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  1. Senior Member Talic's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Linux certs worth anything?

    I remember reading awhile ago that Linux certs weren't well recognized. So I thought I would bring up the relevance of them again. Wouldn't it be a waste of money to bother with Linux+(or any other *nix cert with maybe the exception of RHCE)? If job experience overrides certification with Linux, is it best to not even bother? Since certs are pretty much there to show employers that you know something, wouldn't just scoring a *nix admin job be enough to make any certs irrelevant?

    A problem could be getting such a *nix admin job in the first place but I'm thinking an internship would take care of that problem. Along with book studying, practicing, and some classes just like going for certification, should do just as well as paying some company to let you take cert tests.
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    Seems like the same debate you hear for and against certifications across all certs. Not just Linux.

    But with market share growing in Linux I do believe employers are going to be looking for ways of quantifying talent. So how ever low, or high the value of Linux certification it's bound to increase.

    A follow up question, how does the Linux community educate everyone? And how do we best confirm someone's skill?
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  4. Senior Member Talic's Avatar
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    #3
    I'm not sure if I would put it with all other certification debates. Microsoft certs are still in demand with a few people I've talked to. One guy was told by one employer that he was over qualified and under certified by the HR he was applying for. So it seems like balance of all of the big three, experience, education, certification.

    But I think Linux certs are different. I'm not sure if even HR departments even recognize Linux certs. Maybe I'll ask the company I'm applying for my internship for when I go for an interview if they recognize Linux certs.

    I think it would be great to save money and worry from cert tests. It could go toward some classes and books.
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  5. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #4
    Well I know one recruiter I was talking to thought my resume looked great, I had everything they were looking for in a candidate, except I didn't have my MCSE. So they had to take a pass on me.

    So far the only jobs I've seen looking for Linux certs are asking for an RHCE. Not that I've been looking too hard at the Linux sector as I don't consider myself qualified yet to be a purely Linux admin. Everyone I've talked to though has been impressed with seeing Linux experience on my resume as there seem to be a lot of hybrid shops these days.
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  6. Senior Member sthomas's Avatar
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    #5
    In my exerience having a Linux certifications sets you apart from the crowd if you are Windows admin or just entering the IT Field. Having the Linux+ helped me get my first full time IT job as an IT Support Tech. The primary job function was desktop support but since the place had Linux Servers having a basic knowledge of Linux along with the Linux+ helped me get noticed for an interview. If you are an experience Linux/Unix Admin then having a certification under your belt except the higher level ones like RHCE probably won't help much. But like I said early in this post if you are a Windows Admin or new to the field then getting Linux+ and/or LPIC certification can make a difference if you have the knowledge behind the certification.
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    #6
    "I'm not sure if even HR departments even recognize Linux certs."

    I would highly doubt that the HR department would even know what Linux is!
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  8. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #7

    Default Re: Linux certs worth anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talic
    I remember reading awhile ago that Linux certs weren't well recognized. So I thought I would bring up the relevance of them again. Wouldn't it be a waste of money to bother with Linux+(or any other *nix cert with maybe the exception of RHCE)? If job experience overrides certification with Linux, is it best to not even bother? Since certs are pretty much there to show employers that you know something, wouldn't just scoring a *nix admin job be enough to make any certs irrelevant?

    A problem could be getting such a *nix admin job in the first place but I'm thinking an internship would take care of that problem. Along with book studying, practicing, and some classes just like going for certification, should do just as well as paying some company to let you take cert tests.
    While I don't think Linux or Unix certs in themselves will open lots of doors in terms of jobhunting, I do think if you have them and have already got yourself into a sizable organisation it could lead to some good opportunities within that company. A lot of large companies have middleware and backoffice UNIX platforms, and Linux is emerging on the front end, the DMZ. I think the key thing with Linux and UNIX certs is to ensure you use the syllabus to earn 'useful' hands on skills so that you can straight off do useful things on these platforms, and pick up the paper as you go along. This goes for all certs of course but with Linux and Unix you need that command line hands-on. Not least as you will be working alongside timeserved command line people at some point in these areas.

    My previous Solaris experience was fairly good, but it's rusty now, so I do see me embarking on the Linux/Unix path sometime next year to pull things together.
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    #8
    To me, I would think Linux certs or just Linux experience is worth a lot.

    Microsoft certs and professionals are a dime a dozen...


    Linux is a better OS. Eventually, managers and corp. executives will eventually get this. Vista might be the turning point for people to start converting over to Linux on a massive level.

