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Old 11-22-2016, 02:48 PM   #1
phantom165
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Question Is RHEL System Admin Certification worth it ?


Hello ,

I have been on the fence about this for quite sometime. Should I pay to get the Red Hat System Administrator certification ? To give some background, I live in New York and have over 5 years of professional experience with RHEL. Recently, I was scheduled to take the certification test and it was cancelled due to lack of registration. This got me thinking, is this cert even worth having ? Will it help me get a promotion or a new job with more system admin responsibility ? I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 03:09 PM   #2
szboardstretcher
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I've always thought of certifications as "Certifications help get you in the door. Actual knowledge and experience is what will get you the job."
 
Old 11-22-2016, 03:15 PM   #3
Timothy Miller
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Getting the cert definitely helped me get my current job (linux sysadmin), so I'd say it's worth it at least sometimes. That said, I agree with the above poster, the cert will get you in the door, but make sure you actually know how to do the job to stay there.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 03:22 PM   #4
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom165 View Post
Hello ,
I have been on the fence about this for quite sometime. Should I pay to get the Red Hat System Administrator certification ? To give some background, I live in New York and have over 5 years of professional experience with RHEL. Recently, I was scheduled to take the certification test and it was cancelled due to lack of registration. This got me thinking, is this cert even worth having ? Will it help me get a promotion or a new job with more system admin responsibility ? I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this.
I agree with the last two posters, to a point. I tend to not give a certification much (if any) weight at all on a resume, but look at the experience more. Lower experience doesn't mean the resume gets tossed, and if it's low experience WITH a certification, I may call them in.

That said...be prepared to be drilled hard if you claim to have a certification, at least by me. I'll ask questions that someone with that level of knowledge should know, so the ones who are 'having the many certs' on their resume and got them by doing practice dumps/exams until they can squeak by and get their piece of paper, are weeded out quickly. Someone who EARNS the certification by having the knowledge behind it, is easy to spot.

Will it get you promotions? Probably not, at least at any company worth working for...if they value a 'certification' more than your actual performance/knowledge, then it's time to look elsewhere. If you've got 5 years RHEL experience under your belt, and can back it up with the 10,000 things that an admin with 5 years in should know, you should be good with or without it.

Just my $0.02 worth. Good luck.
 
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:49 PM   #5
onebuck
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in < Linux - Certification > and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 11-22-2016, 08:52 PM   #6
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As a (koff, koff ...) "old phart, I guess" I would say ...

... we used to call this "continuing education." You could get it for-a-song in an evening class at your local community college ...

... ... which at that time cost "a few hundred dollars" to attend, not "a few hundred thousand." ... (but, I digress)

While, on the one hand, it is certainly laudable that you should "seek to improve yourself," I think that you should at the same time keep your expectations (and, therefore, your money ...) firmly grounded: "in this life, there is no such thing as a Golden Ticket."

"Back in my (koff, koff ... ... day," e-m-p-l-o-y-e-r-s(!) used to invest(!) money in their employees(!!), offering them stipends to encourage them to attend "evening classes." And, they would sometimes "simply pay for" employee training that they deemed to be of particular importance.

(And, guess what: "it still works.")
 
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:39 AM   #7
pingu_penguin
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I would say definitely go for it if possible or plan for it somehow.
The proper way of growing in the organization is to get certified for sure.
You cannot remain stale and static for years without good certification(s), doesnt look very good.

The more certifications you get, the more your employer is at peace that you are showing sincerity and interest in your work and you are adding better skills/value to yourself.
Sometimes some clients request a background verification for important project resources. In such cases your resume will shine. Even the clients will have some peace of mind , that this person hired is well skilled for sure.

RHCE or RHCSA is as basic a technical certification required as much as graduation in any field.

Employer's first preference is generally certified people over non-certified ones, since you need efforts to clear RedHat exams.

I say go for something like ITIL certification somewhere in future if possible, that will definitely boost your value big time.
 
