and more enterprises, especially the aggressive, competitive ones, are
now shifting away from monolithic environments towards software that is
more flexible, open and allows its IT to be more responsive. These IT
trends combined with business trends of managing cost, growth, and risk
hinge not only on agile, flexible IT environments that can make a
significant difference to their business performance but also on IT
talent, which must include both technical capabilities and the ability
to manage projects and complex situations.

As the adoption of Linux increases, the demand for skilled technicians
worldwide will also increase. Maintaining a solid, capable delivery
ecosystem is important to vendors such as Red Hat to ensure that its
clients can effectively deploy the most effective tools. Red Hat’s
popular performance-based certifications for system administration, Red
Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE),
are examples of credentials that have a demonstrated impact on the four
essential priorities: manage risk, balance IT staff productivity,
implement projects successfully, and consistently use standards

To support this worldwide adoption, vendors must develop worldwide
training delivery capability. Red Hat, for instance, has hundreds of
training centers and training partners worldwide. The true measures of
the rigor and applicability of any body of knowledge that supports a
certification are the adoption and the respect the certification
receives in the marketplace. Red Hat certifications have been highly
sought after since their introduction and have been seen as meaningful
by both industry observers and IT practitioners since its inception.

Designed as rigorous, practical training and certification programs,
Red Hat certifications are demanding tests that cover the relevant
skills that open source administrators need. The courses are designed
to meet the demand of employers for useful measure of an individual’s
skills and competencies with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. RHCE
certification, for instance, involves hands-on labs covering file
management, logical volumes, start-up management, and user and group
administration. This practical training is mirrored in RHCE exams. A
Linux system administrator who passes these realistic performance-based
lab exams has demonstrated the ability to perform tasks on live
systems. The exams accurately reflect the individual’s ability to
install, configure, and attach a new Red Hat Linux system to an
existing production network. Specifically, the certification exams test
the administrator’s ability to install and configure Red Hat Enterprise
Linux; configure basic networking and file systems for a network; and
perform essential Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administration,
security, and management of common enterprise networking (IP) services
for the organization while understanding the limitations of the
hardware platform.

Red Hat also offers two new senior-level performance-based
certifications that build on RHCE skills and competencies. Red Hat
Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS) supplements RHCE security
knowledge with specialized skills in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat
Directory Server, and SELinux. Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) is
intended for advanced Linux system administrators responsible for the
deployment and management of many systems in large enterprise

Because technical skills are only part of a successful project, IT
teams also need to understand the principles of good project
management, including how to identify and schedule project resources,
produce critical path planning, and create project flow charts to help
evaluate project progress and evaluation. Project management skills too
are best taught by reviewing case studies and using a realistic,
project-based method. In fact, this capability helps increase the
overall value of an IT administrator. Where applied, project management
and technical skills together have led certified technicians to grow
and become sales engineers, network engineers, team leads, middle
management, and support managers.

Because skill is a key determinant to project success, the link between
certification and skill is obviously important. Additionally,
certification is tied to each of the business drivers, such as cost
control, growth, managing risk, meeting increasing customer
expectations, consolidation, and competition in the IT line of business.

As companies consider both Linux and certification of their IT staffs,
it is important that they understand the range of benefits associated
with employing professionals with demonstrated capabilities. According
to several companies, Red Hat certification helps companies reduce risk
and increase both system and administrator performance.

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