5 Reasons Open Source Certification Matters More Than Ever


In today’s technology landscape, open source is the new normal, with open source components and platforms driving mission-critical processes and everyday tasks at organizations of all sizes. As open source has become more pervasive, it has also profoundly impacted the job market. Across industries the skills gap is widening, making it ever more difficult to hire people with much needed job skills. In response, the demand for training and certification is growing.

In a recent webinar, Clyde Seepersad, General Manager of Training and Certification at The Linux Foundation, discussed the growing need for certification and some of the benefits of obtaining open source credentials. “As open source has become the new normal in everything from startups to Fortune 2000 companies, it is important to start thinking about the career road map, the paths that you can take and how Linux and open source in general can help you reach your career goals,” Seepersad said.

With all this in mind, this is the first article in a weekly series that will cover: why it is important to obtain certification; what to expect from training options that lead to certification; and how to prepare for exams and understand what your options are if you don’t initially pass them.

Seepersad pointed to these five reasons for pursuing certification:

  • Demand for Linux and open source talent. “Year after year, we do the Linux jobs report, and year after year we see the same story, which is that the demand for Linux professionals exceeds the supply. This is true for the open source market in general,” Seepersad said. For example, certifications such as the LFCE, LFCS, and OpenStack administrator exam have made a difference for many people.

  • Getting the interview.One of the challenges that recruiters always reference, especially in the age of open source, is that it can be hard to decide who you want to have come in to the interview,” Seepersad said. “Not everybody has the time to do reference checks. One of the beautiful things about certification is that it independently verifies your skillset.”

  • Confirming your skills.Certification programs allow you to step back, look across what we call the domains and topics, and find those areas where you might be a little bit rusty,” Seepersad said. “Going through that process and then being able to demonstrate skills on the exam shows that you have a very broad skillset, not just a deep skillset in certain areas.”

  • Confidence. This is the beauty of performance-based exams,” Seepersad said. “You’re working on our live system. You’re being monitored and recorded. Your timer is counting down. This really puts you on the spot to demonstrate that you can troubleshoot.” The inevitable result of successfully navigating the process is confidence.

  • Making hiring decisions.As you become more senior in your career, you’re going to find the tables turned and you are in the role of making a hiring decision,” Seepersad said. “You’re going to want to have candidates who are certified, because you recognize what that means in terms of the skillsets.”

Although Linux has been around for more than 25 years, “it’s really only in the past few years that certification has become a more prominent feature,” Seepersad noted. As a matter of fact, 87 percent of hiring managers surveyed for the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report cite difficulty in finding the right open source skills and expertise. The Jobs Report also found that hiring open source talent is a priority for 83 percent of hiring managers, and half are looking for candidates holding certifications.

With certification playing a more important role in securing a rewarding long-term career, are you interested in learning about options for gaining credentials? If so, stay tuned for more information in this series.

Learn more about Linux training and certification.