New! Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT)

November 17, 2010 by · Comments Off on New! Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT)
Filed under: RedHat, RHCT 

The RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician) certification is Red Hat’s ‘lower-level’ Linux certification and is generally viewed as a stepping-stone to the more advanced, and respected, RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer).

To describe it as ‘lower-level’ does not however infer that the RHCT is an entry-level Linux certification such as CompTIA’s Linux+. Quite the contrary in fact – the RCHT exam is a half-day, performance based session during which candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency on a live system. Performance-based testing means that there are no multiple-choice questions – candidates must successfully complete, on a live system, installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and maintenance tasks similar to those they would encounter on the job as system administrators. According to Red Hat less than 50% of candidates pass the exam the first time around.

A Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) certification is earned when an IT professional demonstrates the core system administration skills common to Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments. RHCT is an appropriate certification for system administrators and professionals in a wide variety of related roles, including database administrators, developers, and support technicians.

To earn the RHCT credential, a candidate must pass the RH202 exam, consisting of two parts:
Section I: Troubleshooting and System Maintenance (1 hour)
Section II: Installation and Configuration (2 hours)

In order to pass the exam and earn the RCHT credential candidates must successfully complete all of the troubleshooting questions in Section 1 (they are all compulsory), and obtain a score of 70% or higher on Section II. Because the exam is lab-based, candidates will not know immediately if they have passed, but instead will have to wait up to three business days before the results are e-mailed to them.

The RHCT exam is actually a subset of the longer and larger RHCE exam, so it is entirely possible for a candidate to try to obtain the RCHE and, should they fail, still have done enough to walk away with the RHCT qualification. The RHCE is twice the cost of RHCT however, and is a 5.5 hour exam that includes the RHCT-level material. If a candidate fails the RHCE but passes the RHCT-level material during the exam, they are awarded the RHCT certification.

Because of the lab-based nature of the RHCT, exams can only be taken at Red Hat authorized facilities (consult the Red Hat website for information on facilities in your area). This is something that should be considered when factoring the total cost of obtaining the RHCT credential as travel costs will vary depending on where your nearest facility is. You may not take notes or other materials into the testing area.

Red Hat do offer training courses (online and real-world) to prepare candidates for the RH202 exam but it is not necessary or compulsory to undertake any formal training in order to take the RHCT exam. Having said that, the cost of the exam is more expensive than typical multiple-choice based exams and with a relatively high fail-rate for first-time takers the cost of formal training could be viewed more as insurance rather than an overhead. Red Hat goes so far as to offer a package deal on their courses for the RH202 exam whereby a free re-take of the exam is included in the price.