As you may recall, I mentioned CompTIA’s Linux+ beta exam offer, where you can take the test for $75.00 vs. the normal rate of $207 and still get certified. I’ve taken advantage of the offer and took my test on Friday.
I won’t know if I passed until January, but I think I did well. My understanding is CompTIA will be compiling all the results of the beta tests to determine a passing score, and then they will let those of us who took the test know how we did. I signed a paper saying I won’t tell anyone what’s on the test, but I can say that if you check out the Linux+ beta objectives and think you’ve got a handle on that, you should go ahead and take the test. Be sure you know your way around the command line, even for apps you may normally administer via a web page such as CUPS or Samba. Reviewing man pages for common tools should help, too.
Personally, I largely took the test because of the (relatively) cheap cost. I’d love to pursue Linux Professional Institute or Red Hat certification, but I just don’t have the money for it. The Linux+ may not be as prestigious (like many CompTIA tests, it roughly equates to a year on the job), but it at least ratifies the fact that I know my stuff.
I also took it to put some kind of tech training/certification on my resume. My associate’s degree is in General Studies, as I was leaning toward a journalism career before landing in a tech position. Furthermore, HR personnel don’t always know what “skilled in Apache/BIND administration and shell programming” means; “Linux+ Certified” has a much better chance of raising an eyebrow. For example, I’ve even spoken with a technical recruiter who obviously didn’t understand the job she was recruiting for, and simply asked me what certifications I held. Minutes later I turned the job down cold because it turned out to be an entry-level support job paying a little over half my current salary.
If you’d like to take a crack at it yourself, you’ve got 11 more days to do so (the beta offer expires 12/31/04). In addition to the objectives, there’s a downloadable copy of the cybercast CompTIA held on December 9th regarding the exam. CompTIA tests are available through both Pearson Vue and Thomson Prometric, so you should have no trouble finding an appointment and testing location in your area.