How to Learn Java

how to learn java

New to programming? Being a beginner in the tech world can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! These days, there are so many amazing resources and learning methods available for new programmers to get their feet wet. At first, Java can seem like one of those really intimidating programming languages. Where do you even start? Today, we’ll break down how to learn Java so you can start your journey from “hello world” to landing your first role as a Java Developer.

Here’s what we’ll get into: 

  • Is it easy to learn Java? 

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

  • How do I start learning Java? 

Is it easy to learn Java? 

The short answer? Yes! The Java programming language can be a great language for new programmers to learn because the language syntax is similar to that of human languages. Java also comes with a large community of enthusiasts, programmers, and learners so it will be easy to find support systems and learning resources to get the most out of your learning experience. 

Java is a great choice for beginners and coding veterans to learn as it is so widely used, due to its structure, and because it offers many job opportunities. 

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

How long it takes to learn Java can vary based on the individual learner and their learning objectives. If you want to learn Java in order to get a job as a Java programmer, you’ll want to do deeper study than someone who is merely looking to take up coding as a hobby. 

At Kenzie Academy, we’ve created a learning framework that gives learners ample time to pick up all the essential skills needed to work as a Software Engineer specializing in backend Java development. Our program is only 12 months long and we ask learners to dedicate 30-40 hours a week to studying the programming language and working on their code. 

Whether you choose to learn in a dedicated software engineering program or on your own, you’ll want to dedicate ample time each week to improving your skills. Someone who dedicates 30-40 hours a week to working on their Java development skills could be well on their way to landing a job as a Java Developer within one to two years. 

Java Developers are high earners thanks to so many different organizations and technologies relying on it. According to Glassdoor, these software engineering professionals earn an average of $89,860 with an average salary range of $67,000 to $120,000 in the United States. So, the payoff to dedicating time and energy to learning this language is a pretty big one! 

How do I start learning Java? 

There are several ways to learn Java and choosing the right learning method for you is critical to getting the most out of your Java programming education. Many people jump into Java programming through self-study, computer science bachelor’s degrees (a.k.a. traditional university curriculum),  bootcamps, or certificate programs like Kenzie Academy. Read on to learn about these different learning environments and determine which one may be best for you. 


Learning Java through self-study comes with a lot of benefits. You can work on your schedule and customize your learning plan using whatever resources you’d like. But, there are downsides to this learning philosophy. Mainly, self-study can be difficult if you have trouble staying motivated or focused, or if you learn best when being guided by a teacher. 

For those who enjoy teaching themselves new skills, the self-study route could be the way to go. We suggest checking out this free Java tutorial from Udemy to see if this could be the right course of action for you. Others could benefit from another learning model on their Java journey, so keep reading if self-study isn’t for you. 

Computer science degree program 

Computer science degree programs often teach the fundamentals of programming while also giving you knowledge of various programming languages like Java. Since Java is so widely used, you’d likely learn it in a computer science bachelor’s degree program. 

Computer science degree programs can be very beneficial in establishing a career in tech but they often come with high tuition fees and can take anywhere from two to four years to complete (depending on whether you pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree). They can take even longer to complete if you choose to pursue a part-time education. Luckily, there are universities like Southern New Hampshire University helping to make college more affordable through high quality, online and on-campus education programs.  

Bootcamps & certificate programs 

Beginner Java programmers can also consider learning the tricks of the trade through bootcamps and certificate programs. These programs often come with the support you’d receive from a traditional degree program but at a fraction of the cost. Bootcamps and certificate programs can range in quality so you’ll want to do your research to ensure you’ll get the career outcomes you’re looking for before signing up for a program. Check out our blog for more resources on choosing a coding program. 

Software Engineering Program with Backend Java Specialization

At Kenzie Academy, we offer learners the best of both worlds: world-class support with the ability to learn on their own schedules. Our Software Engineering program with Backend Java Specialization was jointly developed with Amazon and gives graduates the foundational skills needed to land a job at Amazon and other enterprise organizations like it. 

You’ll learn Java through hands-on individual projects and gain valuable experience working as a part of a team to build web and mobile applications. The Kenzie Placement team will partner with you on your job search, provide career readiness training, and connect you with Employer Partners hiring for development roles. 

You’ll Learn:

  • Software engineering best practices
  • Advanced backend Java development 
  • Cloud architecture
  • How to work as an engineer

Skills You’ll Gain:

  • Foundational programming concepts
  • Develop advanced Java applications using object-oriented programming, data structures, and algorithms
  • Designing, developing, and servicing databases (DynamoDB, SQL)
  • Understanding software development lifecycles
  • Working on an agile team using the scrum methodology
  • Ability to pass a technical assessment when interviewing for software developer engineering roles

Interested in learning more about Java development at Kenzie Academy? Check out our Software Engineering program page and see if this is the right learning environment for you. 

Ready to jumpstart your career as a Coder? Learn more about our Software Engineering program, or check out our free beginner’s coding program Kenzie Free.

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