2 Uncommon Linux Certifications - dummies

By Emmett Dulaney

Most people know about the Linux Essentials exam – LPI’s lower-level certification – and then about the higher entry-level CompTIA Linux+ certification (consisting of the LPI LX0-101 and LX0-102 exams). As important as those exams are, they are far from the only Linux certifications available.

Take a look first at other vendor-neutral certifications, and then an overview of some of the more popular vendor-specific Linux certification.

Vendor-Neutral Certifications

Just as the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI certification is a great entry-level authentication of basic knowledge, so too are most other certifications from CompTIA.

The only operating system-specific one they have is Linux+, but they also offer such other certifications as A+ (hardware), Network+ (computer networking), Security+ (host and client security), and Green IT (sustainability). All are well recognized and represented in the market and good choices for adding to a resume.

LPI also offers a number of certifications above the LPIC-1 level. LPIC-2, which requires passing another two exams (referenced as 201 and 202), focuses on such advanced topics as network configuration, file storage, troubleshooting, and system security.

LPIC-3 is for senior-level administrators and requires you to take one exam of your choice — on top of having attained the LPIC-2 certification. The exam you choose to take is the one that hones in on a specific area of expertise, such as virtualization and high availability or security.

Some other vendor-neutral Linux certifications once existed and were popular, but most of those have now fallen by the wayside – either no longer offered or no longer kept current. Although those certifications may hold value for those who currently hold them, they should be avoided by those who are currently looking to have a third-party authenticate their knowledge/skills.

Vendor-Specific Certifications

A number of vendors offer certifications that authenticate specialization in their specific distributions of Linux. The three most popular are discussed here.

One of the most recognized is those from Red Hat. At the entry level, the company offers the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certification. The more recognized Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) builds upon RHCSA, and the pinnacle certification is Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA).

Novell/SUSE certification is available at four levels: SUSE Certified Linux Administrator (CLA), SUSE Certified Linux Desktop Administrator, SUSE Certified Linux Professional (CLP), and SUSE Certified Linux Engineer (CLE). Most of these certifications build on each other — CLA leads to CLP with another exam, and then you move on to CLE, and so on.

Oracle — now having acquired Sun Microsystems — offers both Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) and Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), and Certified Specialist (CS) certifications.