Skipping A+ and Net+ for Linux+ with no experience...

fattymcninjafattymcninja Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum but after reading a lot of older threads it seems like a great place to ask my question.

I have a bachelors and two masters in completely non-technical fields (Theology (x2) and Library Science) and now I'm working in food service. I became interested in computers during my bachelors when I built my first desktop. A little later I became interested in Linux. Since then I've always thought I would like to work with Linux as a career. I've been putting it off because I simply don't know where to start going about proving myself. I am also not the most confident person in the world. Ha ha. Its getting to the point where food service work is killing me and I can't wait to come home and work on something on my computer and learn something new about Linux. I'm not worried about pay because frankly, there is no where to fall to. I just want to do something I enjoy.

I see a lot of people recommending A+ and Net+ for people changing careers in order to allow them to experience a wide range of technologies and see what they like, but I've already found what I like (Linux). I also have looked through the A+ book and know all the information in it. On the one hand, some people on these boards have claimed that the A+ can be a detriment if you start on help desk and get pigeon-holed into that type of role. On the other hand, I've also seen people say if you start out with a higher cert, like CCNA for networking, you may have trouble if you have no experience. Does this hold true for Linux+ or RHCSA certs as well? Is help-desk basically necessary for someone like me?

TL;DR - Can I start with RHCSA (perhaps by way of Linux+) or will my lack of any IT experience kill any chances of getting a real career off the ground?


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    prampram Member Posts: 171
    This is going to sound contrarian here on TechExams but you really don't need certs for a Linux admin job. Depending on where you live there are a lot of web hosts that hire based only on technical knowledge. These places have high turnover (because the work is ****) and are usually semi-desperate to fill seats. This is dependent on geography though. If you don't have those kinds of opportunities where you live then I'd personally skip the Linux+ and go for the RHCSA.

    IMO you should focus on learning Apache in depth. Try doing tasks like setting up a mysql database, configuring an apache vhost, setting permissions, troubleshooting with logs etc.

    Try buying a KVM/OpenVZ VPS and set up a wordpress or phpbb forum. After you've set up Apache try throwing Varnish in front of it. Try running Apache in mpm worker. Try running wordpress through php-fpm. Try running mysqltuner. The important thing is to learn in a practical manner.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    You can most certainly do Linux + without A+ or N+. Go for it if you are interested, just make sure not to get caught up in the certification race.
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    extriquekextriquek Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have a sec+ and Net+ cert but I find it hard to land a Help desk position without A+.
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    fattymcninjafattymcninja Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I may end up just doing the A+ to get it out of the way. Its incredibly easy and it will let anyone reading my resume know that I at least have a base understanding. I don't know that I'll renew/retake it after the three years or however long it lasts (provided I find a job and have developed some experience by then).

    Thanks for the help everyone!
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    ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's been awhile since I did the Linux+, so keep that in mind. You may not need to have the A+ or Net+ to pass, but having the knowledge from both areas will help a lot.

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
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    CoolAsAFanCoolAsAFan Member Posts: 239
    I am in the process of finishing up Linux+. I have the knowledge of A+ and some of N+, but am not official certified in either. IMO, you don't need either to pursue Linux+.

    If you want to be a *nix admin, then I would say just go for it. Skip helpdesk. Check out some *nix admin jobs on indeed, monster, etc, and see what qualifications/certs are being requested. Good luck!
    IvyTech - AS CINS (Completed: May, 2013)
    WGU Indiana - BS IT Security
    (Started: August 1st, 2013)

    SBT1 RGT1 RIT1
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    W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't think having an A+ or working in helpdesk will get you pigeonholed into that position. What will get you pigeonholed into a helpdesk position is staying in help desk for too long and not moving up. You may also find it next to impossible to land a linux role without prior experience in IT. Most linux roles are administrator roles where you'll be given a lot of responsibilities(at least in the US). Most employers will want to know that you at least have some experience providing tech support to go along with your personal interest in linux if you don't have any prior experience working with linux.

    Those certs will also give you a foundation that will help you throughout your IT career if you're getting into this field with no experience. They're not a requirement, but I would still recommend A+ Net+ and Security+ if you don't already have an understanding of networking protocols, computer hardware and security standards. While Linux+ doesn't go deep into any of those things, it assumes an understanding of a lot of those things and it's not going to teach you about them.
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    TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    ajs1976 wrote: »
    It's been awhile since I did the Linux+, so keep that in mind. You may not need to have the A+ or Net+ to pass, but having the knowledge from both areas will help a lot.

    So getting Linux+ is to get you a sys admin role potentially correct? I would think you would want some foundational knowledge of N+ and maybe S+ (perhaps after Linux+) because much of the knowledge can be interrelated. For instance a lot of security tools use Linux to keep a network safe but what if you don't know the first thing about a subnet? I can see skipping A+ because generally it is only listed in help desk positions and could be a cert you only get if you are required to do so. From what I hear Linux+ / LPIC is more popular in Europe and Red Hat is more popular in the United States. Also you should accept the idea that sys admin might not be your first IT job and having the versatile background can help get your foot in the door.
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