Hardware & Software

Why You Should and Shouldn’t Get a Linux+ Certification

March 18, 2016

Guest Author

This blog post explains reasons why you should and shouldn’t get a Linux+ certification by CompTIA.

1. 291 Job Postings Want Linux+

According to a survey conducted by tom’s IT Pro, job boards such as SimplyHired, Indeed, LinkedIn, TechCareers, JustTechJobs, all posted recent open positions with a CompTIA Linux+ certification listed as recommended or required.

What can you gather from this info? Hiring Managers, regardless of the experience level of the position they’re hiring for, value the certification. They look for it on resumes as at least an initial qualifier for job candidates.

The cert may not make or break your chances, but it looks pretty good in a highly visible location on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

If you’re a government employee, go to ClearanceJobs or USA Jobs and type “Linux+” into the search field. You’ll see government agencies and contractors value Linux+ too.

2. No Prerequisites

CompTIA recommends students have at least six months of practical experience with Linux systems and CompTIA A+ or Network+ certifications. These are recommendations and not requirements.

Even though there are no prerequisites, this certification is not for a person who hasn’t touched a Linux system before. Networking, hardware, and basic administration experience helps significantly in preparing for the exams.

3. Linux+ Can Open Doors

As one insightful person stated in this Spiceworks thread, Linux+ proves “you have an idea how to touch it, without breaking it.” Even that statement, as belittling as it seems, says a lot to a Hiring Manager looking for Linux certified or experienced professionals for an entry or junior-level position.

Download the CompTIA Linux+ Study Guide

Earning the certification says you can study or memorize enough technical info to pass a test. It also says you consumed a ton of new info, commands, understand the Linux filesystem hierarchy, networking, and other Linux topics. You developed a decent enough grasp of the material to pass.

In that case, having the cert may earn a phone interview.

There are lots of ways to open doors for jobs, having a certification is one of them.

4. Earn 3 Certifications with the 3-in-1 Advantage

When you earn the Linux+, you also get the LPI LPIC-1 and SUSE Certified Linux Administrator (CLA) certifications. That’s three relevant certifications to promote on your resume. Three is greater than one.

5. No Certification Renewal Required

Unlike Security+ and Network+, you never have to renew the Linux+ certification. This accreditation is good for life. There are no Continuing Education (CE) requirements.

6. Linux Professionals Are in High Demand

According to research performed by the Linux Foundation in 2015, “Nearly all hiring managers are looking to recruit Linux professionals in the next six months” and “hiring managers saying they’re more likely to hire a candidate with Linux certification”.

The demand for Linux professionals increases every year. As the hyperlinked study explains, the rise of open cloud platforms increases this demand for Linux professionals at various positions and companies.

Why You Shouldn’t – Part 2

1. The Test is Too Easy

If you think the exam objectives, study guide, and practice question content is beneath your level of knowledge and skills, then maybe Linux+ isn’t right for you. But if that’s the case, then why not take the test? You save money by not training. You spend the cash (or your employer’s $) on the exams, earn the cert, and then you’re done with it for life.

Take our Free Linux+ Quiz to Test Your Knowledge

However, if you determine the material pales in comparison to your expertise and experience, then don’t do it. Check out the Red Hat Certified Engineer instead. But you don’t like Red Hat and don’t plan on working in a RHEL environment? Then keep doing what you’re doing. The conversation ends here.

2. Your Experience Matters More than the Certification

Experience matters more than everything. Let’s assume your experience, as described on your resume and LinkedIn profile, says you’re knowledge and skills far exceed that which is recommended for Linux+ students. Then disregard the certification.

Hiring managers want to know where you worked, your role, what you did, and how well you did it. Linux+ is that extra layer of icing on top of your cake. It’s not always necessary. You need to discern the difference between too much and too little icing.

3. Red Hat Certifications > Linux+

The Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) are alternative options on the Linux certification route. RHCSA adheres to entry-level and somewhat experienced IT pros. RHCE, which CompTIA describes as a more advanced certification to pursue after Linux+, is designed for the experienced Linux administrators and professionals.

Do you want to work in a RHEL specific environment? Government and commercial organizations do run on RHEL. If this is where you see your career headed, then pursue Red Hat certifications instead.

If you noticed in the referenced Tom’s IT Pro article above, the Red Hat certs are very prevalent on job boards. RHCE is the most sought after Linux certification with 5,591 sightings. 

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