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Linux Certificate Program Targets Newcomers to the OS

A new offering from the Linux Professional Institute aims to help students and others get started with open source software.

Linux skills are in growing demand in today's IT hiring landscape, and there are many ways to bolster those skills both online and off.

Whereas many such offerings target IT professionals, however, a new program from the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is aimed at students and others who are relatively new to the technology.

Called "Linux Essentials," the program will be adopted by schools, educational authorities, training centers, and others beginning in June 2012.

"Linux is ubiquitous and plays a significant role in the server room, on our phones and tablets, cash registers and, of course, embedded devices everywhere," explained Jim Lacey, LPI's president and CEO, in the group's official announcement at CeBIT last week.

"With our Linux Essentials program, we're going to create the first global generation of users who are as comfortable with Linux as they are with any other operating system," Lacey added.

A Certificate of Achievement

The result of two years' worth of development by LPI along with qualification authorities, academic partners, private trainers, publishers, government organizations, volunteer IT professionals, and Linux and open source experts, the Linux Essentials program is designed to recognize participants' knowledge of the following areas:

* The Linux community and careers in open source software* Popular operating systems and major open source applications* Open source software and licensing* Linux command line basics, files, and scripts

A single exam available online either through LPI or through partner internet-based testing services assesses understanding of these areas and leads to a PDF certificate of achievement that's valid for 10 years.

Other components of the program include regional links to employment and apprenticeship programs in Linux and open source careers; support for skills competitions such as Worldskills International; support for teacher collaboration and sharing of learning exercises; and commitments from major IT courseware and content publishers on exam preparatory resources.

Opening Doors

The Linux Essentials exam will be available first in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with other locations around the world coming next year. Pricing will be the equivalent of 50 euros at test centers run by academic partners or 65 euros at private test centers.

If you're looking to get more into Linux, this could be a nice way to get started.

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