    The problem is: Microsoft is good at marketing and BSing people. They are the best in the business at selling their products.
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  10. nel
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    #9
    i recently got turned down for a job interview for having no linux experiance!!! it will do you no harm!!

    all the jobs i have seen have asked for rhce.
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  11. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #10
    I know linux experience has made me stand out in the interviews I have been in recently. Even for some places that didn't ask for linux on their job listing when I was being interviewed on the phone the IT director would have some positive comments and/or questions about my linux experience. It hasn't gotten me a job yet, but it has helped in getting me noticed. I plan on adding some sort of linux certification as well as soon as I finish my MCSE.
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    #11
    Linux experience is worth a lot.

    I used to have 10 CPU's at home and each has a different flavor of Linux. The reason I did that is I want to know the difference between the distro's. But now I cut it down to 5 boxes, I virtualize the other distros now using VirtualBox.

    Linux is great, you can run certain distros good on older hardware. So don't be shocked when I say, "I used to have 10 CPU's at home..", those aren't all Duo Core or Quad Core, they were a mixture of pentium 1's, 2's and 3's that I picked up at garage sells for $5 to $10 each.

    Damn Small Linux runs great on the older pentiums, Slackware and Freespire did great on the 2's and 3's.... SuSE10 and Fedora did good on the PIII's. But I have SuSE10 running on a older Dell Poweredge 2300 Server (PII) with dual cpu's and gig of ram. TinyME and GoblinX run awesome to with the PII's and PIII's.

    All of my Windows friends ask me why I like the older hardware. I tell them, when you use Linux, you don't need a lot of power like with Vista. So these Windows users can keep paying $800 for their systems, in 3 years, they can sell it to me for $5 to $10.... YAH for me!!!
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  13. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by AirborneDude
    To me, I would think Linux certs or just Linux experience is worth a lot.

    Microsoft certs and professionals are a dime a dozen...


    Linux is a better OS. Eventually, managers and corp. executives will eventually get this. Vista might be the turning point for people to start converting over to Linux on a massive level.

    The problem is: Microsoft is good at marketing and BSing people. They are the best in the business at selling their products.
    There have been plenty of techs and managers for a number of years who have seen potential value in moving to linux. The problem for the larger companies is the support. They like to have someone to beat up if things go wrong in terms of hardware/driver/os/compatibility. So many still err on the side of the major vendors to get that. A consultant I work with has seen some really bad situations with RedHat and hardware support.

    That said, this is not the only reason, it depends on the setting and many things. In some cases an MS solution well designed and supported is still the way to go.
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  14. Senior Member sthomas's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by AirborneDude
    Microsoft certs and professionals are a dime a dozen...


    Linux is a better OS. Eventually, managers and corp. executives will eventually get this. Vista might be the turning point for people to start converting over to Linux on a massive level.

    The problem is: Microsoft is good at marketing and BSing people. They are the best in the business at selling their products.
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  15. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #14
    I think this is the type of thread that strays off-topic pretty quickly. The issue here isn't "which is better", but rather, "does the IT industry place any value on Linux/Unix certifications". Asking which OS is better is like asking which is better: air or water. Once again, no matter what personal opinions anyone has about their software of choice, the choice of which operating system to use comes down to what your needs are and which will work better for your particular situation.

    Now, to the question at hand. Are Linux certifications recognized? That all depends. If you go to Linux World and you have LPIC-2 or higher under your belt, chances are you'll get a lot of respect from the companies presenting. In the general industry, RHCE is recognized, but if you have any of Red Hat's other certs, you'll probably get funny looks from most HR managers and hiring IT managers. Being an RHCA will probably get you the same reaction as being an MCSA: "Uh, isn't that supposed to be an 'E' at the end, there?" It has absolutely nothing to do with the pros and cons of Red Hat vs. Windows, it has to do with industry perception of the technologies and reputation of the associated certs.

    The fact of the matter is that the value of certifications are dependant on a couple of things. Between us, the ones taking the certs, the value depends on how much we've learned and that we didn't cheat our way into the certs. For hiring managers, it's all about buzz-words, what's hot, and what's recognized. Chances are, if you ask any manager in the IT industry, he'll recognize certs like MCSE, CCNA, A+, and maybe even RHCE, (depending on if his/her company uses Linux). These certifications are popular, and therefore they're in demand. The majority of actual IT workers barely know what cert is what, outside the mainstream ones, let alone the managers who don't directly touch the technology. Very few people do the research, find out what cert tests towards what end, and what person will be qualified if they show you a cert-card with a specialized acronym on it. Ask those same managers what CCSP, Covergence+, SCSECA, or MCDBA is, and they'll look at you as if though you were speaking Esperanto. It's all about perception and recognition, when you put down that alphabet-soup after your name. The same is true for traditional education. Sure, you know what a PhD and an MBA is, but would you hire someone with a MSSc, SSP, or Th.P.D. in their respective industries? The point is, some titles are common knowledge, while others are considered obscure.

