Linux Certifications

After getting my A+ and Net+ and being hired in a full time tech support position, I am now going to start studying for the Linux+, which is a great cert, since it also gives you the LPIC1 and the Novell Certified Linux Administrator Certification (it’s a three-in-one cert).

Does anybody have any tips on learning the in and outs of Linux? What distributions are good for learning the command line, etc?

My expertise lies elsewhere but I have taken UNIX/Linux courses and I’ve always found textbooks to be helpful. Browsing through my books I’d say my favorite is Your UNIX/Linux: The Ultimate Guide, 3rd Edition. As for a distribution that is good for familiarizing yourself with the command line it’s hard to say. There are a plethora of distributions but for learning I [size=7pt](this is just my personal opinion)[/size] would suggest CentOS, SUSE, or RHL/Fedora.

I’ve used Linux to host a variety of things and I’ve always used CentOS. For learning how to use the command line or kernel CentOS is my top pick but I would imagine most Linux kernels are quite similar. :slight_smile:

I took a Linux+ class through Mile2 a few months ago and overall it was pretty good. There is a ton to learn and theres no way you can do it without getting your hands dirty. I suggest installing a distro of your choice and just playing around with it. Find a book that has labs and follow them and expand on them if you get curious.

If you got the A+ and Net+ you’ll be able to handle this as well.

The only Linux certification that I’ve actually ever heard of is red hat’s:

And again, but ESPECIALLY in the Linux Systems Administrator world, certs look good to HR but real managers/coworkers couldn’t give a damn about them. In fact the majority of linux sys-admin jobs I see posted just look for X years of experiance.

+1 for certificate scepticism. Besides a HR person being able to ctrl+f something, there’s little on offer in terms of credibility when it comes to the vast majority of certification.

That isn’t to say that they’re all bad - Cisco certification is an example of a good one, iirc. Just be aware of the fact that they aren’t universally ‘good’ or highly regarded.

Many people take certifications less so for the actual certificate, but for the training typically involved in getting it. If your company has a training budget and you decide you want to learn something to the specification of the vendor, the certification is only a bonus.

Eeeeeeeew cisco

[quote=“Greeny, post:7, topic:544010”][quote author=Lothy link=topic=662891.msg4430417#msg4430417 date=1403010239]
That isn’t to say that they’re all bad - Cisco certification is an example of a good one, iirc. Just be aware of the fact that they aren’t universally ‘good’ or highly regarded.

Eeeeeeeew cisco[/quote]
Do explain. You’ll struggle to find any network that isn’t underpinned by Cisco technology.

I was referring to Cisco certs opposed to their equipment, though you wouldn’t struggle to find ciscoless networks at all. Cisco have a high market share, but not that high.

I think Cisco certs are incredibly expensive for what they are, and there is a massive amount of content online that covers everything in the certs. That, and I haven’t personally seen a requirement for a cisco cert on anything other than entry level jobs but this is obviously just my experience in my area.

EDIT: I’m also just not keen on anything vendor specific.

I suspect your area is not networking then - Juniper and Cisco certs are rather common requirements* for networking jobs.

*Of course most companies won’t turn away someone otherwise very well qualified due to lack of Cisco/Juniper certs, but given how extremely common these certificates are, especially Cisco ones - it can be tough to get past HR for a job solely about networking without some type of certificates.

If anything, in my experience, it’s the entry level networking jobs that don’t require the certificates more anything.

Cisco CCN* curriculum does include vendor specific stuff, but I’ve always thought they’re decent at just teaching you networking.

The reason certification is pretty important in networking is that it’s hard to demonstrate your credentials otherwise.
In areas such as software development and graphics design you can maintain a portfolio.

For entry level jobs sure, beyond that you should be getting these things called references.

Interesting you’ve had a different experience to me in a relatively close geographic area tL. I always see the jobs asking for Cisco/Juniper experience (or something less specific) and often they say something along the lines of certs if no exp, or certs are desirable but not required providing you have the experience. If you contact them and ask the certs are as you say just a barrier for HR to cut down the huge number of applicants - just like requirement for a degree is often to weed out undesirables. They will still consider those with decent experience, you just apply directly to HR with a great cover letter - then you have to not be shit at interviews like me :smiley:

I know quite a few high level network engineers that have either never had them or let them expire once they got the experience, but if work will pay its worth doing of course.

The thing is, there are Cisco & Juniper certifications that are far, far from entry level certifications. Especially with the CCIE and JNCIE, they’re people at the top of their industry, the exams are tough and the practical lab exams are just as difficult. People with those certifications are quite highly sought after (take a look for CCIE/JNCIE salaries).

I suspect when you talk about Cisco certifications you’re talking about the entry level CCENT and even the CCNA, they are common and they’re not that in-depth that they’d be providing you with all that unique of a skill set (or at all, really). At that position, they are just a nice to have - rather than a “this person has done these certifications”.

I work at a company with millions of £ on its networking budget a year, provides services for major UK companies, I have been able to go to various networking conferences, not just for Cisco, Juniper, but for others like Checkpoint (UG), and even non-networking companies like VMWare. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who could be deemed a professional at these places dismiss them as you have, and I’ve met people working at these huge companies with massive networks, talked with IBM engineers, HP engineers, Checkpoint engineers, even by companies in competition with Cisco and Juniper (like HP) they’re fairly well respected certifications as you climb up (from CCNP and up).

I’m not saying they’re absolutely necessary, but as you climb up as networker, especially if you’re not just an engineer, but someone involved in design and implementation you start to look like the odd one out if you don’t have these kind of certifications. They have a lot higher penetration than than the servers and infrastructure world.

The thing is, despite your scepticism regarding vendor specific certifications - and I’ve only gone through Cisco material - Cisco rarely ever present their proprietary solutions as the only option. They teach the standards, they mostly teach just pure networking - of course how to do it on a Cisco device, but they explain the theory, they explain it without the context of implementation too. That’s why they’re so common, because they’re also just useful vocational networking courses even if you’re not using Cisco equipment.

Appreciate your input, tL. I’m going for my CCENT next month, and hope to finish up the ICND2 to recieve my CCNA in the near future. Thanks for your perspective.

I suggest doing the CCNA 200-120. Taking the test broken into two parts makes it a little more difficult in my opinion – they delve into a lot more specifics/fine details on the individual tests then they do on the full exam. With that being said, if you prepare the right way and actually familiarize yourself with the material you’ll have no problems regardless of the route you take to get the cert.

As a side note… Remember that its the knowledge behind the cert that counts and not the piece of paper that you’re awarded when you pass the test. So study hard and lab harder :slight_smile:

If scaled, would a Computer Science degree be above or below the certifications?

Certifications are largely vocational, a CS degree is largely academic. They don’t really serve the same purpose, a degree would be seen as more valuable, but not an equivalent. A degree requires more commitment over a longer period of time and has higher entry requirements than the vast majority of these vocational certificates.

There are of course certifications that cover subjects to a depth you more than likely wouldn’t get to on a typical undergraduate degree, but as I said, they’re not really comparable, they serve quite different purposes.

It all boils down to being a bullet on an HR application guideline. You either have the requirements or you don’t. Some places are going to want specific certs where-as other jobs value the degree over certs.

I personally think that the degree is more valuable because it shows a long term commitment. However I also think that certs are worth while to pursue as long as you don’t get the cert just to have the piece of paper.

It’s tough going back to school; if you have the opportunity, pursue a degree while you can. I’m taking courses but I have so many other tasks, it is a moving target to get the degree at this point.

in my experience people that have certificates are those who don’t have a degree, then again i don’t work in IT.