Over the past decade or so, the little Linux company has grown up into a Linux powerhouse: Red Hat! And as the company has matured, it has branched out its technology into multiple domains. Under the Red Hat technology umbrella you now have Enterprise Virtualization, OpenShift and OpenStack (Cloud), Storage Server (GlusterFS), and even JBoss application development. Of course, this means more opportunities for Red Hat professionals to broaden their skills portfolio beyond the RHCE. While the RHCE still may be the most respected and well-known Linux certification on the market, its popularity means that you may want to further differentiate yourself as a technology professional.
Over the years, your IT expertise matures along with your career. You typically start off as a generalist and move into more of a specialist role with deeper, high-value skills and expertise. The RHCE certification is the perfect platform to launch from for the rest of your IT career since it’s the starting point for several advanced Red Hat certifications, including Red Hat Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS), Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS), and the Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator (RHCVA).
The Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS) is a natural extension of the RHCE focused on virtualization, systems management, storage, and directory services. Three exams will get you this advanced Red Hat certification and prepare you for the next step.
The RHCSS is perfect for security experts. Focused on SE Linux, authentication, and vulnerabilities in network protocols and services, the RHCSS requires three exams and also provides a base for the next step.
Finally, there’s the Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator with one exam on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, hypervisors, and KVM. While you don’t have to be an RHCE to get this certification, it is an exam that can lead you to the grand-daddy of all Red Hat certifications the Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA). Given that you need five challenging exams for the RHCA, it’s a big next step after your RHCE and I think it’s better to focus on the more digestible (RHCDS, RHCSS, and RHCVA) certifications which are less intimidating. But, if you’re able to achieve the pinnacle Red Hat certification, the RHCA, you’ll be in rare company.
If you hadn’t heard, there are now options to take your Red Hat certification exams outside of the Red Hat classroom; Individual Exam Sessions (or IES) give you the flexibility to take Red Hat exams on your schedule.
There is life beyond the RHCE. As Red Hat has matured, I’m sure that many Red Hat certified professionals are looking to achieve the same level of expertise and skills in the open-source arena. These advanced Red Hat certifications are the natural, linear progression for any senior Linux professional with years of experience under their belt.
Red Hat and Ruben Garcia’s New Individual Exam Sessions