Why should you keep your Red Hat certifications current? In a two part series, Director of Certification, Randy Russell, will tell you why and how to stay current. Part 2 of 2.
Part 1: Why stay current?
Part 2: How to stay current (Current blog post)
Most IT certification programs offer just one option for staying current: take the same exams again and again. Red Hat takes a somewhat different approach. While it is always an option to take and pass an exam again to renew the certification associated with it, we also allow some certifications to be kept current by earning other certifications. This approach allows IT professionals to expand their skills and knowledge into new areas, which is increasingly important for a successful IT career. It is up to you, the Red Hat Certified Professional (RHCP). to decide the best approach for you and your career.
RHCSA is the core of all our system administration credentials. While anyone can take any Red Hat exam, we strongly suggest that people acquire RHCSA-level skills first and preferably earn RHCSA to ensure they have those skills.
RHCSA can be kept current in one of three ways.
- You can take and pass the Red Hat Certified System Administrator exam (EX200) again.
- Alternately, you can earn your Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification by passing the Red Hat Certified Engineer exam (EX300) as a current RHCSA.
- You can also keep your RHCSA current by taking and passing any of the exams an RHCE can apply towards earning Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA).
Note: Earning your RHCE or another eligible credential extends the three-year window of your RHCSA to the date on which these additional credentials are earned.
You can keep an RHCE current by either passing the Red Hat Certified Engineer exam (EX300) again or by taking and passing any of the exams an RHCE can apply towards earning Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA).
Note: Earning additional credentials beyond RHCE moves the non-current date for both your RHCE and RHCSA out to three years from the date on which the additional credentials were earned.
Just as RHCSA is the core of Red Hat’s system administrator certifications, RHCJD is the equivalent for enterprise application developers. RHCJD can be kept current by taking and passing the Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer exam (EX225) again or by taking and passing any of the exams an RHCJD can apply towards earning RHCA.
Note: Earning additional credentials beyond RHCJD moves the three-year window of RHCJD out to three years from the date on which the additional credentials were earned.
The RHCSA in Red Hat OpenStack can be kept current by taking and passing the Red Hat Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack exam (EX210) again or by earning Red Hat Certified Engineer in Red Hat OpenStack.
Note: While RHCSA in Red Hat OpenStack can keep the Linux-based RHCSA and RHCE current, the reverse is not true. The reason is that success on the RHCSA in Red Hat OpenStack relies on using RHCSA-level skills, which in general is the rationale for letting other certifications keep RHCSA and RHCE current. The reverse is not true, however: earning the standard RHCSA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux tells us nothing about one’s continued knowledge of Red Hat OpenStack.
The RHCE in Red Hat OpenStack can only be kept current by taking and passing the Red Hat Certified Engineer in Red Hat OpenStack (EX310) again. This is the only avenue for keeping it up to date at this time.
Red Hat Certificates of Expertise
Like other Red Hat credentials, Certificates of Expertise are considered current for three years. Unlike RHCSA, RHCE, RHCJD, RHCSA in Red Hat OpenStack and RHCE in Red Hat OpenStack, Certificates of Expertise can only be kept current by taking and passing their respective exams agains.
While their names may suggest otherwise, the policies for RHCVA and RHCJA are the same as for Certificates of Expertise; you must take and pass the respective exam for each of these certifications.
RHCA is Red Hat’s highest level of certification and its requirements for staying current are demanding. In order to stay current, an RHCA must maintain five eligible credentials beyond their RHCE or RHCJD. Here is the thing: it need not always be the same five. You can earn a new Certificate of Expertise and allow a previously-earned one to go non-current. It is also possible to exceed the minimum requirement. If you have more than five eligible credentials beyond RHCE or RHCJD, you earn a higher level of RHCA. For example, someone who has earned seven credentials beyond RHCE would be an RHCA Level III. If one of these became non-current, then the same person would become a Level II, and if yet another became non-current, a Level I.
If the number of eligible, current certifications goes below five, one loses one’s RHCA status but it can be restored easily at that point. Let’s say that you are an RHCA with five eligible credentials beyond RHCJD or RHCE. If one becomes non-current, you would no longer be identified as an RHCA on the verify page. Your RHCJD or RHCE and four other credentials would appear on the verify page as current. In order to reinstate your RHCJD, you would either need to take and pass the exam associated with the lapsed credential or else take and pass another RHCA-eligible exam. Once you had done that the verify page would once again report that you are an RHCA.
If you had allowed two credentials beyond RHCJD or RHCE to lapse, you would need to update those or earn two more. If three become non-current, you need to update three. Obviously, the best situation is to stay ahead of the game and renew your credentials or earn new ones before your RHCA status lapses. Many RHCAs are finding that the best way to do this is through a Red Hat Learning Subscription – Standard. This subscription provides access to all of Red Hat’s self-paced and video classroom courses, five first exam attempts and two retakes, along with other services like expert seminars and instructor office hours. Best of all, if you are an RHCA, you are entitled to a 50 percent discount on the subscription.
I hope this post helps illuminate the options available for updating your Red Hat certification. Our goal is to ensure that Red Hat certified professionals stay sharp and up to date while providing them with flexibility in how to demonstrate their continued expertise with Red Hat technologies.
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