A word about certifications
There are plenty of forums on Internet discussing certifications pros and cons.
Here is a resume:
- Certifications don’t replace experience: if a recruiter is searching for candidates with experience, certifications will not change anything.
- Certifications are not a golden ticket: passing certifications will open doors but, without previous work experience (at least 2-3 years), don’t expect to get more than entry level jobs.
- Certifications bring credibility: some recruiters, but not all, will see certifications like a proof of motivation and commitment.
- Certifications speed up the learning curve: with a certification normally comes a syllabus. This collection of objectives allows the candidate to quickly get familiar with a lot of topics and focus his/her energy on them. Like a university degree, he/she will study subjects that even seasoned administrators sometimes ignore because they can’t deal with all the panels of domains that IT can offer.
- Certifications provide good technical materials: as you get a syllabus, you get books and videos written by experts tackling the objectives and specifically geared towards non-experts. Sometimes the material didn’t even exist before a specific certification was created.
- Certifications bring the basics: to be able to understand complicated matters, you need to start by the fundamentals.
- Certifications can be mandatory: some organizations (government organizations, armed forces, etc) require specific exam validation.
- Certifications can increase visibility: to get your CV taken into account by recruiters, it sometimes needs to go through an automatic selection process where certifications can be one of the criteria.
Choose the certification to prepare according to the following criteria:
- Your level: don’t prepare a certification for seasoned administrators if you just start your education.
- Your real motivation: some certifications are really demanding and will ask you some sacrifices. Be ready for it.
- The certification credibility: if you spend some time preparing an exam and everybody thinks it doesn’t worth anything, you will have wasted your time, money and energy.
- The certification price: some certifications are overpriced. Their purpose isn’t to prepare candidates for the real world but only get money from them: stay away from these pseudo certifications.
Choose a certification close to what expect the recruiters: prefer hands-on certifications to paper certifications only based on questions.
After passing your certifications, stay humble but show your knowledge without fear.
Non-exhaustive Linux certification list
You can also read this page about the main Linux certifications.