Red Hat, a leading open source technology company, offers numerous certifications for the IT professional working in a Linux environment. These certifications demonstrate the knowledge and abilities of roles such as system administrators, system architects, system engineers and security specialists working within a Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure. Depending on an individual's job title, certain Red Hat certifications might be more applicable than others. These credentials are designed to certify substantial knowledge of the Linux environment and the necessary skills to operate a successful and secure IT organization.
To make sure that its certifications meet the demands of IT managers, the company conducted a survey of Red Hat certification holders worldwide to identify the most frequent and critical tasks performed on the job. The analysis from this survey formed the basis of today's Red Hat certifications.
Overview of Red Hat certifications
Red Hat Linux training courses cover a wide range of skills and specialties. Here is a look at some of the certifications and the expertise they demonstrate to employers:
- Red Hat Certified System Administrator or RHCSA: Candidates for this certification must be able to access a shell prompt and issue commands with correct syntax; create, delete, copy and move files and directories; boot, reboot and shut down a system; list, create, delete and set partition types for primary, extended and logical partitions; and configure firewall settings using system-config-firewall or iptables.
- Red Hat Certified Engineer or RHCE: The RHCE builds upon the skills of an RHCSA certification, which is a prerequisite. The credential requires the skills to route IP traffic and create static routes; configure a virtual host and private directories; and configure a caching-only name server to forward DNS queries.
- Red Hat Certified Security Specialist or RHCSS: The RHCSS demonstrates advanced skills in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Security Enhanced Linux or SELinux, and Red Hat Directory Server. Current RHCEs are eligible to earn this certification by passing three Expertise Exams, which test skills first introduced as part of the RHCE program. These exams cover knowledge in network services, directory services and authentication, and SELinux policy administration.
Red Hat certification exams
Red Hat certifications require the passing of performance-based exams, which means candidates must execute a series of hands-on, real-world exercises to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Their output is then evaluated against specific criteria to determine whether the exam objectives have been met. Exams are typically two hours in length.
Red Hat courses offer formats such as classroom training, virtual training, self-paced training and remote classroom training. Red Hat provides an online skills assessment to help candidates determine which courses are right for them, and whether they possess the skills required to pass exams. Other training providers also offer courses designed to prepare students for Red Hat Linux certification.
The attainment of a Red Hat certification can make a positive impact on an individual's IT career. Survey results from the Global Knowledge 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report showed these mean annual wages for certified professionals:
- Red Hat Certified Technician or RHCT: $81,918
- Red Hat Certified Engineer or RHCE: $92,322
Skills in the Linux open source operating system are in demand, according to a PC World article, "Linux Skills Are Hot on Improving IT Hiring Front," which appeared in January 2011.