In this growing competitive world it’s always important to carry a tag with you. Certification is central to the learning process as it provides validation of skill sets for specific job roles. Sun certification also offers a natural progression to support your career goals. Sun Microsystems, in an effort to provide a certification path for the Java language, established the Sun Certification Exams. Despite the existence of third party certification, passing the Sun Certification Exam remains the best way of verifying an individual’s proficiency with the Java language. Industry licensing and certification distinguish competent professionals from amateur or trainee workers. Regardless of the industry or field, these two things help to protect the interests of employers, and the customers who rely on sufficiently trained employees
The Certification road map
With Oracle purchasing Sun Micro systems the names of the certifications have been changed.The below link shows the new certification path
Let us categorize the the certification road map like this..
Java SE Certification Learning Path
Java EE Certification Learning Path
Java ME Certification Learning Path