Linux prompt conceptLinux is an open-source, POSIX-compliant operating system (OS) that is increasingly prevalent in the IT world these days. The kernel of the operating system was developed by Linus Torvalds (hence the name) in 1991, and since then many different customized OS distributions have been developed using the Linux kernel. These include Fedora, Ubuntu and CENTOS, among many, many others.

Over the years, Linux has evolved into a highly scalable service delivery platform for software infrastructures of all proportions. Whether virtualized servers, supercomputers or even Android smartphones, the Linux kernel is at the heart of them all. The need for developers well-versed with the Linux platform is steadily increasing.

In today’s IT industry, with the competition being tougher than ever, having a credible certification to your name will help you stand out from the crowd. CompTIA’s Linux+ certification is a great way to do that.

Linux+ certifies foundational skills and knowledge of Linux system administration and is a stepping-stone that every prospective Linux expert should rest their foot firmly on if they intend to operate, manage, configure, troubleshoot and ultimately master Linux systems.

In addition to the obvious advantages that this certification has for developers looking to harvest key Linux skills, there are many other benefits worth mentioning:

Widespread recognition

Linux+ is a globally recognized certification. It’s difficult to find an enterprise that doesn’t appreciate its prestige. Large entities such as Dell, HP, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Navy are just a few of the big guns that consider a Linux+ certified professional worth trusting.

Relevance

Linux is everywhere and experts believe that there is no reason to suspect that it is going away any time soon; in fact, its footprint is only growing larger. A majority of companies providing cloud hosting services make use of Linux to speed up the creation of virtual instances. Linux is also traditionally found in the server rooms of a great many enterprises. And when you top it all off with Android’s (Linux-based) domination of the smartphone market, you observe that careers of many successful IT experts depend on their proficiency in Linux.

A great first step

Linux+ certification doesn’t make you an expert, but it will teach you the things that you need to know to start your career off in the right direction.

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) offers the LPIC-1 certification for professionals who have passed CompTIA’s Linux+ certification. In addition, the certification often paves the way to even higher distribution specific certifications like the SUSE Certified Engineer.

A number of other higher-level specialized certifications have the Linux+ certification as a prerequisite, so if you plan on becoming a Linux expert within the next few years, Linux+ is a smart first step.

Advantage for jobs

India has a very strong IT industry and employers across the market have developed an appreciation for Linux, and of course, for Linux-certified professionals. Many computer systems that have to be inherently rigorous, scalable and highly available require Linux based development.

To handle such jobs, employers and product managers naturally prefer to trust someone who has proven their worth via certification. The Linux+ certification is a competitive advantage for IT professionals, as it enables potential employers to “take CompTIA’s word for it” that they have been trained and possess the skills and knowledge to do the job.

As an added incentive, CompTIA currently offers a 3-for-1 option that enables IT pros to receive three certifications whilst earning Linux+. Yes, you heard that right. (Note: You can’t earn LPIC-1 and then apply for Linux+ — Linux+ must be earned first. Also, for some reason, this offer is not available in Japan.) It’s a simple process:

Step 1 — Earn the Linux+ certification by passing the exams. Once both exams have been cleared, you log into your CompTIA account for certifications by clicking on this link.

Step 2 — Choose Demographics and then Settings.

Step 3 — Check the box that allows you to forward your data and pertinent information to LPI.

Step 4 — Hit the submit button.

Step 5 — When you receive the LPIC-1 certification receipt, visit this link to get your SUSE CLA.

Step 6 — Celebrate! Because while earning one certification is good, 3-for-1 is even better.

Exam preparation

Linux penguin conceptAlthough, there are no real prerequisites or required courses for Linux+, CompTIA does recommend earning their A+ and Network+ certifications prior to pursuing Linux+. Having 12 months of Linux administration experience is an added bonus.

Linux+ requires you to clear two exams, the LX0-103 and the LX0-104. Each exam consists of 60 questions to be completed in 90 minutes. The question types are multiple-choice (single response), multiple response, and fill in the blank.

The price differs depending upon geography — it’s normally $194 U.S., but CompTIA does offer a discounted price of $180 U.S. for students located in India. As you would expect, there are plenty of study materials available. If you want to get your hands on some practice tests, training or exam crams, then you can either check out the Amazon web-store or browse the CompTIA marketplace.

As Linux becomes even more widespread, there will be an even greater demand for Linux+ certified professionals. In all fairness, when you start your job hunt, you will observe so many job descriptions applicable to you and your skillset that you may feel spoiled.

Jobs for which a certified individual is qualified include, but are not limited to: object oriented programmer and programming analyst, web-logic developer, desktop application developer, system administrator, operating system developer and troubleshooter, Linux driver development engineer, Linux administrator, and database management specialist.

Once you obtain the Linux+ certification, the sky becomes the limit. You can join a software company and start getting hands-on experience to complement previously earned knowledge or you can start passing exams for even more high-level certifications before settling on a job.

CompTIA’s Linux+ certification might cost you a few bucks. But once you pass the exams and become eligible for hundreds of vacancies in your vicinity, you will always look back on the decision to become Linux+ certified with a smile on your face.