Take RHCSA and RHCE at same time?

RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi all. I'm currently in the process of mapping out my attack on the Red Hat certifications, and have some questions regarding the possibility of taking both the RHCSA and RHCE together as part of the "Red Hat System Administration III with RHCSA and RHCE exams (RH255)" official Red Hat course.

Some background: I've been a Linux geek for 15 years, but got my real start out of undergrad in Jan 2010 working full-time as a UNIX admin. Fast forward 6 years, I'm currently a senior level UNIX engineer, but manage mostly (90%) IBM AIX servers with only ~40 Red Hat servers. It has been on my wish list to attend RH training and take the RHCSA and RHCE for quite a while.

I'm pretty familiar with Red Hat and am seen as the Linux SME for my team. I'm currently implementing a Satellite 6 server and will be buying into RHEV (vs current VMware) in the near future. That being said, I strongly feel that I could pass the RHCSA with light studying right now on my own.

Getting to the real question... My work is bringing Red Hat on-site this month to give us a 4-day RHCSA fast-track course (without cert).

I have the option to go take the RHCSA shortly after the training... Or, I can wait until ~April of next year and take the SysAdmin III course which is a full prep for RHCE, but also includes both RHCSA and RHCE exams. Even if I took the RHCSA right away, I would still likely take the same formal training, which seems like it'd be a waste of money to pay for an exam twice.

What do you guys think? Is it a good idea to take both exams at the same time 6 months later? I'm afraid some of the critical points from the training will lose traction in my brain. We have a fairly large environment, and dealing with Red Hat is currently a small part of my day.

The last thing I want to do is attend a $4000 training, fail the RHCSA because the knowledge is not fresh in my brain, which would also make me ineligible for the RHCE. My gut is saying go ahead and take the RHCSA right away.


  • coffeeluvrcoffeeluvr Senior Member NCMember Posts: 734 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Take the RHCSA after you finish the training.
    "Something feels funny, I must be thinking too hard. - Pooh"
  • VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    I would take the RHCSA after training as well. Just make sure you feel comfortable with all the exam objectives, before you actually sit for the exam.
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    Two things: enthusiasm for Linux didn't translate into passing RHCSA the first time for me. And, versioning.
    I was an enthusiast for Linux but I failed at the part that makes Linux client part of an enterprise. I never had to deal with, let's say, mounting kerberized NFS or setting up ACL's or getting the client ready to join a LDAP domain. And that reflected at exam time. I passed the second time, though.
    Current RH exams test against RHEL 7. You mentioned being an AIX admin and having Sattelite in your domain- if I am not mistaken, Satelite is still RHEL 6...
    So I am with Verities and coffeeluvr on this, take RHCSA after training. If you fail, you aren't blowing $4k of training and having to spend it again the next time you take RHCSA, just $400 that is the exam cost of RHCSA icon_wink.gif
  • winona_ryderwinona_ryder Member Posts: 42 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I did the RHCSA and RHCE a few years back. I think they were my first certs. I did the 4 day course, with exams on the 5th day. If your work is bringing red hat in for a 4 day rapid RHCSA course, are they aware that RHCSA and RHCE can be crammed into that time?

    Oddly, I failed the RHCSA exam on the 5th day, but passed the RHCE one. That meant I was not able to get either cert until I re sat the RHCSA exam and passed.

    I'd recommend taking the exam as soon after the course as practical. Don't let the requirements fall out of your ears!
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