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Linux/unix career + exams

Discussion in 'Linux / Unix Discussion' started by the_shadow, Sep 2, 2008.

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  1. the_shadow

    the_shadow Bit Poster

    Hey guys.

    This is the linux/unix forum, so I'm guessing there will be some people in here who actually admin some nix boxes or do higher end work. With this in mind, I'm looking for some info.

    If you have taken any linux exams (especially the red hat ones) how hard did you find them compared to any other certs you have taken? I'd love some real world comparisons.

    Why did you choose to work with nix over any other particular branch of computing?

    In your experience, have you seen the nix people you work with/know earn more or the networking guys? (ccnp, ccie etc?)

  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    I do a lot of Linux/Unix work. I have never taken any exams in these - I've depended on reputation!

    I didn't 'decide' to do this - it just happened because I had contracts that meant working with such machines. And I also work with the Windows world, so it isn't a case of one over the other.

    However, most work I do these days is Unix based.

    I am a programmer - I have to work closely with networking people and telco people. I have no evidence that I know more or less than them, or earn more or less than them. It is down to experience and expertise that determines this, not the type of work.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    The Linux admin world is somewhat different than the Windows admin world, at least relative to certifications. Microsoft certifications are part of their overall marketing and business infrastructure and thus, Microsoft certs seem to matter for in terms of getting/keeping a job. The Linux world has traditionally been more behaviorally focused rather than certification focused, so what quals you have matter less than what experience you have.

    That said, there are a number of Linux certs out there...notably the LPI series and Red Hat. As I recall, the Red Hat certs are quite challenging and not offered just anywhere. While you can take Microsoft cert exams via a computer interface, there are testing components for the Red Hat exams that require a hands on experience. In other words, you have to physically solve certain problems while be evaluated on your performance.

    Hope this helps.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    I have taken some basic UNIX certifications, but they were non-vendor specific.
    Felt like any other exam to me. Learn the material and do a test afterwards. Saying that, I worked in the Unix environment for a few years, so very little was new.

    Similar to what Harry mentioned above, I didn’t choose it, it’s what became available to me. If I wanted to advance my career as a Sys Admin I had to learn Unix as most of our production environment was set on FreeBSD; eventually migrated to Solaris.

    Good Unix people can earn A LOT. Good Windows people can earn A LOT. Good Networking people can earn A LOT. This list continues…

    Don’t chase the money; rather do what you want to do everyday of your life. As a respected Sys Admin, I always thought you needed to be very comfortable in Unix, Windows, and networking. I’m not a Sys Admin any longer (at least not the type I used to be) so this may not be true anymore.
  5. starfury6

    starfury6 Nibble Poster

    I have taken and completed RHCT in RHEL 4 and 5 and did the Sys admin and System Security courses along with them. I didnt get enough point second time around to get RHCE but I put that down to the lack of real world exp. The certs are definitely a good help in getting an interview but the experience really counts.

    The Red Hat certs are well respected due to their 100% hands on nature. And I relly enjoyed the course and really learned a lot in both them and the exams.

    I am planning on doing Solaris 10 SCSA next and am training to that end. In my present role I use Solaris 8 and HP-UX 11.11 but lack of Solaris 10 Zones knowlegde is letting me down actually landing a sys admin role.

    Last week I had a telephone screening for a sys admin role which was very intensive. 3 mins of me explaining what I've been doing in my current role and then 25 minutes of non-stop unix admin technical questions. Talk about gruelling. Needless to say I was able to answer a large proportion of Solaris general admin q's, plenty of general Red Hat stuff but nothing on Solaris 10 zones. Veritas VM/Cluster is also well sought after I notice these days.
    Certifications: RHCT4, RHCT5
  6. the_shadow

    the_shadow Bit Poster

    Thanks guys. I ask as I like the purity of working with linux/unix. The cli is really powerful and I have an interest in altrenate os's, so I figured it would be a natural path for me to take. I wonder though whether it is a bad idea to pigoenhole myself so early on in my career. What do you think?
  7. starfury6

    starfury6 Nibble Poster

    It's difficult to pigeon hole yourself to be honest if just doing general sys admin work. Linux is linux but each distro has its unique way of doing things. Solaris has another way, HP-UX has... an altogether wierd way :-) if you ask me. But I am finding that a broad range of linux/unix skills are generally more sought after for general sys admin jobs. Specific roles like security admin, or SAN or DBA or specific product support like Reuters are more likely to pigeon hole you early on.

    I made the switch from Engineering Designer to Sys Admin about 2.5 years ago but am still in the Engineering industry and looking to get out now I have some experience.
    Certifications: RHCT4, RHCT5
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    "Purity" is all well and good... but a man's gotta eat. Thus, I learned Microsoft because most companies use it at some point in their infrastructure. Linux jobs exist... but specializing in ONLY Linux will certainly limit the job opportunities that are available.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  9. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    Yep. I have the same plan. Microsoft is where the money is so focusing on getting certifications with them is the way to more money.

    Also if I ever need to find another job I'd rather not be pigoenholed.

    Yes - I'm greedy. :p

    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  10. starfury6

    starfury6 Nibble Poster

    We all work for the doshski :-)

    Besides, I have yet to come across a single UNIX or Linux role which doesn't require some knowledge or skills with Windows servers.
    Certifications: RHCT4, RHCT5

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