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Resources for High School Students to Learn Java

Since its inception back in 1995, Java has remained one of the most prominent coding languages and platforms for web development. It is currently utilized by 90% of all Fortune 500 companies and runs on at least 50 billion devices worldwide; essentially every computer is capable of running Java.

While it is among the more complex coding languages to learn, the benefits are worth overcoming any initial difficulties.

Students who learn Java in high school will be better prepared for college and entering the workforce. Despite the challenging nature of the language, there are resources to learn on your own. Java skills can be used to build a career or just a fun and innovative hobby that is sure to improve critical and creative thinking skills. It can also be a lucrative talent for students who need scholarships or internships for college. In short, there is no shortage of advantages for high schoolers who learn to code with Java.

Books and Online Resources

There are several books out there that are written specifically for beginners who want to learn Java. Some think books are an antiquated form of learning, but that’s simply untrue. Books allow students to refer back to a concept quickly and take notes as they learn over time. You can check out one or two from the library if you’d like to save money before deciding whether Java is right for you. Here are a few recommendations to get you started—but be mindful that you’re looking at the most current edition of each book. Java has frequent updates and you want to be sure you’re getting current information. 

  1. Head First Java, 3rd Edition by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates: This book contains a combination of interviews, puzzles, and visual explanations to grab your attention and engage your brain in different ways. 
  1. Java: A Beginner’s Guide, 9th Edition by Herbert Schildt: Fully revised with all of the latest Java tools, this book is truly for beginners. It also features exercises to test yourself to make sure you understand the concepts before moving forward in the book.
  1. Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist by Allen B. Downey: This book is designed specifically for use in high schools, so teenaged readers should be able to grasp the material. It is also one of a series, for those who want to learn multiple coding languages and find the writing style effective.
  1. Effective Java, 3rd Edition by Joshua Bloch: Bloch was one of the original developers of Java, so this book gives a complete understanding of the basics. It offers unique insights into the best ways to solve problems with Java and why certain mechanisms work better than others. 
  1. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin: This is a book that even experienced developers keep in their collection so they can refer back to it. Readers will gain a better understanding of what is good code and, perhaps more importantly, how to transform your code into the best and cleanest version possible. 


Books can help fill gaps in your knowledge, but nothing beats hands-on learning when you’re working with such complex material. High school students can also access other resources to learn Java on the internet. There are several YouTube tutorials available for beginners. Udemy also offers a free Java tutorial course that is over 16 hours long. 

Java Classes for High Schoolers

If you’re interested in taking a Java class that is specifically geared toward high school students, you can check out NextGen Bootcamp’s Java classes for high schoolers. Depending on your location and preferences, students can take in-person Java courses at their location in New York City or attend a live online Java class from the comfort of home. NextGen offers expert instruction and small class sizes so students can get the attention they need to be successful. NextGen also makes their courses available for free retakes up to one year after the original course date.

NextGen Bootcamp has a Java Summer Camp that is available in-person or remotely. This course is specially designed for beginners. Through 50 hours of instruction, students start with the basics of Java and end by creating an entire project using their new skills with the Java language. This class is also a wonderful preparatory option for high school students who are planning on taking the AP Computer Science Course in high school—in fact, this course covers 75% of the same material.

Career Paths with Java

Even though Java has been around for over 25 years, it continues to be one of the most in-demand programming languages around. Being such a consistent force in the tech industry means that there is no shortage of job opportunities available. Java can open doors for careers such as game development, web development, and desktop app development. The best Java developers are the ones who can keep up with the latest developments in the language and are enthusiastic about doing so since Java has an update roughly every six months.

The average annual salary of a Java Developer is around $100,000, though this may differ depending on which part of the country you live in, your level of education, and your experience. Currently, there are tens of thousands of jobs currently available in Java development. The language has a widespread influence and is used across nearly every sector of the job market. 

Training in Java can also help prepare you for a career as a Mobile Developer. In this profession, you’ll work with clients to create, test, and roll out apps for both Android and iOS. In addition to programming knowledge, you’ll also need skills in user experience and user interface design. The average annual salary for a Mobile Developer in the United States is around $120,000. 

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