Is it worth me pursuing RHCSA?

rms13rms13 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am looking for honest opinions on whether it is worth it or not for me to go for RHCSA.

I am 38 and currently work in "technology/IT" but more in the AV/Media side. This is what I have done my entire career but I am interested in a change for many reasons. Even though I'm not in a traditional IT job, everything I do involves computers, networking, SANs, etc so I have a lot of experience professionally administering all types of Windows/Mac workstations and servers.

I have been running Linux at home every day for 5+ years and have done all done all kinds of projects including public facing servers etc. I have intermediate experience with CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora. I have also purchased Michael Jang's RHCSA prep book and read through it once and did labs. I honestly feel like I would have no problem passing the exam if I put about 3 months of daily practice into going through labs and examples.

I currently live in Socal and make around $80k. One reason I'm looking for a career change is because my current earning potential is tied to the entertainment industry which means basically means living in LA or NY. My wife and I would like to eventually relocate to another part of the county so I want more location independence for my career.

So the $64k question is: If I simply acquire the RHCSA cert without having any demonstrated professional experience as a Linux admin, will I be able to get a job with salary that is at least comparable to my current one?

Comments

  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    The RHCSA doesn't seem to have much demand. Most of the Linux jobs I have seen want some experience and RHCE.
    Depending on what experience you have, RHCE might not be too much more effort.
    Is there some way you can cram some Linux into your current role? Maybe set up some NAS boxes, or web hosting, or DNS servers or something?

    The other thing which may work for you, is to emphasise the Unix stuff you might do as part of Apple. I had bind/apache/mysql/dovecot/ssh/postfix etc on my resume, when most of my experience was from working with Mac. They are the same tools on Linux, so it's all relevant. Along with emphasis on your sys/net admin skills, it might be enough.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • rms13rms13 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    The RHCSA doesn't seem to have much demand. Most of the Linux jobs I have seen want some experience and RHCE.
    Depending on what experience you have, RHCE might not be too much more effort.
    Is there some way you can cram some Linux into your current role? Maybe set up some NAS boxes, or web hosting, or DNS servers or something?

    The other thing which may work for you, is to emphasise the Unix stuff you might do as part of Apple. I had bind/apache/mysql/dovecot/ssh/postfix etc on my resume, when most of my experience was from working with Mac. They are the same tools on Linux, so it's all relevant. Along with emphasis on your sys/net admin skills, it might be enough.

    Thanks for the advice. The place I work has dedicated network guys, windows server guys, Linux guys, storage guys and VM guys so its hard for me to get hands on anything outside of my focus. I think my best bet is to lie, haha. I have more hands on experience from previous jobs in smaller shops where I had to wear more hats and I have a decent amount of Linux knowledge from personal projects and day to day tinkering. Obviously anything I say in have experience with would be things I could walk in and do without training but I'd have to pretend I did more in professional setting then I actually have. RHCE also would be an end game if I take RHCSA
  • asummersasummers Member Posts: 157
    The way to look at practical exams is like this:

    They show that you were able to reach a unified minimum standard to pass on that day. It is just like the driving test- you can pass and become a worse driver or pass and become a better driver - but you have to be the correct standard to pass in the first place.

    You could not believe the people I meet who claim years of Linux experience and are pretty rubbish in anything outside their immediate scope. If someone says I have 10 years experience I pretty much disregard the comment
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    You'll have to answer a simple question: does it turn you on? From what you shared with us so far, I'd say your answer is yes. You run Linux on daily basis at home. You'd like to administer it at work. Your admin ambition may not realize at your current workplace but will somewhere else.
    It doesn't have to be RHCSA, or any Linux exam at all. But you already have that ambition.
  • rms13rms13 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    varelg wrote: »
    You'll have to answer a simple question: does it turn you on? From what you shared with us so far, I'd say your answer is yes. You run Linux on daily basis at home. You'd like to administer it at work. Your admin ambition may not realize at your current workplace but will somewhere else.
    It doesn't have to be RHCSA, or any Linux exam at all. But you already have that ambition.

    Thanks. Yes it is something I enjoy doing for fun and as hobby and would prefer getting paid to do it instead of what I currently get paid to do
  • I think it's worth it, but I might be biased haha
  • rms13rms13 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    On a side note to this. I have Jang's prep book on RHCSA/RHCE for version 6. I know the test is only being offered for version 7 now and I know there are some major differences between RHEL 6 and 7.

    1. Is there any good prep material available now for version 7 of exam? It seems like Jang's book is still a few months away
    2. Are many people running RHEL 7 in the real world yet? I know where I work we are on 6.6 and we are very slow to upgrade (still on Win 7 for example).
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I have seen some RHEL 7 in the real world.

    Why not make friends with some of the Linux/Sys admins in your company? Ask them to teach you for maybe 15 mins a day in exchange for you buying them lunch twice a week or a beer or something. At my last role we had a backup guy come in on his days off of work to learn what the Data Center and Systems guys did. When there was something routine to do, they'd let him work on it under supervision. He had simply been at his job for almost a decade, was good at it, but had never ventured past his small niche of the IT field and got restless and wanted to learn more.

    If you have people at your current company that you can utilize as mentors, regardless or how big or small the impact on your career/skills, you might as well use them.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • rms13rms13 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the feedback. I already have gone through Jang's book on version 6 certs last year and then got sidetracked by life, family, work etc. Last night I bought the kindle version of Sander van Vugt's version 7 Cert Guide and I am going to work through that and setting a goal for myself to be fully prepared for the exam by Jan 1. I am studying for both but am I correct to understand that I am required to take the RHCSA in order to obtain the RHCE?

    As for learning from Linux admins at my current job. There are 2 of them and unfortunately their jobs are as such that they are able to work remotely most of the time so they are hard to track down.
  • ispep13ispep13 Member Posts: 9 ■■□□□□□□□□
    RHEL System Engineer Tier III job - Ace Info Solutions, Inc. - Bowie, MD | Indeed.com


    If I go into INDEED for the Washington, DC area and put RHEL 7 in the search. The three jobs I looked up does not seem to care if it is RHEL 6 or 7. They just want Linux/ Red Hat experience. One job did ask for RHEL 5,6, or 7.
  • There are still quite a few systems out there running RHEL 5. The majority of our infrastructure is RHEL6; very little RHEL7 usage currently.
  • VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    The information in this thread is on point; RHCSA won't do anything for you by itself, the real demand is for RHCE. However, getting the RHCSA should be enough to help you land a Linux job. Companies don't care what version of RHEL you have experience with, as long as it was one of the recent versions. If you can administer RHEL 5 or 6, you can administer RHEL 7. You'll have to learn some new commands but most of the deprecated commands can still be used on RHEL 7.

    Sander Van Gut has the best video series for the RHCSA v7 course that I recommended in a previous thread. If you watch his videos and lab a whole lot you can pass the RHCSA.
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