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Old 07-12-2004, 10:27 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: AIX 4.3 RH 7,8,9 / Fedora C1/
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Which Certs are best suited for my situation???

Greetings LQ'ers,

I am currently getting my Ph.D in a science related where I use Linux/Unix/AIX quite
often. I am also a Sys-Admin for the Shop that I do research in. We have a hybrid type shop - one
with about 10 AIX boxes, an SP2, 10 Linux boxes and unfortnuately about 20 windoze boxes. I have
enjoyed being the Sys-Admin for over 18 months now...

While being Sys-Admin, I have learned a great deal and I now want to pursue being a Linux
Systems Administrator...with work that entails Network Security, host-based security and overall
forensic security where it applies.

I am currently studying for the Linux+ (CompTia) exam that I will be taking in a week or
so...besides this one Certification...which others are best suited for me, given that I have about 1.5
years left of school (before the real world kicks in)?

I feel that I am somewhat hampered by the fact that I won't have a Computer Science Degree...yet I
want to work in the Computer Industry. Will Certs help out with job placement? Any and all
suggestions / life-experience will help tremendously...thanks!

Old 07-12-2004, 11:30 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Knoxville, TN
Distribution: Kubuntu 9.04
Posts: 1,168

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With a Ph.D I'd become a professor at the university. There's no job security in the corporate world. So you'd have to publish a few papers every year in addition to paying your teaching dues, big deal. You're virtually guaranteed lifetime employment.

When I was in college (mid-eighties) there was no such thing as a computer science degree. The only choice for a related B.S. was in the business school. So when I see ads requiring a C.S. degree I immediately think "looking for a recent grad with little experience we can hire cheap."
Old 07-12-2004, 11:53 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: AIX 4.3 RH 7,8,9 / Fedora C1/
Posts: 187

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
So are you suggesting that I forget about the fact that I don't have a CS degree and just focus on
getting Certs?

I really don't want to be a professor...teaching is an option, but not one that I would be happy at. Job
security is a factor that can not be overlooked...though, there have got to be jobs out there that offer
a reasonable amount of security, with Linux Sys-Admin duties, in addition to security work.

I'm the kind of student that is constantly reading security manuals, web-sites...attempting to hack
my own machines and just basically "sponging" everything up I can find on the topics mentioned
above...the problem will arise when I have reached the end of my schooling and now want/need
a job that pays reasonable well (for a Ph.D in the science field i'm studying, a good starting salary
is $60K ...with benefits etc...will Certs help me out here? Specifically, which ones are best to
try for????
Old 07-12-2004, 12:36 PM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Knoxville, TN
Distribution: Kubuntu 9.04
Posts: 1,168

Rep: Reputation: 53
Well, the topic has been discussed before, but to summarize: Red Hat certs are in demand and widely respected. LPI certs are distribution independent and have three levels from novice to expert. Linux+ is also distro independent but it's only an entry level cert. SuSE has a couple certs but they're not widely know or held, though Novell acquiring the company could change that. There are a few others like SAIR, but I don't think the rest are active in the certification game anymore.

Hope you find a corporate IT job with some semblance of security. 50% or more of the people I've worked with in the past have been downsized or their jobs have been outsourced, so I wish you the best of luck


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