Start the Year—Novell Certified Linux Professional

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It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. You likely are looking forward to the New Year as a break from the holiday hustle and bustle and the intensity of family get-togethers. Of course, relaxing is only a dream, as the New Year really only represents 12 more months of 2004 all over again, unless you can make those New Year’s resolutions stick.

Losing weight, donating to charities and spending more time with family and friends probably top your list, as might getting more exercise and reading more. But with the IT skills shortage bubble having popped nearly five years ago, investing in your future through skills expansion and enhancement might be a worthy pursuit. Those are resolutions that lead to career longevity and employment opportunities.

According to a recent Network World survey, IT network operators and administrators continued to see compensation increases in 2003 to the tune of 4.7 percent. You are likely thinking “not bad,” but could it be better? Remember when your IT expertise offered a promising future, full of career growth and expanding employment opportunities at every turn? Although the market is likely to turn more significantly in the next 12 to 24 months, the question is, what will your manager or other hiring managers be looking for?

Many signs point to Linux and other open-source technologies as the next “hot spot” for IT professionals to exploit. A recent IDC report shows that Linux has approximately 19 percent of the OS market share for 2004. Projections show that number will grow to 30 percent by 2008. reports that job listings calling for Linux skills have gone up 190 percent. At this time last year, said, there were approximately 900 Linux-related jobs listed, and a quick search on the site shows the number now at nearly 2,900.

As you likely know, more and more enterprises are seriously looking to Linux as a cost-effective solution that may have the viability to support future business goals. However, making the decision to move from Linux test servers to production servers does not come without its challenges, one of the greatest being the need for skilled IT staff to help make this move and support the infrastructure. You may have seen grassroots initiatives do great things to drive a technology from its infancy to legitimacy, but who or what is credible enough to ensure you are prepared for the long term if you jump with both feet into the Linux waters?

The Novell Certified Linux Professional Certification
To take advantage of the escalating demand for Linux expertise, you need to gain the necessary skills to become a proficient Linux administrator. Novell has just released its second Linux certification, the Novell Certified Linux Professional (Novell CLP), right on the heels of the Novell Certified Linux Engineer (Novell CLE). Achieving the Novell Certified Linux Professional certification can provide the launch point you may be looking for by validating to current or potential employers that you have what it takes to begin a successful and productive career as a Linux administrator. Additionally, through Novell’s Practicum exam technology, this certification provides you with the confidence needed to be an effective Linux system administrator your first day on the job.

Real-World Linux Skills
The Novell-authorized training courses associated with the Novell CLP give you real-world expertise and knowledge that you can put to immediate use in a new career as a Linux administrator. Why real-world expertise? To start with, Novell is the largest software company in the world dedicated to open-source and Linux technologies, with its very own SUSE LINUX distribution. In addition, Novell is committed to teach IT professionals the skills needed to perform day-to-day entry-level and advanced Linux administrative tasks in an enterprise environment. Novell courses don’t waste your time with “theory-based” instruction—you receive actual career training mapped directly to real-world job roles.

The Novell CLP training includes:



  • SUSE LINUX Fundamentals (Course 3036): For individuals new to Linux and Linux administration, this course introduces open-source standards, as well as the needed skills and knowledge common to all Linux distributions. During this three-day course, you gain the essential skills required to log in to a multi-user Linux environment, navigate the SUSE LINUX file system, manipulate files, work within shells, execute shell script commands, control processes running on the SUSE LINUX Server and more.
  • SUSE LINUX Administration (Course 3037): This five-day course teaches those familiar with Linux but new to administration the administrative skills common to an entry-level administrator or help-desk technician in an enterprise environment. You learn how to conduct common, entry-level system administration tasks, such as performing a Linux server installation in a network environment, granting user and group permissions, managing users and groups, managing software applications, troubleshooting the SUSE LINUX file system, managing printers and configuring the network.
  • Advanced SUSE LINUX Administration (Course 3038): For those with basic Linux administrative experience, this course presents advanced administrative skills common to mid- to senior-level administrators in an enterprise environment. You learn how to apply security to network users and resources. You’re taught how to manage and compile the Linux kernel, manage network clients and implement an FTP server. You gain the skills required to manage and configure Web servers, use OpenLDAP to manage network data, manage mail and messaging services, and troubleshoot network processes and services during five days of instruction.


All Novell Certified Linux Professional training courses are taught based on Novell’s SUSE LINUX distribution. While the course materials cover the theoretical basics common to any distribution of Linux, tasks and skills specifically will focus on working with the SUSE LINUX distribution. If you already have Linux administration experience with a different Linux distribution, you can take Course 3019: Migrating to SUSE LINUX, to help you become more familiar with the workings of SUSE LINUX in preparation for becoming Novell CLP-certified.

Validate Your Linux Expertise
After you have successfully prepared to become a Novell CLP, you need to be able to prove your new Linux expertise to the world by passing the Novell Practicum exam #505-689, Novell Certified Linux Professional. The Novell Practicum is a scenario-based test where you are required to apply the knowledge you have learned to solve real-life problems in order to successfully pass. Through this practical, live, hands-on test, you show that you not only know what to do, but also that you are capable of doing it.

The Novell Practicum #505-689 is designed to test specific skills and knowledge relevant to roles and responsibilities for Linux administrators. It tests your skills in a variety of areas, including installing Linux servers into a network environment, managing users and groups, troubleshooting the SUSE LINUX file system, managing the Linux kernel and troubleshooting network processes and services.

The Novell Practicum can be taken at Authorized Novell Training Services Partner locations worldwide. Visit to locate a Novell authorized testing center where you can take the Practicum. Exams can be taken at a local Novell Authorized Training Partner site, and results are available immediately upon completion of the exam.

Novell CLP Versus SUSE Certified Linux Professional
Prior to its acquisition by Novell, SUSE developed and announced the SUSE Certified Linux Professional program (SCLP). Since the SUSE Certified Linux Professional curriculum and

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