coding portfolio.

Another great way to gain real-world programming experience is through internships. Internships can help you learn more about the field of Java development, and they also look great on a resume. If you don’t have any professional work experience, internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

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Finally, you need to sharpen your interview skills by practicing solving coding problems on such platforms as LeetCode, HackerRank, and Coderbyte. Java is a vast language with many subtopics – make sure you are well-versed in the most commonly asked Java interview questions so that you can ace your coding interview.

And don’t forget the importance of networking. Get out there and meet other Java developers, attend industry events, and participate in online forums. The more you put yourself out there, the better your chances of landing your dream job as a Java developer.

How to get a Java developer job with no experience?

The best way to get a Java developer job with no experience is to start by learning the basics of the language and continuing on to intermediate-level Java immediately after. Once you have a strong foundation, search for entry-level jobs that require Java skills.

Apply for as many jobs as you can and be prepared to showcase your programming skills in an interview. Finally, continue practicing and learning new concepts so you can stay ahead of the competition.

How long does it take to learn Java to get a job?

So how long does it take to learn Java to actually get a job? All in all, it typically takes around 6-12 months to learn Java and get a job as a junior Java developer if you put intensive hours into your learning process. Of course, this depends on your prior experience in programming and how quickly you pick up new concepts.

Besides learning the language itself, expect to spend some time on your job applications and interview process. This typically takes another 1-3 months. So, in total, you could be looking at a timeline of 7-15 months to learn Java and get your first job as a junior Java developer.

a groups of software engineers programming on their computers
Photo by Sigmund @ Unsplash

What type of jobs can I do with Java?

There is a number of jobs you could do after learning Java. Since Java is a versatile language, you could be looking at working as a:

  • Android Developer
  • Java Developer
  • Game Developer
  • QA Engineer
  • IoT Developer
  • Backend Developer
  • Full Stack Developer

The list goes on, but those are some of the most popular jobs that people tend to look for after learning Java. Of course, you can always freelance and work on a number of different projects as well. It really depends on what you’re interested in and where your skills lie.

How much does a Java developer make?

Just as any other software engineers, Java developers make decent earnings with their Java programming skills. The average annual salary of an entry-level Java developer is $84,605, according to ZipRecruiter. Similarly, mid-level Java developers earn $102,278, and senior developers make $131,529 per year.

Besides the base salary, Java developers enjoy other benefits and perks, such as bonuses, medical insurance, 401(k) plans, and paid vacation days, which all add up to make Java engineers happy and comfortable with their jobs.


Java is a variegated tool that can be learned as a first programming language on your journey to becoming a software engineer. When it comes to how long does it take to learn Java, it will take 3-12 months to learn Java and be able to get your first Java developer job.

There are numerous resources to study Java on your own, which we have outlined in this article. We wish you luck with learning Java and can’t way to see you achieve your future engineering career goals!