    Speaking from personal experience, however, having a Linux cert will get you some attention. After I passed the Linux+ test, I began getting offers left and right from recruiters and hiring managers for Linux and Unix admin positions. Trouble is, as someone with mostly Windows experience that studied for and took Linux+ to get a little bit of *NIX knowledge under my belt, I'm not qualified for most of the jobs offered to me. Another incident came during an interview, where I was asked about my interest in continuing my education. I said that I'd like to go further with the Cisco certs and do CCNP, the response from the guy interviewing me was "What the hell is that?" Again, perception is everything. He knew all about the usual resume-fodder, but had no idea there was anything offered from Cisco beyond CCNA. Go figure.

    So, to answer the question: are Linux certs worth it? Sure, they are. They'll get you recognition within their own niche-groups, as well as hits on your resume by companies that have heard of them. You still need to work hard, actually earn the certs, and know how to do your job once you get it. Is any one Linux cert going to be better recognized than MCSE or CCNA? Nope. Does working with Linux, as opposed to Windows, guarantee that you know your stuff and you're not just faking it for the sake of a cert or a raise? Absolutely not. There are toilet-paper certs in the Linux area of IT, just as there are in Windows and Cisco-land. The Linux certs haven't become as popular, so there are as many people putting the time and effort into cheating on those exams, when they could find a dump or get coached in a bootcamp to learn how to answer the questions far more easily for exams in higher demand. Just wait, as the likes of Linux+, RHCE, and SCSA gain popularity, you'll begin to find more and more 'training resources' giving you 100% first-time-pass guarantees, as time goes on; especially if Linux becomes as popular as some of its more rabid fans claim it will.

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    #15
    I completely disagree. You will die without air in a matter of minutes while you can last a few days without water. Air is clearly more important.

    I'm just teasing. That's a great post, and I agree 100%.
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  17. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #16
    wow slowhand, fantastic post. I agree 100% as well. I always felt that any successful IT person needs to keep an open mind to all technologies available to them. Ive always been interested in getting in depth with linux, and plan to do so sometime in the future.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand
    For hiring managers, it's all about buzz-words, what's hot, and what's recognized. Chances are, if you ask any manager in the IT industry, he'll recognize certs like MCSE, CCNA, A+,
    This is exactly right and exactly whats wrong with the industry. My last round of interviews lasted 4 months because I only had an AS in IT, A+, N+, and 5 years experience. If I had a dollar for every headhunter that asked for that (MCSE, CCNA, A+,) "trinity" . . . . . . . .

    There really is no magic cert that's going to get you hired for the big bucks regardless of what bigexpen$ivecomputertechschool.com tells you. Ok well maybe CCIE or CISSP, but those are some serious certs.

    I literally had a headhunter ask ME in the interview for a Unix admin spot what the difference between Unix and Linux was. WTF?!?!?!

    Personally I'm finishing my MCSA and then going to work on the CCNA. Then Security+ and Linux+. I'll like to the clueless that "there isn't that much difference between the MCSA and MSCE." Slowhand is right they really don't know what the F they're talking about most of the time.

    I was doing research on Linux certs today, SCSA(Solaris) vs RHCE(RHEL). A quick search on Dice tells you exactly what certs are hot right now. There were over 9000 Linux jobs across the US, less than 2000 of them came up under the cert search criteria.

    I say go for it, but do it for yourself. Everyone in the industry that knows anything about Linux has at least heard of Redhat and Sun. Who knows it just might get you something.
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    #18
    I'd also like to add that you're not even suppose to get certified in something till you have experience using it. Haven't you ever noticed the beginning of the book saying "you should have XX hours/years using this product." However, the industry is so backasswards you can't even get many jobs without them.
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    #19
    Other things to keep in mind:

    Wachovia
    Scott Trade
    Monsanto
    Anheuser Busch
    Savvis
    Google
    Almost every hosting company on the planet
    D.O.D (where I work now)

    all use some sort of linux/unix. And that is just a scratch on the surface. Will having a linux+ get you one of these jobs, no. BUT, when the interview comes up you will be able to speak intelligently about these operating systems. So even if you don't have 5 years of read hat, but you only 2 1/2 years of SUSE you still might get the job.

    Trust me it happens all the time.


    Most all companies use windows servers for office productivity. This is pretty much the standard that I have come to see. But I have worked several places and all of them used linux/unix for most of the rest of the stuff (web servers, applications servers, clusters, database servers etc...).

