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(?) Training?

From Travis Gerspacher

Answered By Mike Orr, Heather Stern

I have been looking around for training programs and I have come across the LPI and the RHCE. How recognized are these certifications by employers. Being a RHCE just won't mean as much if a potential employer has no idea what the heck it is. I welcome any comments or guidance from anyone!!!

(!) [Mike] I can't answer this directly, but have you seen the LG articles on LPI? Dan York and Ray Ferrari trace the creation and achievements of the Linux Professional Institute over two years, how they sought to gain recognition for it, and how they succeeded.
(!) [Heather] If it helps any, when listing them on your resume' you could give their full names, followed by the short form in parentheses. RHCE is the Red Hat Certified Engineer program, so it expresses that Red Hat thinks that you are sufficiently versed as a Linux technician, because you have the skills (as expressed by the testing series you went through, real life may give you different mileage).
Doing a Google! search on the single keyword "RHCE" finds 42000 hits, one of the top of which is a review on Amazon for a book to help study for it. The reviewer states that "my boss wants me to take the RHCE exam!" and that by starting to delve into the book, he realized that he really wasn't ready yet.
In either the RHCE or LPI series, it's not a single test, and it's not a "rubber stamp". The RHCE tests include a hands-on exam (so it's not just "multiple guess" bubbled tests).
Any given employer may have heard of them; if they have, their interest may be in your actual skills, or in the ability to pit RHCE or LPI against college degrees and other buzzwords. The LPI has tried to be very scientific. The RHCE focuses on practical experience (with their distribution). This may help you pick which, if you're only planning to go for one and feel you will be competing with degrees and so on.
If they haven't, you still have the skills they tested for, and should be able to show that in your interview or regular review.
It may be worthwhile to you to see if you can tell what kind of things your hoped-for employers already say they are looking for in their other hiring. That may give you a basis to guess if they care about such things. It's up to you to decide if you think they should care that you have these. If you think many people are competing for the job, you with an apparently valid certification may get past non-technical screeners more easily.
I don't have any good statistics(*) to determine how many employers have heard of these but think certifications are a waste of time, or that these certifications in particular aren't useful.
I have the feeling that statistics about certification will be about how many people are taking the tests, not how many people are ignoring the results. You certainly shouldn't take my word as a very useful statistic! I encourage you to investigate for yourself.

See also the Two Cent Tips item this issue about books for your own crash course. -- Heather

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Published in issue 64 of Linux Gazette March 2001
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