Old 12-09-2016, 10:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pingu_penguin View Post
I would say definitely go for it if possible or plan for it somehow. The proper way of growing in the organization is to get certified for sure. You cannot remain stale and static for years without good certification(s), doesnt look very good.
Sorry, but I disagree with EVERYTHING said here.

The proper way of growing in an organization is by working/learning CONSTANTLY, and being of value to the organization. Getting a 'certification' doesn't show you're growing...it only shows you have a piece of paper that will be totally worthless in a few years. How many people have Windows NT 'certifications' from years back, and do you think they have ANY value now? Any organization that values having a certification over real-world work, experience, and dedication, is not worth working for. MOST of my employees don't have certifications, but ALL of them are outstanding. I don't have to babysit...they get the job done, period. THAT is why they're kept around, and paid well.
Quote:
The more certifications you get, the more your employer is at peace that you are showing sincerity and interest in your work and you are adding better skills/value to yourself. Sometimes some clients request a background verification for important project resources. In such cases your resume will shine. Even the clients will have some peace of mind , that this person hired is well skilled for sure.
Nope, sorry, not true. Again, if you have an employee that has to be poked to go get a 'certification' to add skills/value to themselves, they're not worth keeping. I'd rather have someone say "Yeah, I'd go for the exam, but I'm too busy getting stuff DONE, to do it." That means that any job I throw at them will get completed, and done well. That means that they LEARN on their own, and will constantly add value to themselves every day.

And I've hired several outsourcing companies in the past, and have never been pleased with any of them. Yes, they're all 'certified', and that's something they crow about highly. Yet none of them have actually done a decent job. I actually had an RHCE one day ask how to add a user to a system....really. After some talking to this guy, it was clear that his 'certifications' were about as valuable as the spool of paper we had in the toilet.
Quote:
RHCE or RHCSA is as basic a technical certification required as much as graduation in any field. Employer's first preference is generally certified people over non-certified ones, since you need efforts to clear RedHat exams.
Sorry, this may be true in some places, but not here, and certainly not with most of the employers I've worked with. The "efforts" of the vast majority of people with 'certifications', tend towards doing dumps/practice tests until they can get a passing grade, and stop there. I've said this before, and it's true, sadly. I worked with a guy at a big Fortune 100 bank, who must have had a dozen 'certifications', and it did look great on a resume. Unfortunately for him, anyone with real knowledge who talked to him realized he was as dumb as a bag of doorknobs, and not as useful. This bank paid for all of his exams, and he used them to get a different job, and we were thrilled this moron left.

He came back two months later, begging for his job, because his new employers saw through his 'many certs' for what they were....worthless.
Quote:
I say go for something like ITIL certification somewhere in future if possible, that will definitely boost your value big time.
If you say so. Wouldn't for me, or any of the hiring managers/HR people I deal with, or have dealt with over the past 30+ years.
 
Old 12-09-2016, 11:35 AM   #9
szboardstretcher
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I agree with Tb0ne's analysis here.

I'm a good test taker and I have a good memory. I can grab a braindump for a certification and go and pass it the next day. It doesn't mean that I actually know anything. It just means that I am good at taking tests and learning by rote. My certifications do not translate to value for the company, my knowledge does.

Certifications, in my mind, are only useful for getting beginners in the door.

Last edited by szboardstretcher; 12-09-2016 at 11:37 AM.
 
Old 12-09-2016, 12:52 PM   #10
pingu_penguin
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Well if anything, I am really glad , that there is difference in opinion and values.

Over here , people insist on certification , because its all market value here.

Maybe I should apply for a job in your company
 
Old 12-09-2016, 12:58 PM   #11
Timothy Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szboardstretcher View Post
I agree with Tb0ne's analysis here.

I'm a good test taker and I have a good memory. I can grab a braindump for a certification and go and pass it the next day. It doesn't mean that I actually know anything. It just means that I am good at taking tests and learning by rote. My certifications do not translate to value for the company, my knowledge does.

Certifications, in my mind, are only useful for getting beginners in the door.
The problem with that is, the RH-- certs aren't questions. They're real life certs. You set a pc with a stack of papers that says "configure x" and you do it. It's not multiple choice, it's "can you do it or not in a real world scenario"?
 
