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98-388 Exam - Introduction to Programming Using Java

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MTA: Introduction to Programming Using Java Certification Facts

The Microsoft MTA: Introduction to Programming Using Java is a fundamental certification designed for novice Java developers. Therefore, its main advantage is that this certificate can be considered as a successful start of your career in application development.

It is important to keep in mind that this certification path is focused on the Java 6 SE or later. What’s more, Microsoft has announced that this MTA certification track will retire on June 30, 2022, so the corresponding accreditation exam is available for registration till June 30, 2021.


Given that this is an entry-level certification, the main audience is software development students or aspiring software developers, as well as all those who want to tie their professional path to programming in Java.

At the same time, it is recommended that each candidate has 150 hours or more of practical experience with Java or has related training. This ensures that the applicant has prior knowledge and skills of Java, its features and functions, as well as can write and edit code.

The Associated Exam

As you have already understood, to get this MTA certificate you must successfully pass the official exam. In the case of the MTA: Introduction to Programming Using Java designation, you must enroll in exam 98-388 by June 30, 2021, and write it within a year.

In more detail, this is the official test, which lasts 45 minutes. During this time, you must answer 44 questions in various formats such as drag and drop, best answer, multi-choice, case studies, and short answer among others. So, the main purpose of this exam is to verify your confidence in the Java programming language at a fundamental level.

Regarding the format of the final evaluation, you can do it in one of the authorized testing centers or online at your convenience, but only after the registration procedure on the Pearson VUE platform. However, in order to receive an official voucher, each candidate must pay an enrollment fee, the cost of which depends on the country of location. For example, applicants from the United States must pay just $127.

Required Knowledge and Skillset

As with any official evaluation, it is difficult to get a passing grade if you do not know the basic topics of the test. But Microsoft is interested in success of its candidates, so each exam page has an up-to-date list of knowledge areas and topics you should be proficient in. As a result, the questions cover 5 main sections that are linked to software development with Java.

  • (15-20%) Understanding Java fundamental concepts

    Starting with the basics, you will have to demonstrate your understanding of the Main method in any Java application, its signature and characteristics, and its command-line arguments. You must also apply print statements and the Scanner class to perform data input/output. And don't forget the key skill of declaring a variable in a class, block, or method.

  • (40-45%) Working with variables, data types, and expressions

    Code writing isn't gaining traction if you don't know the key data types of variables and arithmetic expressions. And the skills to manipulate strings, arrays alongside array lists, as well as casting, parsing, and conversion are essential for every future developer.

  • (15-20%) Implementing flow control

    As you understand, you are sure to get questions about coding by using branching statements such as else, if, else if, switch, in parallel with nesting, single-line versus block, relational and logical operators. You should also be able to use loops, namely for, while, do while, for each, break and continue, and unary operators among others.

  • (10-15%) Performing object-oriented programming

    Object-oriented programming is a key skill in software development, so it's no surprise that you'll encounter it on your final test. In more detail, you should be able to build and declare a class and organize access to class data members. If you touch methods, you must be able to declare and implement them with respect to their type and parameters. Finally, you must know how to use any class object in your program.

  • (5-10%) Debugging and compiling and code

    Error handling and correction is one of the most important processes of code writing, so just like any other candidate, you must be able to eliminate syntax and logical errors, as well as run-time errors. And by no means forget about exception handling.

Professional Prospects

The Java programming language is one of the most in-demand, so having an official qualification, even at the beginning of your career, will play into your hands. All the more so as it leads you to the desired position of Junior Java Developer. And if you're interested in pay, such an aspiring specialist can earn as much as $55,859 a year, according to the website. Not bad for a start, isn't it?

And further improvement of your skills and successful practical programming experience can lead you quickly enough to the position of Java Developer with an average salary of $75k. And you are just a step away from the Senior level. Because everything depends on your motivation and desire to develop.

Further Career Path

MTA: Introduction to Programming Using Java is ideal for assessing and validating basic technical knowledge, which increases your credibility as a motivated and committed specialist. But if you want to move forward in your career, Microsoft has a lot to offer. This well-known vendor provides a huge choice of accreditation paths, which allows the candidate to constantly evolve and not stop there.

So, for example, if you are interested in development, you can take a look at MTA: Software Development Fundamentals. This is exactly the kind of qualification that a dedicated developer needs because it covers key software development skills.

At the same time, knowledge of a single programming language now is not a surprise, so do not forget about related options. So you can demonstrate syntactically correct JavaScript code with MTA: Introduction to Programming Using JavaScript certification.

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