In a previous article, which can be found here, I was telling you about the importance of learning Linux and how this could contribute to your professional growth.
Today, I would like to introduce you to Linux certification paths that will open new doors for you and, possibly, help you land your dream job.
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The first step you should take is to decide which path you choose: learning independently, at your own pace, or joining a classroom-based course.
If you already work full-time, the first option would probably suit you best, because it gives you flexibility, and allows you to stay on top of your responsibilities.
If you have more time on your hands and can commit to a fixed schedule, classroom-based courses would be a great way to start. This is because progress is faster, thanks to the immediate access to an instructor who can clarify any issues, as well as to a laboratory, where you can practice what you learn.
The best way to start is by taking a course that walks you through the basics, such as the “Linux Essentials” one offered by LPI (Linux Professional Institute). The learning materials for this course can be accessed at https://learning.lpi.org/en/learning-materials/010-160/. Upon completion, you can sit the exam and, if you pass, you will receive the “Linux Essentials Certificate”. The course materials can be accessed for free, you do however need to pay in order to take the exam.
Another interesting course for someone who is just getting started and has an interest in pursuing an IT career is “Fundamentals of Open Source IT and Cloud Computing (LFS200)” offered by The Linux Foundation, which can be found at https://training.linuxfoundation.org/training/fundamentals-of-open-source-it-and-cloud-computing-lfs200/. Upon completion, you should know what Linux is and how to install it, and also have a basic understanding of system administration, networking, cloud computing and security. If you wish to build on this knowledge, you can work towards the “Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA)” exam and obtain the certification.
Once you gain a basic understanding of the Linux operating system and are able to work on the command line, it is time to dive into more advanced topics.
Linux Professional Institute offers a certification called LPIC-1, for which you need to pass the exams called: LPIC-1 Exam 101, and LPIC-1 Exam 102. Being LPIC-1 certified means that you should be able to “perform maintenance tasks on the command line, install and configure a computer running Linux and configure basic networking” (https://learning.lpi.org/en/learning-materials/101-500/).
If a System Administrator role is something you are interested in, The Linux Foundation offers the Linux System Administration Essentials (LFS207) course, and the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam, to get you on the right path. Being a certified Linux Systems Administrator means that you should be able to “design, install, configure and manage a system installation” (https://training.linuxfoundation.org/certification/linux-foundation-certified-sysadmin-lfcs/).
Talking about system administration, let’s not forget the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certificate, awarded by Red Hat after passing their exam, which enables IT professionals to demonstrate their ability to carry out essential tasks in Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments. You can find out more about the Red Hat courses and certifications at https://www.redhat.com/en/services/training/all-courses-exams.
Learning something from scratch can be daunting and you might feel put off if you don’t know where to begin. In this article, I tried to introduce you to certification paths you could follow if you are drawn towards open-source technologies. Although it does not cover all the courses and certifications available for Linux, it should point you in the right direction, making it easier for you to start this journey.