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O'Reilly Network: The Linux Professional - Why Certify?

Feb 26, 2000, 01:19 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Dean)

"Until recently, few resources were available for those interested in the Linux job market. However, web sites such as jobs.linux.com and jobs.linuxtoday.com, along with a number of technical jobs databases, are making a Linux job search much easier. Of course, with wide media coverage, wild stock successes, and preinstalled Linux systems available from major manufacturers, Linux is no longer an obscure operating system, and more jobs are sure to follow. Coupling this with a worldwide shortage of IT talent, we could make a case that the Linux job market will eventually be a piece of cake for even the most inexperienced candidates among us. It seems, on the surface at least, that differentiating yourself from the other candidates for Linux-related positions may not be necessary...."

"Right now, we can probably say that Linux is also a specialty, but in the future we'll probably see a shift in that thinking, and Linux will become a commodity product too. I hope that good Linux mentors will be around to develop future talent. However, we're likely to see a surge in demand for Linux employees and a complementary increase in the Linux training and certification market. The result may be a job market similar to the present one for MCSEs. With a bunch of resumes floating around HR departments, each with a Linux certification proudly displayed, what will become of resumes lacking that stamp of approval?"

"So just what does it mean to be "Linux certified"? Unix certification programs have existed for some time, mainly provided by Unix vendors. Neutral certifications have been a goal, but are also a hotly debated topic. The System Administrator's Guild, an arm of the USENIX Association, is laying the groundwork for a vendor-neutral and OS-neutral certification program, but it's a long way off. Time will tell if such a certification will serve the needs of commodity Linux deployment."

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