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For nearly 20 years, the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification program has certified IT professionals around the world who are skilled, proven, and ready to take on projects that address evolving technology challenges. In that time the RHCE certification credential has become known as one of the leading certification programs for Linux skills.

As the industry itself has grown and changed, new technologies have emerged and how those technologies work together has shifted to a focus on hybrid cloud implementations. With this technology shift automation has become an increasingly important skill for Linux system administrators. This evolution of the industry and technology has created a need for us to also evolve the RHCE program to better enable Red Hat Certified Professionals.

On to what you really want to know!

What’s changing?

Currently, an RHCE is a Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) who possesses additional skills, knowledge and abilities required in data center services. In the updated program, we are shifting the focus to automation of Linux system administration tasks using Red Hat Ansible Automation and will be changing the requirements for achieving an RHCE credential.

With the upcoming release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, we will be offering a new course and a new certification exam:

Red Hat System Administration III: Linux Automation (RH294)

This course is designed for Linux system administrators and developers who need to automate provisioning, configuration, application deployment, and orchestration. You will learn how to install and configure Ansible on a management workstation and prepare managed hosts for automation.

Red Hat Certified Engineer exam (EX294)

The exam will focus on the automation of Linux system administration tasks using Red Hat Ansible Automation and shell scripting. Red Hat Certified System Administrators (RHCSAs) whose status is current and who pass this new exam will become RHCEs.

What’s not changing?

One thing that we want to assure you is that this is not a complete redesign of the program. An RHCE will still be earned by having first passed the Red Hat Certified System Administrator exam (EX200) and then passing an RHCE exam while still current as an RHCSA.

In addition, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 based RHCE exam (EX300) will remain available for one year after the new exam is released. This will allow people to continue and complete their Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 certification journey if they prefer.

What are the differences in the new versus the old learning paths?

There’s too much to explain in one blog post, we’ve provided an in-depth look at the learnings paths here.

What does this mean for you?

Current RHCE

Your certification is valid for three years from the date you originally became an RHCE. You can extend the period of your RHCE by earning additional certifications that can be applied towards Red Hat Certified Architect in infrastructure. You can also simply renew your RHCE, before it becomes non-current by passing the new RHCE exam (EX294) to remain a current RHCE. You could also pass the older RHCE exam (EX300) again while it remains available. If your underlying RHCSA becomes non-current, you will need to take and pass the RHCSA (EX200) exam again as well.  

Aspiring RHCE

If you are a RHCSA progressing to becoming an RHCE, you have two options. You can continue preparing for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 version of the course and take the current RHCE exam (EX300) until June 2020. Or you can elect to prepare for the new exam (EX294), based on the upcoming release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation

For anyone who is currently a Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation, rather than renewing this certification after three years from your original certification date, you can continue to demonstrate your Ansible automation skills and knowledge by earning your RHCE via the new process, if you have not done so already.

Automation has become more important for IT organizations as demands can push scale beyond the limits of what can be accomplished without a sound automation strategy. Furthermore, IT is using containers as a new deployment paradigm for enterprise applications. We are aligning the RHCE program, and the learning services associated with that program, to assist individuals and organizations in keeping up with these changes in the industry.  

Ken Goetz is vice president of Training and Certification at Red Hat.


About the author

Ken Goetz is the Global Vice President of Core Services at Red Hat.

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