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Old 03-02-2005, 04:06 PM   #1
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Linux certification without degree useful?

What is the job outlook in the U.S. for someone with a Linux certification like the RHCE? Is it possible to get a foot in the door with a certification and no actual computer-related job experience and no four year degree in MIS or computer science? I'm currently working on my degree in a completely unrelated field, and it's too late to even think about switching my major at this point- but I'd like to have as many options open as possible! Thanks to anyone working in the field who can offer some advice!
Old 03-05-2005, 11:47 PM   #2
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Ah, well, the sad truth is, the paper (your degree) will help you either way. Unfortunately, you'll need to prove you can run MS systems just as well, unless you can find a company with a good IT department that understands the weaknesses in MS Windows, and has begun (or has been with Unix) the migration. So, sadly, you'll benefit by proving you can run an MS system well, and use that to push your Linux program to the company that hires you.

That said, don't expect to make big bucks right away. There are a lot of people with zero skills that you're competeing with, and chances are good your first employers are not going to have the knowledge to successfully separate the wheat from the chaff.

But the door is there, and persistance is the key. There are plenty of companies that need good IT help, and a degree gives you an advantage. The thing about the IT world is simply that ability matters, regardless of what the folks at college told you. If you can prove your skills, and are determined enough to succeed in your dream, you will. I know people without ANY college (and are only a bit older than college age) that are major players in fortune 500 companies, because they had the cajones to be persistant.

Essentially, if you want it, make it happen. The degree only means you are capable and willing to learn. The certs only mean you have a minimum of ability. The rest is up to you.
Old 03-30-2005, 01:43 PM   #3
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Well, here is my point of view. And I'm becoming jaded at my old age of 25 years.

I graduated from a 4 year program in Computer Science in July 2003. I focused heavily on my degree and approached my future job as something that I'll get when I get there.

Well, almost 2 years later and I'm not there yet. I've been doing temp work completely unrelated to what I want to do. After a few sets of unsucessful interviews, I can't get my foot in the door at some of these techie companies in Toronto - but I can write up one hell of a resume

If you're looking for a tech job, the competition is stiff anywhere in North America no matter what you have. There are many-a Human Resource people who have no idea what MCSE or RHCE or University Degree mean. So quite often, no matter what your skills or experience, without having certain titles, you're not going to be given a chance in an interview.

I've had a few friends who have combined their COSC degree with a Business Minor or Major degree. Sometimes Having the double-whammy helps. I'm not sure what degree you're working on, but keep working on it. Keep doing it. The big thing is to get A degree no matter what it is. It shows you can commit and it shows that you can learn and adapt.

You need something that sets you apart. I'm enrolled in a prep course for 4 core exams towards MCSE. As much as I dislike Microsoft, and whether this is true or not, I feel Micorsoft is more widely accepted. Perhaps a Microsoft Certification would help you more. Or a combination of MS and Unix/Linux certifications would help.
Old 04-01-2005, 10:14 PM   #4
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Not exactly in same position as you, have done a comp Sc degree as an external student. Just a thought, I was recently retrenched and have been sent on a transition course where they teach you things about your resume etc and how to go about things at interviews, may be that the problem is something like that. Found a good website on how to do resumes at if you are interested. Hope it helps..

NB keep telling us at these courses that most jobs are found through networking so keep in touch with interest groups, have heard companies often look to them for people with specific skills.
Old 04-01-2005, 10:15 PM   #5
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Oops, please excuse typos
Old 04-18-2005, 12:39 AM   #6
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don't let a degree stop you from getting a job in something you are passionate about. in fact, emphasize that during a job interview. of course, it helps to have computer-related experience, but if you fluff up your resume with linuxy type information (if you're looking for a linux type job) and perhaps have exposure to different distros (they WILL ask you that over the phone or in the interview), you've got an in. make sure you're well-versed in other distros, not just RH -- and i hate to say it, but a lot of companies have their servers running on solaris so having some background there will help you as well.

i'll tell you, i have a computer science degree (from 2003, so i'm not talking about many moons ago) but it didn't do much for me to find a job in IT. (in fact, my last job was as a private investigator, and frankly, i'm not sure how that happened.)

in any event, make sure to emphasize in some way that you're a linux guru or want to grow in the company and ultimately become one (and if you have the certification, put that there as well), and make sure to let folks know that you've had exposure to a variety of linux flavors. many interviews have a technical aspect to them, so make sure you know your stuff if you get that far in the door.

good luck.


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