[BALU] Linux Proficiency

Hiram Lester Hiram.Lester at compassbank.com
Fri Dec 19 11:48:27 CST 2008

It varies from vendor to vendor and cert to cert. I'd say that MOST IT certs don't require continuing education, but I know that the CISSP requires continuing education to stay certified. Some, like CompTIA's, are lifetime; others, like Cisco, are good for 2 or 3 years and then you have to recertify; while others, like MCSE and Novell's old CNE, certify you on a specific version of the product and the vendor retires the certification when the product is no longer in widespread usage. I guess it's really not fair to generalize about certifications. I think there is some value to certifications, but that value is not necessarily in the certification itself. The value, in my opinion, is twofold: 1. the knowledge you gain from studying for the certification with a goal in mind, and 2. the value a potential employer sees in the certification. There are those who memorize brain dumps and pass the cert tests with no real knowledge of the material which devalues the exam. I personally use them as a tool to learn new material to help do my job. All of my certs were earned through self study, not classes or brain dumps. The CompTIA ones were done as part of a curriculum at Virginia College to allow me to "clep" out of some classes. The Microsoft ones were earned in the NT 4.0 days when I was working helpdesk and trying to advance my career. I learned a lot just studying for them. I upgraded the MCSE to Windows 2000, but have not found the time to upgrade it to Server 2003 and am not sure it's worth it to do so since I'm not working with AD and such. While I've had the training, I've never pursued the Cisco certifications because I don't use them very much and they expire every two to three years.

If you're looking at certifications, I'd research at the vendor's site and do the kind of research that Jim did with RHCE to see how prevalent it is in the industry. I don't think any cert will hurt you if it's something you'll be using and you'll learn something in the process of studying. Ultimately, it really comes down to how valuable the certification is to YOU and if it will help you do your job better.

Hiram Lester, Jr., A+, Network+, Linux+, MCSE, MCSA, MCP+I
Systems Engineer
Internet Technologies
Compass Bank

>>> Jim Vines <jgoodguy at gmail.com> 12/19/2008 9:43 AM >>>
The last I heard was that the IT certs were static without an CE. 

CPAs require CEs as well as Pharmacy CEs.  Outside of IT most certs seem 
to require CE.

The IT dodge seems to be in the mode of trashing existing stuff for the 

Yea I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but it seems that things 
have not changed since the 1960s, just a newer crop of folks in love in 
tech only to be dumped in their 40s or earlier if they make a bad call 
on the latest and greatest fad. 

Good read on this is 


Tab Gilbert wrote:
>     Just how many IT certs are in date 2 years later.
>     Just how many certs in other professions are in date 10 years later?
>     Yet training in those certs, say CPA, cost about the same as a
>     Linux cert.
> So are most of these IT type certificates 'static" or do they require 
> a certain number of Continuing Education points per year to remain 
> valid?  My hazardous materials management one basically required two 3 
> day professional conferences per year as well as some other 
> requirements in order to remain valid.  A "snapshot" certificate would 
> hardly seem to be worth the time and money.  There are always new 
> methods and toys for playing with ethylmethylbadstuff. 
> tab
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