Six Hot Linux Certifications for 2019
Linux, the most widely-used open source operating system (OS), dominates the web server market. According to IDC, commercial and non-commercial Linux deployments in the worldwide enterprise segment registered considerable growth in 2017. It is now the standard for enterprise applications.
Linux offers organizations an open source, powerful, flexible, secure, cost-efficient, and well-supported OS for their computing needs. Open source talent is in high demand today. A ZDNet article reports that Linux Foundation and Dice's 2018 Open Source Jobs survey found that 80 percent of hiring managers surveyed were seeking IT pros with Linux skills.
What follows is a list of some of the most sought-after Linux credentials. If you're thinking about Linux to your IT skill set in 2019 — or improving your existing Linux skills — then you should consider going after one or more of these certs.
CompTIA Linux+ (Powered by LPI)
The current CompTIA Linux+ certification was developed for CompTIA by the Linux Professional Institute (LPI). Candidates are required to pass two exams, LX0-103 and LX0-104. The new version of CompTIA Linux+, due for release in April 2019, will have just one exam, XK0-004.
The content and format have been updated to reflect the needs of industry and the latest developments in Linux. CompTIA claims that the new version is up-to-date and global. The XK0-004 exam was developed in-house, taking into account inputs and advice from well-known Linux experts across the globe.
CompTIA Linux+ (XK0-004) covers security, kernel modules, storage and virtualization, enterprise-level device management, DevOps basics, networking and firewalls, server side and command line, server coverage, troubleshooting, and SELinux.
You are eligible to register for the exam if you have 9-to-12 months of hands-on experience using Linux.
GCUX: GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator
The GIAC Certified Unix Security Administrator (GCUX) is a cybersecurity certification managed by GIAC, a certification body affiliated to the SANS Institute. SANS is a longstanding information security training organization of worldwide repute. The GIAC program offers more than 20 applied information security certifications in security leadership, network security, application security, cyber security, forensics, and audit.
The GCUX validates knowledge and skills in auditing and securing Linux and UNIX systems. It is designed to train professionals to install, configure, and administer Linux and UNIX infrastructure.
Though GIAC does not specify prerequisites for this credential, practical training in Linux or UNIX is recommended. Training is available in different formats from a range of providers. The GIAC training module is SEC506: Securing Linux/UNIX. The exam fee includes 2 practice tests.
Exam preparation options also include hands-on Linux/UNIX experience, college courses, and self-study. Candidates are required to pass one two-hour exam consisting of 75 questions with a minimum passing score of 68 percent. The exam is administered by Pearson VUE.
The GCUX is valid for four years. Candidates must earn 36 Continuing Professional Experience (CPE) credits and pay a maintenance fee of $429 every four years in order to renew this certificate.
Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)
Red Hat, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018, has grown to become the world's leading vendor of open source solutions at the enterprise level. (The company is also now in the hip pocket of IBM, which is bound to affect its certification program at some point. Something to bear in mind.)
Red Hat certifications are in demand because a large number of enterprises use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The value of these credentials derives largely from an emphasis on practical ability and comprehensive training programs. Candidates need to pass challenging exams that test hands-on experience.
Candidates need to earn the RHCSA before they can take the RHCE. Those who aim to become Red Hat Certified Architects need to first earn the RHCE.
The RHCSA is an entry-level, performance-based certification. It demonstrates knowledge and skills in systems administration in different environments and deployment set-ups. The exam tests expertise in file handling, command line operation, systems management, configuring local storage, and other functions.
This credential is suitable for students of Red Hat System Administration I and II, professionals with experience working on RHEL systems who seek validation of their skills, Linux system administrators who are required to certify, and those who are working toward a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification.
To earn this credential, you need to pass a 2.5-hour exam. Red Hat doesn't specify prerequisites for the RHCSA, but recommends Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) for Windows administrators and the RHCSA Rapid Track Course (RH199) for Linux or UNIX administrators.
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
The RHCE certification is designed for RHCSA credential holders who aspire to become senior system administrators of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) systems as well as experienced system administrators who wish to certify or whose job or a mandate requires them to earn this credential.
The RHCE certification validates the ability to configure and manage systems, including report delivery, to automate system maintenance using shell scripts, configure network services for HTTP/HTTPS, DNS, NFS, SMB, SMTP, SSH, and NTP, and install, configure and administer database services in addition to RHCSA skills.
Candidates can choose from a range of training options. Red Hat recommends the Red Hat System Administration I (RH124), Red Hat System Administration II (RH134), and Red Hat System Administration III (RH254) courses for Windows administrators with limited Linux experience. For Linux/UNIX administrators with 1-to-3 years of experience, Red Hat suggests the RHCSA Rapid Track Course (RH199) and Red Hat System Administration III (RH254). The RHCE Lab is suitable for RHCEs who seek recertification.
To earn the RHCE credential, you must pass the RHCSA (EX 200) and the 3.5-hour hands-on RHCE (EX 300) exams. Prerequisites: RHCSA.
Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
The demanding and time-consuming RHCA certification is a valuable credential for professionals who work with Red Hat Linux systems and wish to gain both breadth and depth of knowledge and skills in this environment. The prerequisite for the RHCA is either the RHCE or the Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer (RHCJD).
The RHCA program is designed to accommodate the different needs of enterprises that use Red Hat Linux and the interests of IT professionals. Companies and individuals have a range of options to choose from. RHCJDs can choose any combination in the Enterprise Applications track and earn at least 5 certifications from the Developer list on the Red Hat website to qualify as a RHCA in Enterprise Applications.
RHCEs have the option of choosing any combination from the RHCA in Infrastructure track. They must earn at least 5 certifications from the System Administrator list to attain the RHCA in Infrastructure.
In order to maintain their credentials, RHCAs in Enterprise Applications and Infrastructure must preserve currency of their certifications. Red Hat offers a number of training options and advises candidates to select one based on the certification combinations they wish to pursue. Red Hat recommends the Red Hat Learning Subscription.
LPI (Linux Professional Institute) Certifications
The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is a trusted Linux certification provider. Their non-vendor-, non-distribution-specific credentials cover Linux tools, technologies and skills and can be useful for professionals who seek an understanding of a wide range of Linux topics and technologies as well as those who handle distributions for which credentials are not available.
The most in-demand LPI certifications are Linux Administrator (LPIC-1), Linux Engineer (LPIC-2), and Linux Enterprise Professional (LPIC-3).
LPIC-1 validates elementary Linux skills. Aspirants must pass 2 exams, 101-400 and 102-400, to earn this certification. Professionals with a valid CompTIA Linux+ (Powered by LPI) qualify for this certification.
LPIC-2 demonstrates knowledge and skills in managing small and medium-sized mixed networks. Candidates must have a current LPIC-1 and pass 2 exams, 201-450 and 202-450, to earn this credential.
LPIC-3 is designed for senior Linux pros that hold a valid LPIC-2. This credential validates advanced Linux enterprise-level skills. LPIC-2 holders must pass one of the 300 exams either in Mixed Environment, Security, or Virtualization and High Availability.
All 3 certifications are valid for 5 years. Exams are managed by Pearson VUE. For self-study materials, candidates can browse the LPI Marketplace, as well as Amazon.
Other popular certifications include Oracle Linux OCA and OCP. Bear in mind that certifications can add value to your r�sum�, but that most managers will want to know whether you've deployed and maintained Linux in an enterprise environment. It never hurts to pick up some practical experience along the way!