Career Advice after LPI Certification

Good afternoon. My first post - so go easy if it’s not in the correct location!

I’ve been a Fan of Linux since the early days, now I’m well on my way from fanboy to professional. I’ve been a software tester for Linux, Mac, Windows & Mobile for nearly five years now and have learned a great deal about Linux in general, virtualisation, the CLI, and the perils of developing commercial software to run on many distros/versions. I am now finding however that I’d like to take my Linux career to the next level. This is due partly to the company I work for being very Windows-centric with Linux is seen as an amateur second rate OS.

I am currently studying for LPI (Linux Professional Institute) certification. My reasons for this choice over RedHat etc being, firstly cost, and secondly it aims to be Distro-neutral, giving a broader overview of package managers, init methods etc. As I have a young family, this consumes most of my time in the evenings so I’m lucky to get lunchtimes during the week to get down to some serious studying. As it may take me a long time to get qualified, I need to be confident of my job prospects when qualified. Trawling through UK based job sites on the internet, I’m noticing that Sys Admins are not just Sys Admins any more and are required to be developers as well (mainly LAMP but some Kernel development for embedded systems).

Has anyone here had any experience with LPI? Is it possible to get a job as a Sys Admin with these qualifications without working experience in this field? If not, what else would I need? How could I get experience without experience?

I know these are age old questions and I’m not expecting a definite answer, but it would be good to get some ideas and maybe get a discussion going.

Many thanks.

Steve.

Ok… Back to the American forums.