    I AM NOT SAYING LINUX IS BETTER THAN WINDOWS. You need to have knowledge of both, but the more you know about both the more doors will open.
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  21. mikej412's caddy sprkymrk's Avatar
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    #20
    Excellent post Slowhand. Two for you.

    Especially thanks for bringing the thread back on topic.
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  22. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by liven
    all use some sort of linux/unix. And that is just a scratch on the surface. Will having a linux+ get you one of these jobs, no. BUT, when the interview comes up you will be able to speak intelligently about these operating systems. So even if you don't have 5 years of read hat, but you only 2 1/2 years of SUSE you still might get the job.
    This is a very true statement. Taking something like the Linux+ gives you a guiding-path to follow, some basics to learn. In addition, if you come across as at least knowing your fundamentals, it'll mean that much more when you present this potential employer with your CompTIA Linux+ card: adding the much-needed experience to the credibility of the cert.

    Quote Originally Posted by liven
    I AM NOT SAYING LINUX IS BETTER THAN WINDOWS. You need to have knowledge of both, but the more you know about both the more doors will open.
    This is definitely one of the more significant statements of this thread. Balance your experience and credentials, no one will ever knock you for having experience with both *NIX and Windows. This is especially true if you approach both platforms in a professional manner. (i.e. No 'God I hate Windows' or 'Linux: what a waste of time' diatribes when you log onto one server or another.)

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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand
    Quote Originally Posted by liven
    all use some sort of linux/unix. And that is just a scratch on the surface. Will having a linux+ get you one of these jobs, no. BUT, when the interview comes up you will be able to speak intelligently about these operating systems. So even if you don't have 5 years of read hat, but you only 2 1/2 years of SUSE you still might get the job.
    This is a very true statement. Taking something like the Linux+ gives you a guiding-path to follow, some basics to learn. In addition, if you come across as at least knowing your fundamentals, it'll mean that much more when you present this potential employer with your CompTIA Linux+ card: adding the much-needed experience to the credibility of the cert.

    Quote Originally Posted by liven
    I AM NOT SAYING LINUX IS BETTER THAN WINDOWS. You need to have knowledge of both, but the more you know about both the more doors will open.
    This is definitely one of the more significant statements of this thread. Balance your experience and credentials, no one will ever knock you for having experience with both *NIX and Windows. This is especially true if you approach both platforms in a professional manner. (i.e. No 'God I hate Windows' or 'Linux: what a waste of time' diatribes when you log onto one server or another.)
    Right on man.

    Also not to beat a dead horse.

    But I did a phone interview a while back for a very big company for a linux admin position. At the same time I was lightly reviewing some of the linux plus review questions.

    There was a lot of similarity between the questions the interviewer was asking me and the content of the linux plus practice exam.

    After I got done with the interview I was convinced to step up my studies!
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    #23
    Linux+ is worth it.
    I work in a K12 in Upstate New York and I am a Linux Administrator and have been using Linux since 1996. Linux is common in my area of the state among K12's.
    Although we do have RedHat servers we are mainly a Novell shop and have Suse Linux Enterprise Server and Netware (also Windows 2000 Servers). I hope to pursue a CLP and CLE cert. I am already Linux+.
    There are many Linux based products that do not advertise directly as Linux based. VMware ESX server is actually Linux as are MERU Wireless controllers. We have a lot of embedded linux on various devices.
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  25. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by srcurrie
    Linux+ is worth it.
    I work in a K12 in Upstate New York and I am a Linux Administrator and have been using Linux since 1996. Linux is common in my area of the state among K12's.
    Although we do have RedHat servers we are mainly a Novell shop and have Suse Linux Enterprise Server and Netware (also Windows 2000 Servers). I hope to pursue a CLP and CLE cert. I am already Linux+.
    There are many Linux based products that do not advertise directly as Linux based. VMware ESX server is actually Linux as are MERU Wireless controllers. We have a lot of embedded linux on various devices.
    Sounds like you've got more flavors than Baskin Robbins in that environment. Ever thought about going for something like the certs from LPI?

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  26. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by srcurrie
    VMware ESX server is actually Linux...
    A common misconception, the VMkernel is not based on Linux. The service console (essentially a VM with special access permissions to the kernel in ESX 3.x) is based on RHEL3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand
    Sounds like you've got more flavors than Baskin Robbins in that environment...
    That's pretty common in K12 and non-profits. Novell used to rule there and SUSE is a logical progression for them - "whatever gets the job done".

    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon
    A lot of large companies have middleware and backoffice UNIX platforms...
    Yup, one of my clients just dropped a half million on a couple of iSeries boxes to migrate an app to a new datacenter. And IBM didn't just come out with the z10 for the heck of it, anyone in financials knows mainframes haven't been replaced.
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