Career / Career Progression

Roadmap to Success: Linux Essentials

by Karin Klinger
Roadmap to Success: Linux Essentials picture: A
Published on November 3, 2015

Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

UPDATED: We recently updated this article on January 3, 2017 to reflect relevant changes to the LPI Linux Essentials certification curriculum.

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) offers a variety of certification options for learners interested in open source technologies. The foundation of LPI's certifications is the Linux Essentials Professional Development Certificate (commonly known as Linux Essentials). Linux Essentials is a critical entry point to the world of Linux and related certifications. As open source technologies continue to evolve and challenge IT professionals, a Linux Essentials certification equips learners with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful. Typically, this certification qualifies learners for entry-level roles such as system administrator, network administrator, network engineer, DevOps, and systems integration.

LPI Linux Essentials Professional Development Certificate (Linux Essentials) The LPI Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification (Linux Essentials) is designed to validate a learner's understanding of the Linux and open source industry and popular open source applications; understanding of major components of the Linux operating system, including technical proficiency working on the command line; and basic understanding of security and administration issues including user/group management, working on the command line, and permissions. In addition, learners must demonstrate an understanding of:

  • FOSS, the various communities, and licenses;

  • Knowledge of open source applications in the workplace as they relate to closed source equivalents;

  • Basic concepts of hardware, processes, programs and the components of the Linux Operating System;

  • How to work on the command line and with files;

  • How to create and restore compressed backups and archives;

  • System security, users/groups and file permissions for public and private directories; and

  • How to create and run simple scripts.

Linux Essentials is made up of just one exam, which is covered by CBT Nuggets training:

Typically, learners pursuing this certificate should have a basic familiarity with Linux and/or non-Linux computer usage. Linux Essentials is considered to be entry-level, so the certificate is appropriate for learners who are new to the industry and just getting started with open source technologies.

Exam Details Most typically, learners seeking the Linux Essentials certificate will start by setting up an LPI ID and purchasing a voucher before registering for the exam. Consider reviewing LPI's How to Take LPI Exams overview before registering in order to become familiar with the process.

Time allotted for exam: 60 minutes Number of questions: 40 Passing score: 500 (of 800 possible points) Exam registration: Pearson Vue or LPI Marketplace Exam cost: $110 (USD) Exam objectives: Exam objectives are available

  • Linux Essentials exam objectives

The Next Step Linux Essentials is an entry-level certificate, which opens up opportunities for learners to continue to advance their Linux skills or diversify their resumes. Learners who earn the Linux Essentials certificate often consider the following options for the next steps in their ongoing professional development:

Recertification Linux Essentials is not subject to expiration or recertification processes.

Career Considerations Payscale.com/ provides information that can help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the Linux skills and certifications. Depending on experience, an employee who has demonstrated Linux skills can earn anywhere between $63,499 and $111,311. It should be noted, however, that Linux Essentials is an entry-level certificate, so it is likely that the average salary for most beginner Linux professionals may be lower than is indicated by Payscale.com/. Common roles or titles for those with strong Linux skills include software engineer, systems administrator, and software developer.

LPI Certifications The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) developed a certification pathway that is simple and direct. Made up of just four certifications, LPI offers certifications for learners who are just beginning their Linux training, as well as seasoned Linux professionals. Certifications offered by LPI include:

  • Linux Essentials

  • LPIC-1

  • LPIC-2

  • LPIC-3

There are no prerequisites for the Linux Essentials or LPIC-1 certifications. The prerequisite for the LPIC-2 is the LPIC-1. Similarly, the prerequisite for the LPIC-3 is the LPIC-2.

Concluding Thoughts Open source technologies have been gaining momentum in the IT industry for some time. Earning Linux Essentials certification creates opportunities to delve more deeply into the Linux world and explore open source expertise. Linux Essentials is the first step to a long and successful IT career.

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