Old 12-09-2016, 02:36 PM   #12
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I'll agree that RH test is a few steps above the reset when it comes to testing if you really know what you think you do. There is not real way to memorize a brain-dump and then take the RH test. You have to know what you are doing.
 
Old 12-09-2016, 07:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pingu_penguin View Post
Well if anything, I am really glad , that there is difference in opinion and values.
And what does that mean, exactly????
Quote:
Over here , people insist on certification , because its all market value here.
And that is EXACTLY why the 'certifications' are meaningless. See previous points about practice dumps and other such things, that let people get a paper certification, with no skills. That's what takes it from 'opinion' to 'fact', along with the dozens of people I've met with such 'certs', who struggle with the basics.
Quote:
Maybe I should apply for a job in your company
Apply all you want; but the fact that you're putting such value in a meaningless certification would indicate you'd not get far in the interview process.
 
Old 12-09-2016, 07:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
The problem with that is, the RH-- certs aren't questions. They're real life certs. You set a pc with a stack of papers that says "configure x" and you do it. It's not multiple choice, it's "can you do it or not in a real world scenario"?
...and...
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazydog
I'll agree that RH test is a few steps above the reset when it comes to testing if you really know what you think you do. There is not real way to memorize a brain-dump and then take the RH test. You have to know what you are doing.
I have to disagree with this, also.

It's not a 'real world scenario'...it's a lab, with a VERY narrow goal. "Configure FTP to do X" isn't tough. Doing it in the real world involves data security, firewall rules, taking multiple admins and documentation into account, not to mention how the COMPANY wants it configured. Much like taking your drivers license road test; yes, it's the 'real world', where you're driving around for a short distance and doing things. But NOT the real world after you're out on the rest of the roads alone...the two are VASTLY different, and I'd trust someone who's been driving for 10 years without a license, before I'd trust a 16 year old who got theirs on the first try.

The dumps you can get give you a LOT of things to memorize/study. And the scope of what to configure and how is, as said, narrow in context. There's another thread open here now, where someone is asking which tool to use for firewalling, because the test gives them the option, and which is better/easiest. That says it all, to me...someone knows what's on the test, and knows which tools are available to use and they haven't even taken it yet. From there, it's not a matter of getting a 100% score to pass...it's a 'barely passing', and you get the exact same certification as someone who studied hard, and knows the subject. Yet on paper...you're IDENTICAL. I've seen far too many 'certified' folks who lack the skills...the guy at the bank was one. As far as his resume was concerned, he had Cisco, Red Hat, Solaris, and Microsoft certifications...however, in the real world, I'd have been amazed if he was able to find his butt with both hands and a detailed drawing of where to look.

Last edited by TB0ne; 12-09-2016 at 07:29 PM.
 
Old 12-09-2016, 09:40 PM   #15
Timothy Miller
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How much more real world than setting at a computer with red had installed and being told to set up x users, x programs, x security starting with a base minimal install of RH without being done in the real world is there?

While I admit the CompTIA certs can be passed through brain dumps, the RH-- tests are EXTREMELY valuable. Anyone who can pass the test knows what they're doing on a RH system. It might not be the be all and end all of knowledge, but they definitely know what they're doing to the degree that the cert says they do; ie - RHCSA knows basic installation, local configuration, local shares, local users. RHCE knows everything an RHCSA does plus basic network shares, basic firewall, basic networking, etc.

There's simply no way to pass them with a brain dump type course. Yes, there may be scenarios they don't encounter, but you can have 30 years experience and you're still going to encounter something that you've never seen before, so by that line of thought, noone would ever qualify for a job because they don't know EVERYTHING. If a company runs RHEL/CentOS, and what they want a person to do is covered by one of the RH-- certs, than anyone with that cert will be able to do it IMO. Yes, the differences may make them have to think for a few minutes, but if they know the basics of configuring these things well enough to pass a test where THEY ACTUALLY INSTALL & CONFIGURE FROM NOTHING, then they're going to be able to figure it out in the real world too.
 
  


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