Many Certifications, Many Jobs? - page 3
Looking at the Certification Landscape
- CompTIA's Linux+ -- CompTIA is best known for its technician level certifications like A+, for hardware, and the self-explanatory Network+, Linux+ is another entry-level technician certification. To get a Linux+ certification you must pass a single two-hour test. More than the other certifications, the emphasis is on hardware and system maintenance. In short, it's exactly what you think it would be: a certification for a technician, not an administrator or developer.
Given the popularity of CompTIA's certifications, the Linux+ would work well for someone who likes getting their hands dirty with the nitty-gritty of hardware, while wanting to add some Linux expertise to their resume.
- LPI - The oldest and most broadly supported Linux certification is supported by almost anyone who's anyone in Linux-SCO (fomerly Caldera), IBM, SGI, SuSE and VA Linux-except for Red Hat. This three-level certification program is meant for serious Linux administrators. For example, someone with a Linux+ could be expected to know the basic use of sed, someone with an LPI level 1 could be expected to know how to write basic shell scripts with sed.
- RHCE - If an employer knows any Linux certification, it's this one. That's no great surprise; Red Hat is following the tried and true route of bundling their certification with what's easily the most popular business Linux distribution in North America. And, in all fairness, it is a good set of certifications. Fairfield Research conducted an industry-wide survey 3,939 certificated IT professionals in late 2001, and RHCE, the one Linux certification to appear, got top marks.
An RHCE is meant to say that the holder is a qualified Red Hat Linux system or network administrator. Given our analysis of job ads, employers agree. With Dell and Oracle's support, the RHCE should continue to be an important certification.
- Sair Linux and GNU Certification - The LCP is another entry-level certification that sits between the Linux+ and LPI's Level One. Like the LPI, it's vendor neutral.
While Sair has a good reputation, it's hard to see the LCP becoming an important certification. The LPI and RHCE have the industry connections and CompTIA's certifications are well-known in all kinds of business. During the last week, when you tried to click on Sair's Why Certify page, you would have found a 404-error message-page not found. What more need be said?
So what should you do? If you're looking for a Linux job, there really isn't a pressing reason to get a Linux certification. A RHCE is the most likely to help you, and eventually an LPI or Linux+ could give you a leg up. But, for now, stay in college and get some kind of job where you can work with Linux, a degree and experience will serve you much better than a certification.
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