Red Hat Certified Engineer program turns 10. Certs matter.

From the ‘I still don’t have one‘ files:

There was a time when having an IT certification was the key to getting a job — that time may be here again.

Back in 1999, when many of my colleagues were out getting MCSE’s and CNEs (remember those?), Red Hat launched its Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) program.

Ten years later, the program is still kicking, with Red Hat now boasting that it has certified over 38,000 people — that’s a pretty big number. Then again, think of how far Linux has come in the last ten years — think of how far Red Hat has come too.

Ten years ago, most of us (Red Hat users) were running Red Hat Linux. That’s a product that doesn’t even exist today. We’ve got Fedora now (the modern equivalent of Red Hat Linux) and then there is Red Hat Enterprise Linux. (RHEL). In 1999, in my experience, Red Hat was mostly run at edge of network as a webserver, firewall or as file server.

Today, Red Hat powers the world’s largest stock exchange and is big partner of Cisco.

What role does training play in all that? A big one.

Having a professional certification is something that many large enterprises rely on as a mark of skill (though sure lots of people, myself included, have skills without being certified). IDC actually recently named Red Hat as a leading IT education vendor. There are of course, other Linux certification programs like those from the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), Novell and Canonical/Ubuntu too, the RCHE is however arguably more recognized (but hey if you think i’m wrong just comment below).

As the economy turns and governments pour money into retraining the workforce, Red Hat and its training programs are likely to benefit.

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