The reason to fear Java doesn't really have much at all to do with any merits of the language itself. The reason you should fear Java is that it doesn't really add anything to your resume to distinguish you. There are, frankly, a LOT of extremely mediocre programmers on the market, and a common attribute they share is that they only know Java.
That said, DO learn Java. Not knowing how to use one of the most popular tools in your field is also not a smart idea. Just don't by any means think that your education is done.
For what it's worth, here are the four major things I look for when interviewing programmers.
1. Do you know C? (whether you are going to be programming in C is irrelevant)
If you don't know C, you probably have very little understanding of how computers work. C is language you can depend on to be on pretty much every platform; C is the language external APIs and foreign function interfaces are specified in; C gets the job done when all your layers of abstraction fail you.
2. Do you know a functional language such as Lisp, Scheme, or Haskell?
Programming in a functional language changes the way you think about programming in general. Programmers that understand functional programming generally are able to produce better solutions to problems even in imperative languages. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs is available online for free. Read it today and improve your skillset.
3. Can you write a compiler from start to finish?
The theory surrounding language parsing (automata, state machines, regex, grammars, etc) is fundamental to computing. In fact, computing itself is usually defined in terms of it. Once you understand it, you find you apply it all the time.
The ability to translate high level languages into optimized machine instructions requires that you understand your platform at every level. This is important because it lets you understand the tradeoffs you are making when you choose one tool or method over another.
4. What is your current personal project?
What your project is doesn't matter all that much, as long as you have one. Good programmers are usually always working on some personal project that excites them.